Jock Zonfrillo, ‘MasterChef Australia’ judge, dead at 46

Jock Zonfrillo, a former chef and judge on the “MasterChef Australia” television show, died Sunday. He was 46.

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Zonfrillo died in Melbourne, Australia, television broadcaster Network 10 said in a statement on Monday. No cause of death was given, Variety reported. His family also confirmed Zonfrillo’s death in an Instagram post, announcing his passing with “completely shattered hearts.”

“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,” his family wrote. “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.”

Zonfrillo was found dead at a house in Melbourne when police conducted a welfare check, the BBC reported. Police said no foul was suspected.

Zonfrillo died on the eve of the cooking show’s new series, “Today” reported. He had been scheduled to star in the premiere of the new series on Monday along with British chef Jamie Oliver, who was going to be a guest judge, according to CNN.

Oliver, who had been due to appear in the season opener, posted a photo on Instagram featuring him with Zonfrillo and the two other judges, Melissa Leong and Andy Allen, on the set of “MasterChef Australia.”

The show will not air this week.

“I’m in total shock to wake up to the sudden death of (Jock) ... We had the best time working together for this year’s MasterChef,” he wrote.

Noted chef Gordon Ramsay said he was “saddened by the devastating news” of Zonfrillo’s death.

“I truly enjoyed the time we spent together on ‘MasterChef in Australia,’” the “Hell’s Kitchen” star tweeted.

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1976, Zonfrillo began working in kitchens at the age of 12, the BBC reported. Three years later he became one of the youngest apprentices to work at the luxury Scottish resort, The Turnberry Hotel.

By the time Zonfrillo was 17, he was working with British chef Marco Pierre White at his restaurant, according to Variety.

He opened Bistro Blackwood and Restaurant Orana in Adelaide, the entertainment news website reported.

Zonfrillo joined “MasterChef Australia,” the popular cooking competition, in 2019, CNN reported. He published a memoir, “Last Shot,” in 2021.

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