The late Jock Zonfrillo’s wife, Lauren Fried, shared an emotional milestone on her Instagram: their daughter Isla’s first birthday without him.
- Jock Zonfrillo’s wife Lauren Fried shared touching message after daughter’s first birthday
- The MasterChef judge and celebrity chef died suddenly at the age of 46, just over six months ago.
- He is survived by his wife Lauren and four children: Isla, Alfie, Ava and Sophie.
“Jock would have had to stay up all night the night before, first out of bed in the morning. Menu planning for weeks,” she wrote.
The post featured supportive comments from fans, including MasterChef judge and friend of Andy Allen from Zonfrillo, and 2023 MasterChef Australia winner Brent Draper.
“So much dad in this little caption. Happy birthday Isla!” Allen wrote.
Fried wrote that Isla’s first birthday was a celebration, but thoughts of the late Zonfrillo were not far away.
“This year I had a barbecue and the rest of the food went to my sister and Mark. Ava Zonfrillo blew up the balloons. Uber delivered the cake.
“I cried while I was dressing the kids. I fell asleep without Jock.”
“Another of the firsts that we achieve”
It’s been just over six months since news of the MasterChef judge and celebrity chef’s sudden death shocked Australia and the world.
Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, who worked on MasterChef with Zonfrillo in its final season, said at the time he was “totally in shock” upon hearing the news.
Singer Jimmy Barnes also shared his sadness at the time, writing in a tweet that Zonfrillo was “like a brother to me.”
Victoria Police told the ABC last May that officers were called to carry out a welfare check at a Carlton hotel early on May 1, where they found Zonfrillo, 46.
At the time, police did not release the cause of death, but said there were no suspicious circumstances.
Zonfrillo’s death came in the same week that the 15th season of MasterChef Australia was scheduled to return.
The program’s premiere was delayed and resumed a week later with the support of Zonfrillo’s family.
The season’s return was preceded by an hour-long tribute to Zonfrillo, featuring tributes from his friends.
Fried wrote in his post this week that “on this specific day last year, we were returning from Rome, having begun planning our new life together in Italy.
“A dream that never came true,” she wrote.
MasterChef’s Leong speaks out
Fried’s post comes the same week that MasterChef Australia judge and former Zonfrillo colleague Melissa Leong spoke about his death for the first time since her Instagram tribute in May.
She told Stellar Magazine’s Something to Talk About podcast that she didn’t want to speak publicly about Zonfrillo’s death after her tribute, out of respect.
“Obviously I haven’t really spoken…but I’m extremely grateful for every act of kindness and understanding that we’ve shown as a group at a time like this,” she said.
Leong alluded in the podcast to the pressure she felt from the public to talk about her grief.
“People want to know why…and, for me, the why is very simple: because it’s not my story to tell,” she said.
New firsts for the Zonfrillo family
In her message, Fried also provided the public with an update on how she and Zonfrillo’s children were doing following his death.
She said it seemed “unfair and unbearable” that he would miss his children’s milestones.
“Another of the firsts we accomplish as a family.
“But our little ones are finding joy again, they are the happy, cheeky kids they always were, and I am grateful that life continues to move us forward day by day,” she wrote.