Devastated Andy Allen has broken his silence on the tragic death of his MasterChef Australia co-star and longtime friend Jock Zonfrillo.
The Scottish-Australian chef was found dead by police at a hotel on Lygon Street in Carlton, Melbourne, at about 2am on Monday. He was 46.
In a gut-wrenching Instagram post on Tuesday, Allen, 35, spoke of how his life will never be the same again after losing his mentor and confidante.
The post was accompanied by photos of Allen and Zonfrillo laughing and smiling on the set of MasterChef, posing on the red carpet with their respective wives and spending time together outside of work.
Allen also shared a bittersweet video of Zonfrillo dressing his son Alfie in a chef’s apron.
Devastated Andy Allen, 35, has broken his silence on the tragic death of his MasterChef Australia co-star and longtime friend Jock Zonfrillo aged 46. Allen is pictured (right) on the set of MasterChef with Zonfrillo (left)
‘When I met you 5 years ago I knew our lives were about to change forever. What I didn’t realise is how close Alex [Allen’s wife] and I would become outside of the kitchen with you, Lauren [Zonfrillo’s wife] and your kids,’ Allen began his post.
He went on to praise Zonfrillo for being such an inspiring force both as a culinary maestro and as a friend.
‘Sure, you’ve taught me so much about food, but it’s the lessons I learnt about what it means to be a great father, husband and friend that I’ll take away from our time together and will last forever,’ he continued.
In a heartbreaking Instagram post on Tuesday, Allen spoke of how his life will never be the same again after losing his mentor and confidante
Allen, who became a host of the popular Channel 10 cooking show in 2019 alongside Zonfrillo and Melissa Leong, expressed how much he will miss Zonfrillo and their time on-set together.
‘I’ll miss the way you mentored me and every contestant that walked into the MasterChef kitchen, I’ll miss you ordering the entire menu no matter how many dishes deep and making me eat every last bite,’ he wrote.
‘I’ll miss your morning on-set coffees that made me shake from the amount of caffeine you were able to extract out of every individual bean, I’ll miss the morning FaceTimes with Loz, Alfie and Isla, but overall I’ll miss you looking out for me every single day.
Allen, who became a host of the popular Channel 10 cooking show in 2019 alongside Zonfrillo and Melissa Leong, expressed how much he will miss Zonfrillo and their time on-set together. Pictured: Zonfrillo, centre, with his MasterChef co-hosts Melissa Leong, right, and Andy Allen, left
Police found Zonfrillo’s body at about 2am on Monday after they were called to a hotel on Lygon Street in Carlton, Melbourne, for a welfare check
‘Thanks for making me constantly laugh and being there when I needed to cry. You really were the complete package mate and life will never be the same without you. I know you’ll be looking down on Loz, Ava, Sophia, Alfie & Isla. Give it up for Jock Zonfrillo,’ he concluded.
Police found Zonfrillo’s body at about 2am on Monday after they were called to a hotel on Lygon Street in Carlton, Melbourne, for a welfare check.
No cause of death has been disclosed, but police say his death is not being treated as suspicious. A report will be prepared for the coroner.
Zonfrillo is survived by his third wife, Lauren Fried, and his four children: teenage daughters Ava and Sophia, from his first two marriages, and six-year-old Alfie and two-year-old Isla, with Fried.
‘With completely shattered hearts and without knowing how we can possibly move through life without him, we are devastated to share that Jock passed away yesterday,’ his family said in a statement on Monday.
‘So many words can describe him, so many stories can be told, but at this time we’re too overwhelmed to put them into words.
‘For those who crossed his path, became his mate, or were lucky enough to be his family, keep this proud Scot in your hearts when you have your next whisky.
‘We implore you to please let us grieve privately as we find a way to navigate through this, and find space on the other side to celebrate our irreplaceable husband, father, brother, son and friend.’
His death came as MasterChef’s fifteenth season, featuring Jamie Oliver as a guest judge, was due to premiere on Channel Ten on Monday night.
No cause of death has been disclosed, but police say his death is not being treated as suspicious. A report will be prepared for the coroner
On Tuesday, an insider shared details of the frantic scramble at Ten after network executives learned of Zonfrillo’s death on the eve of the new season going to air.
Behind the scenes, station bosses and MasterChef producers swung into action and ensured the news did not become public until 2pm, just five-and-a-half hours before the season premiere was due to air.
The first thing they did was contact Zonfrillo’s wife, Lauren Fried, who was holidaying in Italy with the couple’s two children, and booked the family on the first flight home.
There were statements to prepare and publicity engagements to cancel at the last minute as Channel Ten took over the social media accounts of Zonfrillo and his MasterChef co-stars Melissa Leong and Andy Allen.
Leong appeared to be none the wiser when she spoke glowingly about Zonfrillo in an interview that aired on a Perth radio station at 8am on Monday, before all other interviews for the rest of the day were abruptly cancelled.
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‘With completely shattered hearts and without knowing how we can possibly move through life without him, we are devastated to share that Jock passed away yesterday,’ his family said