Manu Feildel gives raw update on grief following Jock Zonfrillo’s death

"Men don't communicate when something may be going wrong and friends need to be there for each other."
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Despite working as judges on “rival” reality cooking competitions My Kitchen Rules and MasterChef, Manu Feildel and Jock Zonfrillo shared a surprising friendship, the pair bonding over their mutual love of food and family. 

When news of the 46-year-olds death broke in May this year, a shaken Manu revealed he was “devastated” by the sad news, especially for Jock’s wife and two young children. 

WATCH NOW: Manu Feildel gives emotional interview about his grief following the passing of his friend Jock Zonfrillo. Article continues after video. 

“I just turned fifty and I’m still feeling young so I’m telling you, forty-six…it’s far too young to go,” a visibly shaken Manu told 7News at the time.

“I feel really sorry for his wife and his kids…I’ve got kids myself and I’m finding it hard to find my words right now.”

“He’s had a really successful career and suddenly it’s all stopped. You just wonder how and why.”

RELATED || Friends and family pay tribute to Jock Zonfrillo 

The celebrity chef then added that fellow MKR judge Colin Fassnidge was “one of the first” of his colleagues in the hospitality industry to call him and share in his grief. 

“It’s a very tight industry; the chefs are our friends. We were all mates and when one person goes down everybody feels a pinch. We feel terrible about it,” Manu added. 

“He was a genuinely nice guy…He’s going to be sorely missed by a lot of people.”

Despite being rivals, Manu and Jock shared many of the same passions as well as a friendship (Credit: Instagram)

More than three months on, Manu has shed new light on his continued grief following his friends’ tragic and unexpected death, and how he is making more of an effort to check in with those closest to him.  

“It’s funny. Colin and I, we’ve had these conversations and when we’re not working together and when we spend a long time away from each other we do pick up the phone more often than we used to,” Manu shared with 7Life. 

“Just to make sure that when you know, you’re [Colin] okay, I supposed,” he added. 

“Especially men, you know men don’t communicate when something may be going wrong and friends need to be there for each other.”

Manu says he is checking in with his friend Colin more often now (Credit: Instagram)

On May 1st, an official statement from the Zonfrillo family was posted to his Instagram account. 

“With completely shattered hearts and without knowing how we can possibly move through life without him, we are devastated to share that Jock passed away yesterday,” it read. 

“So many words can describe him, so many stories can be told, but at this time we’re too overwhelmed to put them into words. For those who crossed his path, became his mate, or were lucky enough to be his family, keep this proud Scot in your hearts when you have your next whisky.”

“We implore you to please let us grieve privately as we find a way to navigate through this, and find space on the other side to celebrate our irreplaceable husband, father, brother, son, and friend.”

In the months that have followed, the post has received hundreds of thousands of messages of condolences. 

If you or someone you know is struggling, help is always available. Call Lifeline: 13 11 14 or Reach Out Australia: 1800 RESPECT.

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