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MasterChef Australia judge Andy Allen writes heartbreaking letter to Jock Zonfrillo

MasterChef Australia judge Andy Allen writes heartbreaking letter to Jock Zonfrillo

The Australian chef starred alongside Jock since MasterChef's 2020 season

MasterChef Australia judge Andy Allen has shared his heartbreak following the news of MasterChef co-judge and chef Jock Zonfillo suddenly passing away this week.

The two judges starred in the reality TV cooking show alongside Melissa Leong since the judging panel was recast in 2020, and were working together for four seasons, as well as MasterChef Junior Australia, and the yet-to-be-aired MasterChef Australia: Secrets & Surprises.

Andy posted a gallery of photos featuring himself and Jock on Instagram today, recounting the day they met and how close their families had become.

"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 and I would become outside of the kitchen with you, Lauren and your kids. You've become such an inspirational and important part of our lives."

"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."

Andy then went on to share his heartbreak of not seeing the ways Jock cared for him and the MasterChef Australia team.

"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, 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."

"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."

Andy then finished his post, referencing Jock's popular send-off line at the end of each MasterChef Australia elimination: "Give it up for Jock Zonfrillo ❤️

The upcoming MasterChef Australia: Secrets & Surprises series was planned to have aired last night in Australia, but was pulled at the last minute in respect for the Zonfrillo family. A new date for its premiere has not been given yet.