Tom Rhodes, 31, has become BBC One’s MasterChef 2021 Champion and is the 17th amateur cook to claim the prestigious title.
During lockdown the country has been trying out new recipes and cooking at home more than ever before. Against this background and battling against fierce competition from 39 other amateur cooks, through six weeks of culinary challenges and an exhilarating final cook-off, Tom was awarded the MasterChef trophy by judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace.
On his win, Tom says: “From beginning to end, MasterChef is the most incredible experience. 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, hard working, fantastic people, that make MasterChef such a special show. I feel this is just the start, and I’m excited for what comes next.”
MasterChef judge, John Torode, comments: “Tom walked into this kitchen and surprised us. He has defined himself a style all of his own and it’s fantastic. His food is delicious and it looks beautiful. As an amateur chef what he is doing is really impressive.”
MasterChef judge, Gregg Wallace, adds: “I love this fella. He has delivered some of the most beautiful, elegant dishes I have seen in this competition for a long while. He is a phenomenal talent and the sky’s the limit for him.”
On his time in the show, Tom says: “I have had a great time in the competition and I have so many great memories. I can’t believe what has just happened, I couldn’t have asked for more. When I came in today I wanted to put up three beautiful plates of food and I have done that. I am so proud of myself and so happy.”
Talking about Tom’s winning menu, Gregg says: “He is at his best when he takes European style dishes and adds Japanese flavours and honestly he produces stunningly good plates of food.”
On his future plans, Tom says: “One day I would love to write a cookbook and have a cookery school. During the competition, I have realised my love for developing recipes and cooking for other people outside of my friends and family, so would love to do more of this after the show.
“It would be great to spend time in professional kitchens as even after over 20 years of cooking I know I still have so much to learn. I’d also love to see more of East and South East Asia, to learn more about their food and culture.”