The story of Marios Vrahatis, the young chef who achieved stardom in the TV reality show MasterChef, has captured the hearts and minds of the Greek public.
Thirty-year-old Marios has distinguished himself in the Greek version of MasterChef with a delicious and innovative mutton-burger he made.
However, it is what he said while serving it to the judges that gave goosebumps to Star TV’s audience.
He described an impoverished life since he was eight, living rough on the streets without parents, a home or an income.
He survived alone on a string of passing jobs until he was welcomed with open arms to work as a handyman at the Orthodox Monastery of Faneromeni on the island of Salamis.
It is there where he developed a keen interest in the kitchen. He started experimenting with different ingredients and flavors.
The clergy, who he now calls his family, helped him by paying for his culinary college tuition.
Marios eventually found a job in a restaurant and won the approval of the judges on Greek MasterChef.
“We should never give up in our lives,” he says. “There is no need to get depressed because depression leads nowhere.”
A nun at the monastery expressed pride for helping Marios and appreciation for what the young cook has achieved.
“He did not forget us. He comes to the monastery every year on August 23 at our festival and cooks for everybody,” the nun said to the Greek Reporter.