Tom Rhodes has won 'MasterChef'.
The Nando's restaurant manager triumphed on the BBC show's finale last night (14.04.21) - after it was moved from last Friday (09.04.21) following Prince Philip's death aged 99 - and admitted the victory was a "dream come true".
Following his win, Tom, 31, said: "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."
Judge Gregg Wallace admitted Tom has produced some of the most "beautiful" and "elegant" dishes he has seen on the show "for a long while".
He said: "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."
Gregg's fellow judge John Torode added: "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."
Tom - who was able to take part in the cooking competition after he was furloughed from his job at Nando's at the start of the coronavirus pandemic last year - beat off competition from sales executive Mike Tomkins, 27, and consultant Alexina Anatole, 30, in the final.
One of his signature dishes which caught the judges' attention was his olive oil ice cream, which accompanied his Japanese-inspired lemon tart.
Gregg admitted it was a "work of absolute genius ".