On Saturday, May 13, celebrity chef Manu Fieldel joined friends and family to bid farewell to Jock Zonfrillo in a moving and intimate ceremony.
Despite what he described as a “really nice send off”, Fieldel is still reeling from the sudden loss of his friend and colleague.
“It’s hard to understand how to believe it,’’ Feildel told the Herald Sun.
“Doesn’t matter how long you’ve known each other for, as soon as you touch someone from the industry it’s close to the heart.
“We’ve lost so many chefs the last few years for different reasons and it’s never good news and those type of news are a smack in the face.”
Fieldel recounted the beautiful send-off at his dear friend’s funeral, highlighting the heartfelt tributes, touching speeches, and the overwhelming sense of love and support that was felt throughout the ceremony.
“It was a really nice send off, he was such a nice guy, such a beautiful family and had lots of friends around him,” he said.
“It was a difficult time but also a beautiful time. We all are busy but we drop what we’re doing and we respect the day.”
Zonfrillo passed away on Sunday, April 30 at the age of 46.
Friends and family came together to bid farewell to the beloved MasterChef judge during an intimate funeral on Saturday, May 13.
Zonfrillo’s wife Lauren Fried, and their four children, Eva, Sophie, Alfie, and Isla joined celebrity chefs George Calombaris, Shannon Bennett, and Colin Fassnidge in mourning the beloved Masterchef judge.
Also in attendance were Zonfrillo’s MasterChef co-judges, Andy Allen and Melissa Leong as well as tennis icon Dylan Alcott.
During her eulogy, emotions ran high as Lauren bid farewell to her beloved husband.
“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,” she told fellow mourners, as per The Daily Mail.
“We are two halves that found each other at the exact moment in life when we were ready.
“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.”
Australian singing icon Jimmy Barnes performed Amazing Grace as the ceremony drew to a close.
Zonfrillos’ casket was adorned with a number of white roses and orchids and elegantly cloaked in a Royal Banner of Scotland as a tribute to his ancestry.
Only days before the solemn farewell, close friends and fellow celebrity chefs Matt Moran, Gordon Ramsay, Shannon Bennet, and George Calombaris paid their own tribute when they gathered to reminisce and share anecdotes of their late friend over dinner and a few drinks.
The intimate get-together was held at Melbourne’s Di Stasio restaurant with Ramsey revealing that the “atmosphere was solemn”.
“Intense. And then we had a couple of glasses of wine to relax and we started to think about those incredible memories,” he told The Daily Mail.
“It was sombre because every time we went off-piste we came back to some of the magical moments that we’d witnessed and been party to.”
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Moran explained that although Zonfrillo’s passing is “tragic” these moments “bring us all closer together”.
“I’ve got chef mates all around the world and we are a very small community and when something like that happens, as tragic as it is, it sort of brings us all closer together,” he said.
“It was all about the memories, which was great. It was more remembering and having a toast to him.”