As the latest season of Masterchef Australia wraps up the first week of it’s new season, Network 10 took the time to reflect on the devastating loss of the late celebrity chef
(Photo: @mistereatgalway Instagram)
Masterchef Judge and celebrity chef Jock Zonfrillo passed away on Monday the 1st of May.
Police found him in a hotel on Lygon street on the 30th of April whilst attending a welfare check around 2am.
His death is not being treated as suspicious.
Channel 10 aired a heartfelt tribute to celebrity chef and Masterchef Judge Jock Zonfrillo on Sunday night.
The hour-long special episode of The Project preceded season 15 of MasterChef Australia’s first episode, delayed a week by the news of Jock’s sudden passing.
Close friend and co-judge Andy Allen remembered Jock as the “heart and soul of the masterchef kitchen and set.
Andy and Jock had never met until they were announced as the new Masterchef judges in 2020, yet grew to be an important part of each other's lives.
In speaking to The Project, Andy said how much Jock had come to mean to him, his family and his friends.
“We were family,” Andy said during the tribute.
“It was weird walking past his changeroom. It was weird being in makeup. We do all this stuff together. We were always together. He’s just always been there for me. And I’m just struggling to realise he’s actually gone.”
“In the six months we filmed, I spent more time with him than my wife. I am going to miss everything that this guy has brought into my life.”
Throughout the tribute episode, colleagues and friends spoke of Jock’s humour, kindness, and creativity.
They described Jock in equal measures as hard, strict and tough as nails, but also vulnerable, emotional and open.
Illustrious chefs Marco Pierre-White, Gordon Ramsay, Maggie Beer and Curtis Stone spoke to his legacy as a chef, and a man.
Marco Pierre-White told The Project of his rareness, possessing qualities that very few chefs do.
“Jock Zonfrillo was a star in the true sense and that's why he has my vote, being one of the great cooks of the twenty-first century. He was special. He was rare,” he said.
“What he did for the industry was extraordinary. Especially in Australia where he took inspiration from the Indigenous people and their methods of cooking, and their ingredients, and created something which was so fabulous that the good food guide in Australia gave him three hats. Which is no small achievement.”
Jock was celebrated for his delicious coffee on set every morning, his award winning restaurant Orana, his commitment to his family and friends, and the way he would light up the kitchen set on Masterchef.
Gordon Ramsay told Channel 10 he “put a spell on these homecooks”.
Jock is survived by his wife Lauren Fried, and children Ava, Sophie, Alfie and Isla.
The family was in Rome, having recently relocated, while Jock returned to Australia alone for the premiere of Masterchefs new season.
In a post on Instagram, they asked for privacy and to “keep the proud scot in your hearts”.
An outpouring of love and support across social media ensued, with past masterchef contestants and people from all walks of life celebrating Jocks legacy and memory.
Jock was well known for his signature upbeat farewell as contestants were eliminated from the show.
As they were clapped out of the masterchef kitchen, he’d also celebrate them, “Give it up for…!” he would say.
So, in true Zonfrillo fashion, give it up for three3 hat chef, family man, mate, mentor, mental health advocate, cheeky smile, celebrity and champion of Indigenous food and culture, Jock Zonfrillo.
You can watch the tribute from The Project on their youtube here.
You can help continue Jocks work with Indigenous people, communities and culture by visiting the Orana Foundation website here.
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