• Jock Zonfrillo, the beloved judge of MasterChef Australia, renowned chef, and author, has died at the age of 46. The news was announced by his family on his Instagram account this morning. The cause of his death is not yet known.

    ‘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.

    The scheduled airing of MasterChef Australia has been postponed. A new date has not been set at this time.

    Unbeknown to many, Zonfrillo was homeless and addicted to heroin at the time British chef Marco Pierre White gave him a chance to work in his kitchen at age 17. He was a dishwasher. Five years on, he was appointed head chef at Cornwall’s Tresanton Hotel.

    Zonfrillo’s career continued to flourish as he went on to establish several restaurants of his own. In 2018, his Restaurant Orana was named Australia’s Restaurant of the Year by Gourmet Traveller magazine, and it was awarded the same prestigious title the following year in the Good Food Guide. The restaurant also earned three hats in both 2019 and 2020, cementing its status as one of the country’s top dining destinations.

    Tributes have poured in for the Scotsman, from famous chefs and fans alike. His family’s statement reads:

    Picture: @zonfrillo / Instagram

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    Written by Robyn Simpson for Cape {town} Etc.

    Feature image: @zonfrillo / Instagram