Jock Zonfrillo funeral: Inside the emotional Sydney ceremony

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Jock Zonfrillo was farewelled in an emotional service on Saturday, with high profile celebrities and chefs rallying around his heartbroken family to pay tribute.

The MasterChef judge, who died on April 30 aged 46, was laid to rest in a private funeral in Sydney on Saturday, surrounded by 200 family members and friends.

The star’s widow Lauren Fried, who shares children Alfie, six, and Isla, two, with her late husband, was among the pallbearers who led the close-knit group of mourners into the service – and she gave an emotional eulogy to her late husband.

The chef’s love of his Scottish heritage was on full display, with his coffin draped with the Royal Banner of Scotland and adorned with white orchids. Zonfrillo was born and raised in Glasgow.

His wife also paid tribute, with a Scottish tartan draped over her shoulder as she was embraced by several mourners before entering the chapel. 

An Aboriginal smoking ceremony was held outside to represent Jockfrillo’s passion for Indigenous culture and food while the playing of bagpipes was a nod to his Scottish heritage. 

Among the mourners were celebrity chefs Andy Allen and Colin Fassnidge, while Jimmy Barnes gave an emotional rendition of Amazing Grace together with his daughter Mahalia to close out the service. 

Family and friends of the late Jock Zonfrillo made an emotional exit from a Sydney chapel on Saturday morning as they farewelled the celebrity chef. Zonfrillo's widow Lauren Fried (pictured), led a close-knit of mourners out of the chapel while carrying her husband's coffin

Family and friends of the late Jock Zonfrillo made an emotional exit from a Sydney chapel on Saturday morning as they farewelled the celebrity chef. Zonfrillo’s widow Lauren Fried (pictured), led a close-knit of mourners out of the chapel while carrying her husband’s coffin

Fellow MasterChef judge Andy Allen is pictured carrying Zonfrillo¿s coffin, which was covered with the Royal Banner of Scotland and adorned with white orchids

 Fellow MasterChef judge Andy Allen is pictured carrying Zonfrillo’s coffin, which was covered with the Royal Banner of Scotland and adorned with white orchids

Others included Zonfrillo’s MasterChef co-star Melissa Leong, who was visibly emotional as she arrived and was held by friends.

Former MasterChef judge George Colombaris, fellow celeb chef Shannon Bennett and My Kitchen Rules’ Manu Feildel were also present. 

It is the first time Ms Fried has been seen since her frantic dash from their new home in Rome, Italy in the wake of her husband’s death almost a fortnight ago.

She sent out invitations to a select group of friends with a few days notice earlier in the week as the Glasgow-born chef’s family flew in from Scotland and the US.

Lauren embraced Zonfrillo’s fellow Masterchef judge Allen before the pair carried in his coffin with four other men.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the room as Lauren delivered her eulogy, describing the late chef as her other half who was a sensitive man with a big heart.

‘We are two halves that found each other at the exact moment in life when we were ready,’ she said.

‘We were ready for that big love to live a life of adventure, to become parents together, to imagine extraordinary things and to actually make them happen.’

She also told mourners: ‘I know days like this are meant to be a celebration of someone’s life, so I will try really hard to do that through my immense sadness.’  

Zonfrillo’s daughter Ava added: ‘It goes without saying that at the heart of everything you did was family.

‘And one of the hardest things to accept is that you won’t be here to see ours grow.’

George Calombaris and Colin Fassnidge were among the many chefs in attendance at Zonfrillo's funeral

George Calombaris and Colin Fassnidge were among the many chefs in attendance at Zonfrillo’s funeral 

Chef Matt Moran looked distraught as he attended the funeral service for Zonfrillo

Chef Matt Moran looked distraught as he attended the funeral service for Zonfrillo

Several celebrities were in attendance to farewell the chef, including singer Jimmy Barnes, wife Jane and daughter Mahalia

Several celebrities were in attendance to farewell the chef, including singer Jimmy Barnes, wife Jane and daughter Mahalia

The family had a parting message for mourners.

‘For those who crossed his path and became his mate or were lucky enough to be in this family, keep this proud Scot in your heart when you have your next whisky.’ 

Sporting a kilt in a nod to fit and Zonfrillo’s Scottish heritage, Australian rock icon Jimmy Barnes was joined by daughter Mahalia with a powerful rendition of Amazing Grace to close out the moving service.

A Scottish marcher played the bagpipes as the pallbearers exited the chapel.

Guests exited the venue in silence, while Allen looked visibly emotional – breaking down in tears while carrying Zonfrillo’s coffin.

Allen was suuported at the service by his pregnant wife Alex Davey after the couple flew up from Melbourne on Thursday.

Guests were dressed head-to-toe in black as friends, family, and notable stars solemnly led the arrivals.

Former Australian of the Year Grace Tame was joined by her fiance

Former Australian of the Year Grace Tame was joined by her fiance 

Jock Zonfrillo is pictured with his wife Lauren Fried. She gave an emotional eulogy

Jock Zonfrillo is pictured with his wife Lauren Fried. She gave an emotional eulogy 

Masterchef host Andy Allen and wife Alex touch down in Sydney, ten days after the death of fellow MasterChef judge Jock Zonfrillo

Masterchef host Andy Allen and wife Alex touch down in Sydney, ten days after the death of fellow MasterChef judge Jock Zonfrillo

Chef and The Living Room star Miguel Maestre arrived carring a single white rose.

Irish-born Fassnidge greeted George Colombaris with a warm embrace when he arrived but was distraught following the sombre farewell and was seen holding his hand to his face and he fought back tears.

Who attended Jock Zonfrillo’s funeral? 

  • Masterchef judges Andy Allen and Melissa Leong
  • Former Masterchef judge George Calombaris 
  • Shannon Bennett 
  • Matt Moran
  • Colin Fassnidge
  • Manu Feidel
  • Miguel Maestre
  • Darren Robertson 
  • Collette Dinnegan 
  • Grace Tame and fiancé Max Heerey
  • Jimmy Barnes and his daughter Mahalia
  • Dylan Alcott
  • Repoter Liz Hayes 

Feidel wrapped his arm around Moran as they comforted each other while leaving the emotional service. 

Former Australian of the Year Grace Tame also attended with her fiancé Max Heerey to pay their respects, as did wheelchair tennis champion and 2022 Australian of the Year Dylan Alcott and fashion designer Collette Dinnigan.

Following the memorial, Fassnidge shared a photo of his hand grasping a glass of whiskey on the rocks as he and a group of others attended a ‘random pub’.

The grief-stricken celebrity chef sat at a tartan-patterned tablecloth – the pattern is often associated with Scotland, where Zonfrillo was born, as Scottish kilts most often have tartan patterns.

‘Very fitting the random pub we drop in for a farewell whiskey,’ he wrote alongside the photo. 

The service has been kept firmly under wraps by Fried, who sent out invitations for the Sydney interment earlier this week.

They were accompanied with strict instructions for family and celebrity friends to not reveal any details about the funeral.

Fried also revealed to guests there would be no wake held after the burial, an attendee told the publication on Saturday.

‘The family just wants it to happen without any of the attention his death has attracted, which has understandably been overwhelming,’ they said. 

The funeral patron added: ‘They’re trying to keep it as personal as they can. It’s critical they be given the space to do that.’

Andy Allen and his pregnant wife Alex Davey arriving in Sydney before the funeral service

Andy Allen and his pregnant wife Alex Davey arriving in Sydney before the funeral service

Fried, who shares children, Alfie, six, and Isla, two, with her late husband, 46, led a close-knit of mourners into a small Sydney chapel on Saturday morning to celebrate his life. All pictured

Fried, who shares children, Alfie, six, and Isla, two, with her late husband, 46, led a close-knit of mourners into a small Sydney chapel on Saturday morning to celebrate his life. All pictured 

While Zonfrillo and his family resided in Melbourne during his role on MasterChef, Fried chose to host his funeral in Sydney. 

She reportedly chose the location as she originally hails from Sydney, where her extended family is based, and it’s where Zonfrillo first moved to from Glasgow 23 years ago.

Zonfrillo died in his hotel room at Zagame’s House on Lygon Street in Carlton, Melbourne on April 30 and was found by police at about 2am on Monday, May 1 – the same day Channel Ten was meant to premiere the fifteenth season of MasterChef Australia. 

They were responding to a welfare check called in by his wife who was in Italy at the time with their son and daughter. 

The media personality was scheduled for several publicity engagements for season 15 of MasterChef when he died suddenly. 

My Kitchen Rules stars Manu Feidel (right) and Colin Fassnidge (left) attended the private memorial. Pictured last week taking a break from filming MKR to have a drink in honour of Zonfrillo

My Kitchen Rules stars Manu Feidel (right) and Colin Fassnidge (left) attended the private memorial. Pictured last week taking a break from filming MKR to have a drink in honour of Zonfrillo

After the solemn service, Fassnidge, 48, shared a photo of his hand grasping a glass of whiskey as he and a group of others attended a 'random pub'. The celebrity chef sat at a tartan-patterned tablecloth - the pattern is often associated with Scotland, where Zonfrillo was born

After the solemn service, Fassnidge, 48, shared a photo of his hand grasping a glass of whiskey as he and a group of others attended a ‘random pub’. The celebrity chef sat at a tartan-patterned tablecloth – the pattern is often associated with Scotland, where Zonfrillo was born

Chefs Shannon Bennett (far left), George Calombaris (centre left) and Matt Moran (far right) also attended. Pictured with Gordon Ramsay (centre right) last week

Chefs Shannon Bennett (far left), George Calombaris (centre left) and Matt Moran (far right) also attended. Pictured with Gordon Ramsay (centre right) last week

Daily Mail Australia can reveal that when the police entered the hotel room to conduct a welfare check, officers believed that Zonfrillo had died of natural causes and didn’t find anything that suggested otherwise.

There was also no drug paraphernalia found in the hotel room, sources said.

In the wake of the tragic news, Zonfrillo’s fellow Masterchef judges Melissa Leong and Andy Allen pulled out of all media appearances to promote the cooking show’s return.

The season premiere was rescheduled to Sunday, May 7.

Zonfrillo is survived by his third wife, Lauren Fried, and his four children: grown-up daughters Ava and Sophia, from his first two marriages, and six-year-old Alfie and two-year-old Isla, with Fried.



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