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“That was all that mattered and everything else was number two”: MasterChef judge Jock Zonfrillo was divorced twice – then, something snapped

After two divorces, the MasterChef judge has finally found lasting happiness.
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He previously admitted to being “utterly miserable” during filming, after being separated from his pregnant wife Lauren and his two-year-old son Alfie due to the coronavirus pandemic.

And it’s little wonder MasterChef favourite Jock Zonfrillo is so desperate to hold onto those most precious to him.

The 43-year-old once battled a crippling drug addiction and faced life on the streets, before his demanding career cost him two marriages.

But he finally found peace and his “happy ever after” with his third wife Lauren Fried, who he married in 2017.

By the age of 15, Jock was battling an unshakable heroin addiction before he went to MasterChef regular Marco Pierre White looking for a job.

Thankfully, the tough-as-nails chef took a chance on the troubled teen and hired him at his world-famous Hyde Park Hotel.

“I’ve always said, ‘If it wasn’t for food, I would’ve died. When you’re an addict, there’s very little that’s more compelling than doing that drug. Luckily for me, I somehow fluked upon cooking,” says Jock, revealing at his lowest moments he was sleeping in the restaurant’s locker rooms as he had nowhere else to go.

The Scottish chef was addicted to heroin, before he moved to Australia and got clean.

(Image: Channel 10)

The fan-favourite chef and his gorgeous wife Lauren.

(Image: Instagram)

Jock continued to struggle with drug abuse until he moved to Australia in 2000 with his first wife, who he eventually divorced in 2007.

According to reports, he did drugs for the last time in Heathrow Airport before boarding a flight to Sydney, saying his love of food helped him beat his addiction.

Alongside his drug use, the new judge makes no excuses for his demanding career affecting his relationships.

“Two divorces, a handful of friends because you don’t have the time to spend with them, so therefore you can count your close friends on one hand, and a deep mistrust of most people,” he said in 2014, reflecting on his time in the industry.

“That’s what you’re left with at the end of the day. Is it really that glamorous after all? I don’t think so.”

Speaking to Sean Szeps in his podcast The Dad Kit, Jock elaborated on his marriage breakdowns.

“I was a workaholic for most of my career. There was this weird thing in hospitality, that the harder you worked – like if you worked in a three Michelin star restaurant in London, 18 hours a day – it was a badge of honour.

“But actually it was a huge chunk of your life missed. It’s still a chunk of your life that’s gone forever. And with it goes what was around you, whether that’s friendships, family relationships, girlfriends, wives … all of that disappears in that chunk. I was so focused on my career, I was so focused on getting better at being a cook and understanding everything about food. That was all that mattered and everything else was number two.”

Lauren and Jock pictured on their wedding day.

(Image: Instagram)

Lauren playing with the couple’s baby son Alfie.

(Image: Instagram)

But now, Jock appears to have found the balance he so desperately sought.

He is now married to Lauren, who is his partner in life and in business – working alongside the Scottish chef at their Orana restaurant.

The beautiful blonde, who Jock calls “a super mummy” welcomed their second baby, a little girl, in November 2020. Jock also has two teenage daughters, Ava and Sophia from previous relationships.

“Haven’t been able to wipe the smile off my face for the last four weeks – our precious little Isla Generosa Zonfrillo, my fourth kiddo, came into our world,” Jock wrote to Instagram last year.

“I couldn’t ask for more – a healthy baby, happy siblings, and a rockstar wife. The Zonfrillo Clan have never been happier.”

Speaking of kids, Jock’s wish for children has never tired.

“I always wanted to be a dad. It’s a way of life. I couldn’t imagine life without kids,” he said previously.

“Sure, the first 12 months are hard when there’s no verbal communication, but the more kids I had, the more I enjoyed it!”

Jock’s even desperate to be a grandad.

“I’m dad to a range of kids for sure, but I’m already thinking about being a nonno [grandfather in Italian],” he said.

“I’m looking forward to having Ava and Sophia and their kids around the table for a bowl of pasta. I know it might be weird, given I’m not even quite into my mid-40s. But it’s definitely something I think about.”

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