Jock Zonfrillo Remembered as a Leader of Australian Cuisine

The Australian culinary world has lost an icon this week, with the devastating sudden passing of Chef Jock Zonfrillo.

Zonfrillo is best known to New Zealand audiences for his work as a Judge on Australian reality series, Masterchef, since landing the role in 2019.

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Zonfrillo started working in kitchens at age 12 as a part-time dishwasher at the restaurant where his siblings worked. Under the guidance of Chef Marco Pierre White, Zonfrillo travelled to Australia to work for 12 months.

It was in Australia where Zonfrillo opened a range of restaurants, including Restaurant Orana and Street ADL in Adelaide, Nonna Mallozzi, and Bistro Blackwood.

In 2016, Zonfrillo started the Orana Foundation with the aim to preserve the historical cooking techniques of Indigenous Australians.

His loss has been felt around the world, with many industry heavyweights paying their tributes.

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay said that he was saddened by the loss via a Twitter post.

“I truly enjoyed the time we spent together on MasterChef in Australia. Sending all my love to Lauren and the family in this difficult time,” wrote Ramsay.

Chef and television presenter, Jamie Oliver said that he was in total shock upon hearing the news.

“We had the best time working together for this year's master chef, I can't tell how good it was to work with him," he wrote.

Jock Zonfrillo was 46, and is survived by his wife Lauren, and four children.