MasterChef winner Thomas Frake dreams of opening a gastropub after being furloughed from his banking job during COVID-19 lockdown
Thomas Frake filmed his victory back in December, but kept his victory a secret for a majority of his friends and family. Following his victory Thomas revealed he may have to put his dream of opening a gastropub on hold, as the restaurant industry continues to be hit hard by the nationwide lockdown.
Speaking about his plans after winning the show, Thomas explained he would love to secure work experience in a kitchen before opening a gastropub of his own.
He told The Times: ‘The restaurant trade has been quite badly hit so even when the lockdown comes to an end it’s going to take a while for chefs to get their kitchens back up to speed.’
Thomas won over judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace with his incredible version of pub favourites, with a starter of monkfish scampi with pickled fennel, gherkins, onions and tartar sauce.
Speaking after the victory he said: ‘Honestly, it’s a dream come true. It’s been immense and the best thing I’ve ever done in my life.
‘I can’t see me not working in food for the rest of my life because it just makes me happy seeing other people happy with it.’
John added: ‘Thomas is a real talent and his food has always been about putting a smile on your face. I admire Thomas’ 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.
Gregg added: ‘Thomas has a definitive style. He takes the ordinary and make 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.’
Sadly this meant fellow finalists David Rickett, 31, and Sandy Trag, 24, lost out on winning the trophy, despite producing equally impressive three course meals.
He explained: ‘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.’