The culinary world is mourning the loss of Jock Zonfrillo, a beloved chef and judge on MasterChef Australia, who tragically passed away at the age of 46. The news of his death was confirmed by his family on Monday, revealing that he had died on Sunday in Melbourne. While the cause of death has not been disclosed, Victoria Police have stated that it is not being treated as suspicious.
News of Zonfrillo’s sudden passing has sent shockwaves through the culinary community and beyond. His family has expressed their devastation at the loss of their “irreplaceable husband, father, brother, son, and friend,” and many of Zonfrillo’s colleagues and admirers have taken to social media to pay tribute to his life and work.
Gordon Ramsay, another celebrity chef, took to Twitter and wrote, “Saddened by the devastating news… I truly enjoyed the time we spent together on MasterChef in Australia.”
Born in Glasgow in 1976, Zonfrillo began working in kitchens at the young age of 13. Despite facing many challenges, including homelessness and drug addiction, he went on to become a highly respected chef with a passion for celebrating indigenous Australian cuisine.
He owned several restaurants in Adelaide, including the award-winning Restaurant Orana, and was named Australia’s Hottest Chef in 2018.
The Facts of the Matter
MasterChef is not just a cooking competition, but a cultural phenomenon that has taken the world by storm. The judges, in particular, have become culinary icons in their own right, offering guidance, inspiration, and entertainment to millions of viewers around the globe.
However, today, the MasterChef family and the culinary world at large are mourning the loss of one of its own. Jock Zonfrillo, a beloved judge on MasterChef Australia and an accomplished chef in his own right, passed away on May 1, 2023, leaving behind a legacy of culinary excellence and innovation.
Tributes Pour in For Jock Zonfrillo
Tributes and messages of condolences have poured in from around the world, as people mourn the loss of a talented chef and beloved personality. Jock Zonfrillo, MasterChef Australia judge, passed away on May 1, 2023, in Melbourne, Australia. His family confirmed the tragic news, stating that “our irreplaceable husband, father, brother, son, and friend” had passed away.
In total shock to hear of the sudden death of chef Jock Zonfrillo. Had the best time working with him for this year’s @MasterChefau. Jock was very generous with his time and spirit in the show and will be so very missed. Sending heart felt love and condolences to all of his… pic.twitter.com/Ssa9qOKiFr
— Jamie Oliver (@jamieoliver) May 1, 2023
It is with a heavy heart that I write today to express my deepest condolences on the passing of #JockZonfrillo. His sudden departure from this world has left us all in shock and disbelief. @Zonfrillo 💔 As a fellow chef, I had the privilege of working alongside Jock and getting… pic.twitter.com/ygxgasp7Gi
— Kunal Kapur (@ChefKunalKapur) May 1, 2023
Saddened by the devastating news of Jock Zonfrillo's passing. I truly enjoyed the time we spent together on MasterChef in Australia. Sending all my love to Lauren and the family in this difficult time Gx
— Gordon Ramsay (@GordonRamsay) May 1, 2023
Beloved Judge on MasterChef Australia
Jock Zonfrillo was widely known and loved as a judge on MasterChef Australia, where he served alongside Melissa Leong and Andy Allen. He joined the show in 2019, replacing the original hosts Matt Preston, George Calombaris, and Gary Mehigan. Zonfrillo’s passion for cooking and his exceptional
culinary skills won him a legion of fans around the world, who admired his creativity and flair in the kitchen.
Jock Started as Dishwasher When 13
But Jock Zonfrillo’s journey to become a MasterChef judge was not an easy one. Born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1976, Zonfrillo began working in kitchens as a dishwasher at the age of 13. He left school at 15 and started an apprenticeship at the Turnberry hotel, where he became one of its youngest-ever apprentices.
Working with Marco Pierre White, Dealing with Drugs
At 17, Jock Zonfrillo began working for celebrated British chef Marco Pierre White, where he learned the art of cooking and honed his skills in the kitchen. However, he was struggling with drug addiction at the time and was homeless.
In 2000, Jock Zonfrillo moved to Australia and became the head chef at Forty One in Sydney.
Opening Award Winning Restaurants
He went on to open several successful restaurants in Adelaide, including Restaurant Orana, Street ADL, Bistro Blackwood, and Nonna Mallozzi. Restaurant Orana, in particular, became a culinary landmark, winning numerous awards and accolades, including being named Australia’s Restaurant of the Year by Gourmet Traveller magazine in 2018 and again in the Good Food Guide in 2019.