Jock Zonfrillo's daughter breaks silence in heartbreaking tribute to late MasterChef judge

'I love you dad' Ava Zonfrillo wrote in a poignant tribute to her late father.

Jock Zonfrillo's heartbroken daughter has posted a poignant tribute to her late father on social media.

Three weeks to the day since the 46-year-old was found unresponsive at Carlton’s Zagame‘s House on Lygon St, and one week since a funeral service for the Scottish-born MasterChef judge in Sydney, Ava Zonfrillo posted the tribute on her Instagram account.

Ava Zonfrillo with her dad Jock Zonfrillo in Melbourne in 200o. Picture: Tim Carrafa
Ava Zonfrillo with her dad Jock Zonfrillo in Melbourne in 200o. Picture: Tim Carrafa
Tribute to Jock
A candle, portrait and a whiskey as a memorial tribute to Zonfrillo at Mr Whiskers. Picture: Emma Brasier

“Still can’t accept that we’ll be remembering you for more time than we had you,” the 22-year-old wrote on Sunday, “but it doesn’t mean we’ll love you any less.

“I love you dad, always.”

The post was accompanied by eight photos and two videos of Zonfrillo, some of them featuring the father and daughter together both in Ms Zonfrillo’s childhood and some more recent snaps.

One of the videos is a short loop of Zonfrillo blowing a big, exaggerated kiss to the camera.


jock zonfrillo and ava zonfrillo instagram photo
Zonfrillo and Ava in a photo shared to her social media on Sunday. Picture: Instagram

Ava Zonfrillo and sister Sophia are the adult children of a previous marriage, while Zonfrillo’s two youngest children he had with his third wife, Lauren Fried.

Jock Zonfrillo's death

The MasterChef judge was found dead at a Melbourne hotel in the early hours of the morning on May 1st, the same day the newest season of the show was set to premiere.

Jock's family released a statement confirming his passing, saying: “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.

“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.”

Channel 10 also released a statement confirmed that the premiere episode of the 2023 season of MasterChef had been postponed, subsequently airing it a week later.

Jock was farewelled at a private funeral in Sydney on Saturday 13th May. The Glasgow-born star was found dead at 2am in Melbourne on May 1, after police received a call requesting a “welfare check”.

Jock Zonfrillo in his chef whites
Jock's sudden death sent shockwaves through the industry. Photo: Channel 10

Tributes flow for late MasterChef Australia judge

Since his death, many former stars of the show and his fellow MasterChef judges have spoken about the impact he had on their lives.

Recently, Julie Goodwin broke down on The Sunday Project while recalling how Jock helped her through her mental health struggles.

Julie appeared on MasterChef: Fans V Faves last year with the late celebrity chef, sharing how he was always there for her.

"It was Jock with his openness about his own struggles that really became a massive part of my healing journey," she shared through her tears.

"He could see the struggle that I was having. He met me there and he made it okay for me to be here. He was just generous."

She continued, sharing Jock's impact on those who knew him, "When you cook for people, you can impact the people that eat your food, but when you teach people and when you mentor people and when you lift people up, and send them out into the world, you impact everybody."

Andy Allen on The Project
Andy Allen was in tears talking about Jock on The Project. Photo: Channel 10

MasterChef judge Andy Allen broke down in tears in an interview on The Project, bravely opening up about his friend and fellow judge Jock Zonfrillo in a heartbreaking special tribute edition of the show.

The 35-year-old spoke eloquently through an emotional segment, where he delivered a message from Jock’s wife, Lauren, and revealed he had dined with Jock the day before he passed away.

“It was so normal. He was in such good spirits,” Andy said, revealing that they “talked each other’s ear off”.

An emotional Andy said part of him feels “guilty” that he got to have lunch with Jock that day instead of his wife Lauren and their two young kids, who were in Rome at the time.

“I'd give anything to swap positions. You know, in saying that, it was still so nice to see him one last time.”

With NCA NewsWire

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