Tommy Little’s regrets about the last time he saw MasterChef star Jock Zonfrillo – and why he wishes he’d done things differently
Comedian Tommy Little spoke of the “only regret” he has for his late friend Jock Zonfrillo during The Project’s tribute to the late MasterChef judge on Sunday night.
Little, 38, said he felt guilty his last encounter with Zonfrillo was when he interrupted the chef while at a dinner party with his wife Lauren Fried.
The Scottish-born restaurateur — who died of natural causes on April 30 — was too polite to tell Little to go away, so the trio ended up having a long talk during what would have been one of Fried’s last dates ever with her husband.
“The only thing I regret is that the last time I saw him I interrupted his dinner with Lauren and he didn’t tell me to leave,” said Little, who knew Zonfrillo well, as they were both Channel employees Ten.
“If I’d known he’d be having so few dinners with the love of his life, I never would’ve stopped by. I love you, mate. I miss you.’
Tommy Little (left) spoke of the “only regret” he has about his late friend Jock Zonfrillo (right) during The Project’s tribute to the late MasterChef judge on Sunday. (Center: Carrie Bickmore)
Little said he would always remember Zonfrillo’s immense kindness and hospitality when it came to helping him prepare a meal.
He would laugh at me when I messaged him asking questions about the cheese. He offered to let me come through his house and show me how to cook things properly,” he said.
The Sunday Project paid a special tribute to the late Zonfrillo ahead of the premiere of his final season of MasterChef Australia.
Gordon Ramsay, Nigella Lawson and Marco Pierre White were among those who shared their memories during the emotional episode.
Little, 38, said he felt guilty his last encounter with Zonfrillo was when he interrupted the chef while at a dinner party with wife Lauren Fried
Ramsay burst into tears as he described how Zonfrillo “lit up the kitchen” and the profound effect his death has had on the cooking world.
“The ripples have been devastating. No one gets over this quickly. If there’s one thing we’ve done as chefs is we’ve united and we’re talking about the good times,” he said, holding back his tears.
‘S**t. Sorry. It’s just so painful. That’s all,’ he added, taking a moment to calm down.
Zonfrillo, who died on April 30, was too polite to tell Little to scold, so the trio ended up having a long talk during what would have been one of Fried’s last dates with her husband.
Pierre White said in his own tribute that Zonfrillo had qualities “few chefs possess” and will live on through MasterChef.
‘Jock Zonfrillo will never die. He will live on through everyone he has touched,” said the British chef.
Jamie Oliver, who is a guest judge on MasterChef Australia this season, added: ‘Jock’s superpower, I think, was his curiosity. He was super curious and fascinated by people, food, travelling.’
Zonfrillo passed away on April 30 at the age of 46. He is survived by his third wife, Lauren Fried, and his four children: adult daughters Ava and Sophia, from his first two marriages, and six-year-old Alfie and two-year-old Isla, with Fried.
Zonfrillo (pictured in 2017) is survived by his third wife, Lauren Fried, and his four children: adult daughters Ava and Sophia, from his first two marriages, and six-year-old Alfie and two-year-old Isla, with baked