MasterChef host and celebrity chef, Jock Zonfrillo, has died suddenly at the age of 46.
The news was announced on his social media accounts today.
“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,” a statement posted to his Instagram read.
“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.”
Jock is survived by his wife, Lauren, and four children, Ava, Sophia, Alfie and Isla.
The MasterChef and Channel 10 teams also took to Instagram to share the tragic news.
“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,” the teams wrote.
“Jock’s charisma, wicked sense of humour, generosity, passion and love for food and his family cannot be measured. He will be greatly missed.”
The Scottish-born chef was known for his boundary-pushing culinary creations and his championing of Indigenous ingredients. He owned the highly decorated Adelaide-based restaurant, Orana, which earned three chefs hats in both 2019 and 2020.
Jock was named a judge of MasterChef in 2019 alongside Melissa Leong. The cooking series, which airs on Channel 10, was due to return tonight and has been postponed.
Tributes flow for Jock Zonfrillo
The hospitality and entertainment industries have expressed their sympathies for Jock’s family, with tributes flowing on social media.
Paralympian and former Australian of the Year, Dylan Alcott wrote: “You’re a beautiful man Jock. Felt lucky you and your family came into our lives. Gone to soon brother.” Media personality and author, Maria Thattil said she was deeply sorry for the loss.
“Keeping Jock’s family and loved ones in my thoughts and prayers. Utterly devastating,” she commented on the announcement of Zonfrillo’s passing.
Meanwhile, celebrity cook Silvia Colloca said she was “holding [Jock’s family] close in my heart”.