“An extraordinary man”: MasterChef’s Jock Zonfrillo passes away aged 46

Jock Zonfrillo

MasterChef Australia will not air this week

Network 10 has confirmed the passing of Jock Zonfrillo aged 46. MasterChef Australia will not air this week.

See Also: “He will be greatly missed”: Industry reacts to the passing of Jock Zonfrillo

In a statement, Zonfrillo’s family said “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.

“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.”

masterchef australia judges

Melissa Leong, Andy Allen, Jock Zonfrillo

Born in Glasgow to an Italian father and Scottish mother, Jock Zonfrillo’s formative years were heavily influenced by his respective cultures.

Attracted to the dynamic and competitive kitchens of London, he worked alongside Marco Pierre White at his restaurant, before moving to Kent and working with David Cavalier at Michelin starred Chapter One.

After that, Jock moved halfway around the world and spent a year at Sydney’s Restaurant 41. Following the brief sabbatical, he returned to the UK to work at Gordon Ramsay’s Three Star Michelin restaurant, The Aubergine, before returning to Marco Pierre White’s kitchens at Les Saveurs and then joining The Pharmacy by artist Damien Hirst. He then worked as head chef at the boutique hotel The Tresanton on the Cornish coast, his last position in the UK before returning to Australia in 2000 as head chef of Restaurant 41.

Jock then moved to Adelaide before opening Bistro Blackwood and Restaurant Orana. Orana was awarded Restaurant of the Year by Gourmet Traveller Magazine in 2018, named Restaurant of the Year by the Good Food Guide in 2019 and awarded Three Hats in both the 2019 and 2020 guide.

Jock hosted Nomad Chef, leading an insight into the cultures and cuisine of some of the most remote communities on earth; hosted cooking show Restaurant Revolution in 2015; the 2016 series Chef Exchange, which explored food cultures and customs alongside Shandong Chef Qu Jianmin; and appeared as a guest chef across three seasons, before cementing his role as one of the judges in MasterChef Australia and Junior MasterChef Australia alongside Melissa Leong and Andy Allen in 2020.

A father of four, Jock also ran a not-for-profit called The Orana Foundation which he founded in 2016. The Foundation’s mission is to shine a light on Australia’s Indigenous food, bringing native ingredients to the world, whilst celebrating Indigenous culture and supporting Indigenous communities.

Jock had also been awarded the Basque Culinary World Prize in July 2018.

He is survived by his wife Lauren Fried and his four children.

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