MasterChef Australia Presenter Jock Zonfrillo Passes Away at 46

Acclaimed chef and MasterChef Australia presenter Jock Zonfrillo has passed away unexpectedly at the age of 46.

The Scotland-born Zonfrillo, a distinguished chef at the highly-praised Orana restaurant in South Australia, became part of the Channel 10 show in 2019 for the 2020 season, working with Melissa Leong and Andy Allen.

Channel 10 affirmed Zonfrillo’s death in an announcement on the same day MasterChef was meant to launch its 2023 season. The show has been removed from airing for the current week.

Regarding the circumstances surrounding his unexpected passing, the cause of death has not been disclosed.

His family stated: “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.”

Born in Glasgow to an Italian father and Scottish mother, Zonfrillo was raised in a home with a powerful mixed-culture environment, which is believed to have sparked his fascination with food.

He started seeking employment in the field at the age of 12. At 15, he worked as an apprentice at The Turnberry Hotel, and by 17, he was working alongside Marco Pierre White at the renowned chef’s eatery.

After relocating to Australia, Zonfrillo opened Bistro Blackwood and Restaurant Orana, which was frequently recognized as one of the world’s top culinary establishments. However, the restaurant closed in 2020.

A statement from Channel 10 and Endemol Shine Australia read, “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’s charisma, wicked sense of humour, generosity, passion and love for food and his family cannot be measured. He will be greatly missed.”