Who is Eleonora Riso, the Masterchef winner who served dishes to Radiohead and Russell Crowe: 'She gets into your soul'

“He was on duty with us until a few days ago. He made it seem like things were going very well on Masterchef, but we certainly didn't expect him to win.” Blame it on the times of television. Eleonora Riso, who was named the 13th Italian Master Chef on Thursday evening, is also the first Tuscan amateur chef to win the program.

27 years old, born in LivornoStudent in Pisa and finally a waitress in a historic restaurant in Florence Cibreo. “We sent her our congratulations, now we are waiting to see her again to celebrate this big victory, then I wish her to make her dream come true.” says the restaurant's host, Giulio Picchi.

On Thursday evening, Eleonora opened sparkling wines in Sant'Ambrogio with friends.

It couldn't have been easy keeping the secret all this time. The first episode of the show was broadcast on Sky in mid-November, and filming of the race dates back to the months before.

On one of the first evenings, she mentioned the Florentine dishes at Cibreo: “I was excited to try a typical dish they prepare there: something with offal.” When I ate it, I cried.

A victory, according to the chefs/judges Bruno Barbieri, Antonino Cannavacciuolo and Giorgio Locatellithe fruit of his “creativity”.

“We have been working together since 2018. I must say that she showed herself on television as she really is, an extroverted girl and a little “crazy”, in the good sense of the word. His “verses” (the chefs' definition), that is, his funny or his embarrassed facial expressions or his gesticulations were framed by the house's cameras and made famous 13th edition of the show, according to Sky data the most watched in the last 4 years. Also because the finale remained in limbo until the last dish, namely a mochi filled with Bavarian coconut cream, presented by Eleonora Riso at the end of a menu that mixed “our” cuisine with Japanese cuisine.

In addition to the title of 13th Italian Master Chef She was also awarded 100,000 euros and high-level trainingwhile his recipe book will be published on March 8th.

“A good waiter must have a strong personality: I liked Eleonora because she knew how to read others and imprint herself in the souls of the guests,” continues Giulio Picchi of Cibreo.

Radiohead, Katy Perry and Russell Crowe

“Together we have achieved a lot of satisfaction over these years; we have served this Radiohead, Katy Perry and Russell Crowe. We have experienced difficulties and successes. Now I hope that he enjoys this great success, for which we have great respect.” In Florence, Eleonora only worked in the dining room, “but I had heard about his “abilities.”On his days off, he occasionally cooked something for the other employees.

“To all disadvantaged people like me”

On Masterchef she immediately defined herself as “out of the box” and He dedicated the victory to “all disadvantaged people like me.”. He said he lived in Florence in a “house in the woods” where he “planted a vegetable garden and learned the secrets.” of beekeeping».

Cooking helped her overcome her problems eating disorder (anorexia nervosa and bulimia) and often suggested vegan and vegetarian dishes “for ethical and health reasons”. His passions, he says, “include everything that is art.”

The “Ichigo-Ichie” menu

His path was clear in a high-level masterclass. The menu that impressed the chefs on the final evening called to him “Ichigo Ichie”a practice associated with Zen Buddhism that requires enjoying each moment to the fullest.

«The invitation cannot be postponed, trying to do things we've never done before, changing things when we're not feeling well, chasing special moments and breathing. I tried to calm the chaos inside me: it's an impulse and an emotion, but it can also be destructive. I realized that I have no real goal in life other than to strive for a minimum balance. That's why for my menu I decided to take inspiration from Japanese cuisine, linking it to my traditions and experiences and making the ingredients that I like protagonists because they remind me of important and meaningful moments in my life remember.”

So here are rice paper chips with shredded Russian lettuce, anchovy concentrate, Vin Santo and wasabi. Steamed ravioli filled with rosemary-flavored potatoes, marinated trout tartare, grapefruit, dashi broth and “pelle ribelle,” the twice-cooked and lacquered eel that made him his success.

March 1, 2024