MasterChef Australia judge and renowned chef Jock Zonfrillo died on Sunday, his family announced on Instagram. He was 46. Zonfrillo is survived by his wife and four children.
“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,” Zonfrillo’s family said in a statement.
“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,” read the statement.
The 15th season of MasterChef Australia was set to premiere tonight on Network 10, but the channel announced that it will not air this week. “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,” the network tweeted.
“In 2019, Jock was named as a judge on MasterChef Australia in which he took great pride in challenging and coaching the contestants and of course inspiring a nation of home cooks. Jock’s charisma, wicked sense of humour, generosity, passion and love for food and his family cannot be measured. He will be greatly missed,” Network 10 and Endemol Shine posted on Facebook.
“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,” the post further said.
The Scottish chef began his career in the culinary world as an apprentice at The Turnberry Hotel in Scotland, at the age of 15. He also worked in several famous restaurants around the world before opening his own in Adelaide in 2013.