MasterChef Australia judge Jock Zonfrillo dies suddenly, aged 46

Publish Date
Monday, 1 May 2023, 6:11PM
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Australian MasterChef judge and award-winning chef Jock Zonfrillo has died suddenly, at the age of 46.

In a statement, Zonfrillo’s family said their hearts are “shattered” and they don’t know how they’ll move on with their lives without him.

“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.

The celebrity chef died in Melbourne. He is survived by his wife, Lauren, and four children, Ava, Sophie, Alfie and Isla.

He was born in Scotland and raised by his Italian dad and Scottish mother, with the strong mix-culture ethos fuelling his obsession with food.

He was in the food industry from the young age of 12 before eventually working with famous chef Marco Pierre White at the famous chef’s restaurant.

After moving to Australia, he opened Bistro Blackwood and Restaurant Orana, with Orana being consistently awarded one of the world’s best culinary establishments.

Zonfrillo was hired in late 2019 as one of three new hosts for MasterChef Australia.

A statement from Channel 10 and Endemol Shine Australia said, “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 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.”

MasterChef Australia judges (from left) Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong and Andy Allen.

MasterChef Australia: Secrets & Surprises is set to debut its new season on TVNZ on Sunday, May 7.

Network 10 in Australia has postponed the show for a week due to Zonfillo’s sudden death.

This article was first published in the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.

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