'MasterChef Australia' judge Jock Zonfrillo passes away at 46

DN Bureau

Jock Zonfrillo, a Scottish TV presenter and former chef, known for his recent role as a judge on 'MasterChef Australia', is no more. Read further on Dynamite News:

Late chef Jock Zonfrillo
Late chef Jock Zonfrillo

Melbourne: Jock Zonfrillo, a Scottish TV presenter and former chef, known for his recent role as a judge on 'MasterChef Australia', is no more.

Zonfrillo died on April 30 in Melbourne. The news of his demise was shared via a statement on social media.

"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," a note read on Zonfrillo's Instagram feed.

MasterChef Australia's new season was due to premiere on Monday night, but it will not air this week. Also, the cause of the death is not known at the moment.

Zonfrillo was born in Glasgow to an Italian father and a Scottish mother and obtained an apprenticeship at The Turnberry Hotel at 15 years of age. By 17 he was working alongside Marco Pierre White at his eponymous Restaurant Marco Pierre White, Variety reported.

After moving to Australia, Zonfrillo opened Bistro Blackwood and Restaurant Orana in Adelaide, with the latter winning significant culinary awards.

He led a colorful and controversial life. In 2002, he set fire to an apprentice in his restaurant, apparently for working too slowly. Damages were awarded by a court, but he was declared bankrupt in 2007, after failing to pay. Other controversies surrounded his Orana Foundation (intended to preserve historic cooking techniques) and the bankruptcy of the two Adelaide restaurants.

Zonfrillo published a memoir in 2021, "Last Shot." Shortly after, the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper debunked many of its claims and descriptions, including stories of drug use. It quoted White as saying: "Jock is not a bad man. He has a natural intellect and is very nice. The only problem is that almost everything he has written about me is untrue." (ANI)

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