Reality TV

MasterChef Australia’s Brent reveals his heartfelt parting gift from judge Jock Zonfrillo

''The impact that Jock made on my life... is something I'll never forget.''
Loading the player...

Returning MasterChef contestant Brent Draper reveals he never goes anywhere without his worry beads, which were gifted to him by the late Jock Zonfrillo.

“I keep them in my car –they hang in there as a little reminder of where I have been and the people I have as support,” Brent, 32, told the media following his emotional – and shock – exit from the competition in 2021.

Brent holds Jock’s gift close to his heart.

(Image: Network 10)

“I actually reckon for three weeks after I didn’t go anywhere without them [worry beads], and they literally helped me relax and calm down so many times.”

Jock struggled to hold back tears when Brent took him aside to tell him he couldn’t go on and that he needed to put his mental health first.

Jock, who had long spoken about his own struggles with anxiety, commended him for his bravery and memorably gave him his own set of worry beads – which can help reduce anxiety and stress – as a parting gift.

Brent spent the following year taking care of himself – travelling around Australia in a campervan with wife Shonleigh and their son Alfie – all while never losing touch with Jock, who he says “was only a message away if I needed someone to talk to”.

Brent has been taking time to recuperate, travelling across the country with his wife, Shonleigh, and his son, Alfie.

(Image: Instagram)

Now returning for a second chance, Brent comes armed with renewed health, self-esteem and the backing of judges Andy Allen and Melissa Leong.

“They say you meet people in life for a reason, a season or a lifetime and what I know is that Jock Zonfrillio came into my life for a reason, although I wish it could have been for a lifetime,” Brent shared on Instagram following Jock’s sad passing.

“The impact that Jock made on my life… is something I’ll never forget.”

Brent has returned for the 2023 season of MasterChef Australia.

(Image: Network 10)

Related stories