Andy Allen opens up about filming MasterChef without the late Jock Zonfrillo

“There was just this weight of grief over me.”

Andy Allen has opened up about filming the latest season of MasterChef Australia without the late Jock Zonfrillo.

In a candid interview with Carrie Bickmore and Tommy Little, Andy admitted that he initially had reservations about returning to the cooking show after Jock, his best friend and fellow MasterChef judge, sadly passed away on April 30, 2023.

“It’s nearly a year. Sometimes it feels like yesterday and other times it feels like it was a long, long time ago. It was hard. It was really hard. I didn’t actually know if I was going to do it [MasterChef] again,” Andy told Carrie and Tommy.

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“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. It was… there was just this weight of grief over me.”

Andy went on to say that the first scene was the hardest to film.

“I just didn’t know if I’d be able to get through it. 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,” he said.

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“There were definitely times throughout the series – I just couldn’t tell when it was going to hit me, but the grief just got to me.”

Andy then explained that while it was hard, he decided – after speaking to his family and Jock’s wife Lauren Fried – to return to MasterChef to honour Jock’s memory.

“I spoke to Loz, Jock’s wife. The people around me as well, my parents. They said it’s what he would have wanted. My only fear was that I couldn’t do it and I couldn’t be what they needed me to be.”

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