MasterChef Australia Host Jock Zonfrillo Dies Suddenly at 46: Culinary World Mourns the Loss of Charismatic Chef

MasterChef Australia Host Jock Zonfrillo Dies Suddenly at 46, Leaving Culinary World Devastated

Credit: Unsplash

MasterChef Australia Host Jock Zonfrillo Dies Suddenly at 46, Leaving Culinary World Devastated

Award-winning chef and MasterChef Australia host Jock Zonfrillo died suddenly at the age of 46. Zonfrillo, who worked in renowned restaurants worldwide before opening his own in Australia, passed away at a house in Melbourne, discovered by police during a welfare check. His death was confirmed by broadcaster Network 10 on the day the 2023 season premiere of MasterChef was set to air, prompting an outpouring of grief from figures in the culinary and entertainment world.

Zonfrillo’s wife, Lauren Fried, and four children released a statement, saying their hearts were “shattered” and asking those who crossed his path to keep the proud Scot in their hearts. Celebrity chefs Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay, as well as former Masterchef contestants, also led the tributes. Network 10 praised Zonfrillo’s charisma, passion, and wicked sense of humor, which had inspired a nation of home cooks.

Born in Glasgow in 1976, Zonfrillo began working in kitchens at 12 and became one of the youngest-ever apprentices to work at a luxury Scottish resort, The Turnberry Hotel, at 15. Two years later, he started working for Michelin-starred British chef Marco Pierre White at his famous Hyde Park Hotel. Despite his burgeoning career, Zonfrillo struggled with drug addiction in his teenage years, but he turned a new leaf with a move to Australia in 2000 and opened several restaurants. His most successful was Adelaide’s award-winning Restaurant Orana, which opened in 2013.

In 2019, Zonfrillo was announced as part of an all-new host line-up for MasterChef Australia, but his career was not without controversy. Orana closed in 2020 with debts of millions of dollars, and his 2021 memoir, Last Shot, was criticized as inaccurate by former colleagues, including Marco Pierre White.

A statement released by his loved ones confirmed that Zonfrillo had died, and the premiere episode of MasterChef Australia was postponed. The show’s latest season will now premiere next week, and a special tribute show will also run before the episode. The show will honor Zonfrillo by reflecting on his personal and professional life, celebrating his incredible achievements, and remembering him as the charismatic and big-hearted judge and chef who inspired a nation of home cooks.

Follow @TwistityNews