MasterChef star Jock Zonfrillo spent his last hours alive in a swanky $650-a-night hotel atop a wine bar.
Daily Mail Australia can confirm that the 46-year-old was staying at Zagame’s House on Lygon Street, in the heart of Melbourne’s dining district, when he was found dead at 2am on Monday.
The circumstances surrounding the beloved chief’s death remain a mystery, with police only confirming that the cause of death was not suspicious.
Zagame House management has repeatedly refused to comment on the star’s tragic death, denying that the MasterChef judge there even died.
But Zonfrillo’s death within his walls was the talk of Lygon Street on Tuesday.
MasterChef star Jock Zonfrillo was found dead in Zagame’s House on Lygon Street (above, one of the luxurious rooms)
MasterChef star Jock Zonfrillo (center) was found dead at Zagame’s House on Lygon Street around 2 a.m. Monday
The boutique hotel, which sits atop a wine bar, can be seen from the outside
Located at 66 Lygon Street, at the intersection of Queensberry Street, the hotel was only a stone’s throw from where Zonfrillo had once lived with his family on Drummond Street.
Businessmen told Daily Mail Australia they saw police cars approaching the hotel in the early hours of Monday morning.
‘Everyone is talking about it. It’s very sad,” said an entrepreneur on Tuesday.
Zonfrillo had uploaded an Instagram post on Sunday evening to promote the new season.
It’s time for @masterchefau to kick off another season of Secrets & Surprises! And @jamieoliver of course!’ he wrote in the caption.
Some time later, he responded to a fan in the comments section in what is believed to be his last ever public interaction on social media.
One of his followers commented on how much their son enjoyed watching Zonfrillo on MasterChef and often made impressions of his accent.
“Very exciting… (my son yells “Joooooock” every time you appear in the ad!!!! He’s even practicing his Scottish accent!!!)” they wrote.
Zonfrillo responded to this comment with a crying smile emoji.
The hotel where he spent his last moments has been described as a labor of love by hotelier brothers Victor and Robert Zagame.
Zonfrillo hit Instagram alive in his final hours
The hotel is considered one of the best on Lygon Street
The 97-room “pet-friendly” hotel prides itself on the best of modern interiors, deluxe amenities and sustainable architecture
Patrons can access a wine bar just downstairs from their rooms
LYGON STREET IS THE HEART OF MELBOURNE’S ITALIAN COMMUNITY
This section of Lygon Street runs from Queensberry Street in the south to Elgin Street in the north and is lined with Italian restaurants, ice cream parlors, boutiques and bars.
While it was known for its plethora of restaurants, it became notorious for its seedy underbelly in the 1990s.
The Carlton Crew – a criminal organization based in Melbourne then – had run off Lygon Street for decades.
The Carlton Crew consisted of convicted criminals, Mick Gatto, Alphonse Gangitano, Mario Condello, Ron Bongetti and Graham Kinniburgh.
Gangitano earned a reputation as ‘The Black Prince of Lygon Street’ in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
He mainly recruited Italian thugs who installed jukeboxes and vending machines in local bars and nightclubs under threat of violence, then reinvested their profits in drug trafficking.
The 97-room “pet-friendly” hotel prides itself on the best of modern interiors, deluxe amenities and sustainable architecture.
“From the art to the menu, every inch of Zagame’s House is designed to inspire you,” the website reads.
The hotel’s most luxurious suite, The Neon, is described as balancing work, play and relaxation.
Aside from what’s going on in your bedroom, you’ll also enjoy the spacious bathroom with dual sinks and a shower big enough to hula hop in, plus a separate lounge complete with a fully stocked cocktail and wine bar. the hotel. .
‘Whether you’re looking for an intimate rendezvous, a cozy social gathering or a small business meeting… you can use the spaces however you want. ‘
The hotel even has a chic wine bar, which would have been available to Zonfrillo before his tragic death.
Named after the legendary bon vivant, the Lord Lygon Wine Bar is the brainchild of award-winning chef Chris Bonello, who ‘went to town with the menu’.
“The hardest thing you’ll have to get through is where to start with the 300+ wine selection,” the hotel boasts.
Zonfrillo had reportedly cut short a family holiday in Italy to return for the launch of the new MasterChef series.
The British-born chef reportedly flew early to Melbourne from Rome, leaving his wife Lauren Fried and their two young children, Alfie, five, and Isla, two, in the Eternal City.
His family is expected to arrive in Melbourne on Wednesday.
Zagame’s House hosts events for some of Australia’s largest companies
Zonfrillo would have access to a gym in his final hours
The highly anticipated new series of MasterChef was due to air on Australian television tonight with Jamie Oliver as one of the celebrity guests.
The judge himself posted a teaser on Instagram on Sunday.
The immediate future of MasterChef Australia will ultimately be decided by Jock’s wife, Channel 10 sources say.
The series is now in limbo as network bosses and sponsors — including key stakeholder Coles — consider whether and how to proceed in light of Zonfrillo’s death just hours before the show’s premiere episode.
Zonfrillo had been secretly battling colon cancer for years, Daily Mail Australia revealed on Tuesday.
He had kept his health issues quiet and was usually treated when the cooking show was not filming.
It is not suggested that he died of cancer, only that he had told close friends that he suffered from the disease.