Jock Zonfrillo: Heartbreaking reason TV chef was alone before sudden death

Jock's wife and the two children they share were in Italy when the celebrity chef was found dead.

Jock Zonfrillo flew home from a family holiday in Italy in preparation for the launch of season 15 of MasterChef but was sadly found dead at 2am at a hotel alone on Melbourne's Lygon Street on Monday, the same day the show was set to premiere.

The celebrity chef cut his holiday short to fly to Melbourne from Rome, leaving his wife, Lauren Fried, and their two children, Alfie, five, and Isla, two, in the Italian capital.

Jock Zonfrillo with wife Lauren in Sicily
Jock Zonfrillo was found dead at a hotel after jetting home solo from a family holiday to Italy ahead of the MasterChef season premiere, pictured here with wife Lauren Fried in Sicily last September. Photo: Instagram/Jock Zonfrillo

According to the Daily Telegraph, it's understood Jock and his family travelled to Europe after filming of the show finished about a month ago.

It's believed Lauren, Alfie and Isla will arrive in Melbourne from Italy today.

Jock is also the father to two adult children, Ava and Sophie, from his first two marriages, but they were not on the trip with him.


The presenter was scheduled to take part in a number of media interviews ahead of the show's premiere at 7:30pm on Monday night.

The new season of the show was highly anticipated, with guest judge Jamie Oliver sharing a promo post for the premiere on Monday, before he found out the heartbreaking news.

Jock had also shared a post about the show ahead of his passing, sharing his excitement for the premiere.

Jock Zonfrillo with wife and two children
Jock with Lauren and their two children, Alfie, five, and Isla, two. Photo: Instagram/Jock Zonfrillo

Alongside a photo of an excited Jamie, Jock wrote: "The time has come for @masterchefau to kick off a new season filled with Secrets & Surprises! And @jamieoliver of course!"

MasterChef did not go to air as planned after the Scottish chef was found dead at 2am Monday morning at an address on Melbourne’s famous Lygon Street, after police were called to perform a welfare check.

Jock and his family moved to Melbourne, where MasterChef is shot, from Adelaide in 2021 as filming for the show took up to six months a year.

The Scotsman, who started his career working with Michelin-starred chef Marco Pierre White, famously overcame a heroin addiction and became one of Australia's most celebrated chefs.

Jock Zonfrillo and wife Lauren
Lauren and the couple's two children are expected to arrive in Melbourne from Italy today. Photo: Getty

His family confirmed his death in an Instagram post on Monday afternoon, asking the public to please give them space to “grieve privately”.

“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,” they wrote,

“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.”

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