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MasterChef judge Jock Zonfrillo dies

MasterChef Australia judge and former Adelaide restaurateur Jock Zonfrillo has died, aged 46.

May 01, 2023, updated May 01, 2023
Jock Zonfrillo. Photo: Jacqui Way

Jock Zonfrillo. Photo: Jacqui Way

The Scottish-born chef and presenter died yesterday in Melbourne.

In a statement this afternoon, Zonfrillo’s family described him as an “irreplaceable husband, father, brother, son and friend”.

“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,” the statement said.

“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.”

Victoria Police confirmed officers attended a Carlton address for a welfare check and found the body of a man about 2am on Monday.

His death is not being treated as suspicious and a report will be prepared for the coroner.

The family asked for privacy while it grieved for the 46-year-old.

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

Network 10 and Endemol Shine Australia are deeply shocked and saddened at the sudden loss of Jock Zonfrillo, a beloved member of the MasterChef Australia family. Jock passed away in Melbourne yesterday.
MasterChef Australia will not air this week. pic.twitter.com/cmtDuJr19P

— MasterChef Australia (@masterchefau) May 1, 2023

Zonfrillo joined Network 10’s MasterChef as a judge in 2019, starring alongside Melissa Leong and Andy Allen.

Network 10 will not air MasterChef this week. The show was due to begin its new season tonight.

In a statement Network 10 wrote: “Network 10 and Endemol Shine Australia are deeply shocked and saddened at the sudden loss of Jock Zonfrillo, a beloved member of the MasterChef Australia family. Jock passed away in Melbourne yesterday.

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“Jock was known to Australians as a chef, best-selling author, philanthropist and MasterChef judge but he will be best remembered as a loving father, husband, brother and son.

“Determined and talented and with plenty of grit, Jock was born in Glasgow to an Italian father and a Scottish mother, which meant his formative years were heavily influenced by two strong cultures and it was his obsession with food and desire for a new pushbike that at just 12 years old fuelled Jock to knock on kitchen doors looking for a job.”

Zonfrillo was the former owner of award-winning fine-dining Restaurant Orana on Rundle Street, which operated from 2013 until its closure in 2020.

He was also the owner of Blackwood Bistro, which operated from 2016 to 2019, and Italian wine and snack bar Mallozzi on Rundle Street, which stopped trading in 2019 less then seven months after opening.

He is also a former programming director of Tasting Australia.

Network 10 said Restaurant Orana was “recognised with the coveted distinction of three hats in both 2019 and 2020 and he also received global accolades, accepting the prestigious Basque Culinary World Prize in 2018”.

“Jock’s charisma, wicked sense of humour, generosity, passion and love for food and his family cannot be measured. He will be greatly missed.”

-with AAP

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