MasterChef judge tragically passes away

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Chef Jock Zonfrillo, an accomplished restaurateur and MasterChef judge, has passed away at the age of 46. Zonfrillo was born in Scotland and gained a reputation as a highly-regarded chef at his restaurant Orana in South Australia. In 2019, he joined Channel 10’s MasterChef Australia as a judge, sitting alongside Melissa Leong and Andy Allen for the 2020 season. His culinary expertise and experience made him a valuable member of the show’s team.

A statement has been released from his family. “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. So many words can describe him, so many stories can be told, but at this time we’re too overwhelmed to put them into words. 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 whisky. 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.”

Zonfrillo’s death was confirmed by Channel 10 on the same day that the 2023 season of MasterChef was scheduled to return to broadcast. In a statement, the network expressed their condolences to Zonfrillo’s family and friends, as well as the wider culinary community. The statement also announced that the series would be postponed for this week, out of respect for Zonfrillo and his loved ones.

The exact details of Zonfrillo’s passing have not been publicly disclosed, but it is known that he passed away in Melbourne. The news of his death has prompted an outpouring of tributes and condolences from fans, colleagues, and fellow chefs. Many have praised his talent and his dedication to promoting Indigenous Australian cuisine, which was a major focus of his work at Orana. Zonfrillo’s contributions to the culinary world and his impact on Australian cuisine will be deeply missed.

In the wake of Zonfrillo’s passing, many are reflecting on his legacy and the mark he left on the culinary industry. His work at Orana was widely acclaimed, earning numerous accolades and awards, and his time on MasterChef brought his expertise and passion to a wider audience. Zonfrillo’s contributions to the development of Indigenous Australian cuisine were particularly notable, and his efforts to showcase the richness and diversity of Aboriginal food culture were widely praised. While his passing is a loss to the culinary community, his legacy will continue to inspire and influence chefs and food lovers for years to come.

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