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Tributes flow following the passing of MasterChef Australia judge Jock Zonfrillo at age 46

He will be dearly missed.
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MasterChef Australia judge Jock Zonfrillo has passed away, aged 46.

Zonfrillo’s passing was announced on May 1st, with a statement to his Instagram confirming that the beloved MasterChef judge had sadly passed away on April 30, 2023.

‘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’, read the statement.

‘For those who crossed his path, became his mate, or were lucky enough to be his family, keep this proud Scot in your hearts when you have your next whiskey’, the statement continued.

Victoria Police confirm that Zonfrillo’s death is not being treated as suspicious and no cause of death has been given.

Zonfrillo passed away in Melbourne on April 30, 2023.

(Image: Getty)

At the 63rd TV WEEK Logie Awards, MasterChef Australia Executive Producer Marty Benson was sure to include a moving tribute to the beloved judge in MasterChef’s Most Popular Reality Program win.

“As I stand here tonight, it’s still hard to believe that my mate and our amazing judge Jock is no longer with us. So, big man, this is 100% dedicated to you. Tonight we are going to celebrate Jock-style. Please, everybody, give it up for Jock,” said Benson.

Following Zonfrillo’s passing, tributes have continued to flow through across social media, with friends and fans alike sharing their memories of the chef.

“Still can’t accept that we’ll be remembering you for more time than we had you, but doesn’t mean we’ll love you any less. I love you dad, always,” wrote Zonfrillo’s daughter Ava, 22, who took to Instagram to pay tribute to her late father three weeks following his passing.

MasterChef Australia judge Andy Allen also shared an emotional tribute to his friend, writing “When I met you five years ago I knew our lives were about to change forever.”

Zonfrillo was best known through his time as a judge on MasterChef Australia.

(L-R): Andy Allen, Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong.

(Image: Getty)

Allen continued to reflect on his friendship with Zonfrillo, stating “What I didn’t realise is how close Alex and I would become outside of the kitchen with you, Lauren and your kids. You’ve become such an inspirational and important part of our lives. Sure, you’ve taught me so much about food, but it’s the lessons I learnt about what it means to be a great father, husband and friend that I’ll take away from our time together and will last forever.”

“I’ll miss the way you mentored me and every contestant that walked into the MasterChef kitchen, I’ll miss you ordering the entire menu no matter how many dishes deep and making me eat every last bite, I’ll miss your morning on-set coffees that made me shake from the amount of caffeine you were able to extract out of every individual bean”, Allen added.

Fellow judge Melissa Leong shared a heartfelt tribute to Zonfrillo, writing on Instagram “Four years ago, the three of us stood on a precipice and jumped. I could never have guessed how much of an impact your arrival in my life would have, or that we would be saying goodbye to you so soon. You were always supposed to be the bulletproof one who outlived us all.”

Fellow MasterChef Australia judge Melissa Leong shared candid behind-the-scenes photos of Zonfrillo.

(Image: Instagram)

“In that time, you showed me what true excellence looks like both in the kitchen and outside of it; your kindness and generosity, the many lives you’ve lived, the way you carried far more on your shoulders than most could ever know. Thank you for challenging me daily, for making me better, my work buddy and friend, purveyor of excellent morning coffees, hater of pears, okra and nasturtiums”, she wrote.

Leong continued, stating “This all feels too raw too process still, I suspect it will for some time. Such is the impact of a life lived so large, with so much levity and entirely on your own terms. My heart goes out to your family, who were and are your life. A wee dram for you today, and always.”

MasterChef Australia guest judge Jamie Oliver also shared a tribute to Zonfrillo on Instagram, “I’m in total shock to wake up to the sudden death of chef Jock Zonfrillo. We had the best time working together for this years MasterChef, I can’t tell how good it was to work with him! Jock was very generous to me with his time and spirit in the show and for that I was really grateful. Melissa, Andy & Jock work as the most inspiring judges and mentors and each have their very own unique view and style. Jock will be so very missed.”

Zonfrillo will be dearly missed.

(Image: Instagram)

In a statement to Twitter, MasterChef Australia also expressed their condolences, stating that Zonfrillo was “a beloved member of the MasterChef Australia family.” The statement also announced the newest season of MasterChef Australia will not be premiering tonight and will not air this week.

Zonfrillo was best known as a judge on MasterChef Australia, with the charming Scotsman guiding audiences through the MasterChef kitchen since 2019.

Getting his start in the kitchen at 13 as a part-time dishwasher, Zonfrillo worked his way through the culinary ranks, earning his first head chef position at 22, as well as receiving Gourmet Traveller’s 2018 Restuarant of the Year Award for his restaurant Orana, and 2018 Hottest Chef in The Australian.

Zonfrillo sadly leaves behind his wife and two children.

(Image: Instagram)

Zonfrillo sadly leaves behind his wife of six years, Lauren Fried, their two children Alfie, 5, and Isla, 2, and his two eldest daughters, Ava and Sophia.

He will be sincerely missed by friends, family, and fans.

If you or someone you know has been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, help is always available. Please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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