Tom Rhodes has won MasterChef 2021, and has been crowned this year's champion in the amateur cooking contest.
Throughout, Tom impressed the judges with his fine-dining style food and immaculate presentation. In order to secure his position as the winner he had to see off competition from fellow contestants Mike Tomkins, 27 and Alexina Anatole, 30.
In its 17th year, the amateur version of MasterChef (as opposed to the celebrity, kids or professional versions) is perennially popular, with thousands of fans across the country tuning in to see the results each year. This time things were a little bit different as the show was filmed during the coronavirus pandemic, and when it came time to air the final the show had to be rescheduled in reaction to the sad news that Prince Philip had passed away that day.
Speaking about his win, Tom said: "Being this year’s MasterChef Champion, after watching and admiring so many past Champions, seems like a dream come true. I’m grateful that I met, got to know and cook alongside some of the most wonderful and talented people, and have found friends for life in them.
"I’ll also never forget and can’t be more thankful to all the friendly, hardworking, fantastic people, that make MasterChef such a special show.
"I feel this is just the start, and I’m excited for what comes next.”
To seal his fate Tom – along with the other two hopefuls – was required to cook three courses for MasterChef judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace. His menu featured an oyster trio for starters, a main of rib-eye steak with beetroot and a watercress puree, and a dainty lemon tart for pudding.
Tom’s indulgent line-up of dishes impressed the judges with John saying his cooking was “flawless”, while Gregg described his combinations as “a work of absolute genius”.
While plenty of previous winners have gone on to open restaurants, like Thomasina Miers who owns the Wahaca chain, Tom’s ambition following the show is to release his own cookbook he has said previously.
Sharing a photo of himself holding the trophy on Instagram, Tom wrote in the accompanying caption that it was the “experience of a lifetime”.
Lots of people wonder what the MasterChef winner actually wins, but there is no grand prize. While the champion walks away with the title and the signature trophy for their mantelpiece, the real value is in the exposure they get and the opportunities which are offered to them in the days following the show.
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