‘I miss him a lot’: MasterChef’s Andy Allen reflects on his time with his ‘late, great mate’ Jock Zonfrillo

Jul 04, 2024
MasterChef judge Andy Allen opened up about the profound influence his "great mate" Jock Zonfrillo had on his life. Source: Getty Images.

More than a year on from the passing of celebrity chef Jock Zonfrillo, the beloved kitchen maestro still holds a special place in the hearts of those close to him.

This was evident in the latest episode of MasterChef where friend and colleague Andy Allen reflected on his time with his “late, great mate” during a moving segment.

As contestants spoke of their culinary heroes, an emotional Allen delivered a heartfelt tribute to Zonfrillo as he opened up about the influence he had on his life.

“The time that we spent cooking in this kitchen and creating an energy where people like you could just reach for the stars and succeed in everything you do,” he said.

“I learned so much about that from Jock and he taught me so much about being a good husband and being a good son, and one day hopefully being a good dad. So I miss him a lot.”


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While it’s clear Zonfrillo’s passing is still heartbreaking for Allen, the MasterChef judge previously opened up about the “silver lining” that has emerged as he continues to navigate his grief.

“The silver lining of Jock’s passing is that it has really brought me closer to Lauren and to Alfie, and Isla and Ava, as well,” he said during an appearance on Hit’s Carrie and Tommy. 

“I’ve really enjoyed that part of just really strengthening that relationship and being there for those guys and yeah, I hope he’s looking down and going, ‘I’m really, really proud of you of what you’ve done both with my family and then my extended family on MasterChef’.

“I miss Jock being a father because he really was a role model life for me as someone who doesn’t have kids but wants to have kids. I just miss seeing him with his kids that’s that’s the that’s the s**t thing for me.”

Allen’s thoughts on his grief came as he prepared to re-enter the MasterChef kitchen for its 15th season, something he confessed was exceptionally difficult without his friend and co-star by his side.

“It’s nearly a year. Sometimes it feels like yesterday and other times it feels like it was a long, long time ago,” he said.

“It was hard. It was really hard. I didn’t actually know if I was going to do it (MasterChef) again.

“It just felt so wrong to do it without him, because we just loved it so much together and walking back into that kitchen was huge.

“I just didn’t know if I’d be able to do it justice, to give the show what it needed because there was so much grief attached to that kitchen.

“But I think it only lasted until … it was a hard first scene. I’m literally the only person in that kitchen. Just myself, no contestants.

“And I just couldn’t tell when it was going to hit me, but the grief just got to me.

“But that kitchen is a special place that as soon as you get in there, as soon as things start happening you just get swept up.”

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