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MasterChef 2020 winner reveals why they have not received their trophy

Thomas Frake (Shine/MasterChef/BBC/PA)
Thomas Frake (Shine/MasterChef/BBC/PA)

MasterChef winner Thomas Frake will not receive the show’s coveted trophy until after the lockdown lifts.

The BBC One show’s crew are unable to reach the prize and send it by courier due to restrictions in place across the UK.

The south London-based banking and international finance worker, 32, said he could wait “a few more weeks” before placing it on his bookshelf.

David, Sandy and Thomas (Shine/MasterChef/BBC/PA)

He told the PA news agency: “The trophy is still in lockdown because of the whole social distancing and quarantining in the UK.

“The crew can’t actually get to it to be able to courier it to me.

“I have touched it once for some press photographs before Christmas and then I haven’t touched it or seen it since then. I think it’s going to be a few more weeks before it ends up on the bookshelf.

“It itself is in quarantine. I will see it once life starts to return to normal.”

Thomas competed against digital security manager David Rickett, 31, and technology consultant Sandy Tang, 24, in Friday night’s final.

Despite botching his dessert in the three-course finale, judges Gregg Wallace and John Torode chose him as the show’s 16th champion.

Masterchef judges Gregg Wallace and John Torode (Shine/MasterChef/BBC/PA)

Thomas admitted he had resigned himself to not winning.

He said: “As soon as they said my name I was in complete disbelief. The first thing I said to them was, ‘But the tart wasn’t right’.

“It was just the disbelief and knowing that that element of my dish wasn’t there. That was the initial reaction.

“After that it sunk in and I was over the moon. Absolutely incredible and chuffed by the result.

“That initial reaction was just like, ‘Well, this is mad’, because I had resigned myself to the fact that it just wasn’t going to be my competition.”

He kept the result secret from his parents and had hoped to watch the final live with them, but due to the lockdown he celebrated with his girlfriend, who he is self-isolating with at home.

The final task was to prepare a three-course meal for the judges.

Thomas’s winning menu started with monkfish scampi made with monkfish tails in beer batter, served with pickled fennel, pickled gherkins and tartar sauce flavoured with tarragon.

His main course was ox cheek and bone marrow with crispy tobacco onions, shredded Brussels sprouts with bacon, and carrots cooked in carrot juice.

He finished with a dessert of salted caramel custard tart, topped with grated nutmeg and served with popcorn ice cream and toffee popcorn.

Torode said: “Thomas is a real talent and his food has always been about putting a smile on your face. I admire Thomas’s work ethic, he’s a grafter.

“He’s able to take a classic and deliver it with real style and finesse. That’s the gift of a great cook.

“He knows exactly the direction he wants to go in and, for me, his food today tasted fantastic.”

Wallace added: “Thomas has a definitive style. He takes the ordinary and makes it extraordinary.

“I really admire Thomas. He wants to take all the foods that he grew up with and make them better.

“He has delighted me all the way through the competition and today I think his three courses were just exceptional. They had his heart and his soul in every single forkful.”

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