Masterchef

Fans think MasterChef judge Jock Zonfrillo is playing favourites with contestant Laura Sharrad

Turns out these two have a close connection.

By Alex Lilly
Laura Sharrad was just 19 when she was pipped at the post by Brent Owens on MasterChef season six, but she's more determined than ever to take the win this year.
The 24-year-old pasta queen has been nailing dish after dish on the All Star season but, fans of the show are accusing judge Jock Zonfrillo of favouritism towards her as the two have a history that starts before the show.
Jock and Laura's relationship isn't like your typical judge/contestant relationship. (Images: Network Ten)
After her first season, the then-teenage Laura reached out to chef Jock in the hopes of nailing a job. Impressed by her talents, Jock hired Laura full-time as a pastry chef at his three-hatted restaurant Orana.
It was there that Laura also met her now-husband Max Sharrad and where Max told the Adelaide Advertiser "the attraction first happened."
"Working for Jock was an incredible experience," Laura said in a trailer for the show.
"Coming off MasterChef and being thrown into the deep end of a restaurant with such high accolades was just incredible. I learned so much and it was probably one of the best restaurants I've ever worked in."
But despite moving on from Orana after a year and a half and going on to open her own restaurant, Nido Bar and Pasta, Laura's been criticised for only cooking pasta dishes and that judge Jock is constantly praising her, even though she's sticking to her specialty dish.
Laura was also criticised during the Orana pressure test as her recreations of Jock's scarlet prawns, riberry crumpets and bunya nut chawanmushi recipes passed with flying colours.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Jock slammed claims that he would play favourites saying: "My job in MasterChef is to judge each plate of food that is put in front of me, not the person who made it. I said it in the first tasting, there is no favouritism, just to be clear."
He added, "If anything, Laura will be at a disadvantage carrying the weight of cooking for her mentor."
Laura herself remarked that working under and being mentored by Jock has put more pressure on her to perform well.
"Jock has always been very honest when critiquing my food, and I expect nothing less from him on MasterChef this year," she said.
"If anything I think it's a disadvantage as his expectations will be extremely high."
Laura shared this snap with Jock back in 2015. (Image: Instagram @laurasharrad)
There are a few relationships between the new judges and this season's contestants. Judge Andy Allen and former contestant Ben Milbourne are best mates which made it even sadder when he sent Ben home.
In a previous chat with Now To Love, Ben said: "In that final 10 minutes of the episode where Rose and I were standing there waiting to hear what the decision was Andy couldn't look me in the eye so I knew I was in a bit of trouble.
"When one of your best mates can't look you in the eye, it's never going to end well for you."
WATCH BELOW: MasterChef's Ben Milbourne and Andy Allen's bromance. Post continues after video...
Meanwhile, Laura has been very open about doing whatever it takes to be the last one standing at the end.
"I'm a very competitive person and this year is all about redemption," Laura said in a trailer for the series.
"It's about proving to myself that I can go the whole way. The only way forward is obviously to win and that's what I'm here for."
Will we see Laura take the crown this year?
"I'm a very competitive person and this year is all about redemption." (Image: Network Ten)

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