How did Jock Zonfrillo die? Masterchef star’s cause of death revealed
Award-winning chef and MasterChef Australia host Jock Zonfrillo was found dead at a house in Melbourne when police conducted a welfare check early Monday.
His family confirmed his death the same day. No cause of death was mentioned. Nevertheless, his demise was not being treated as suspicious, a Victoria Police spokesperson confirmed.
The 2023 season premiere of MasterChef Australia was set to air on Monday night. But broadcaster Network 10 said it will not air this week as planned.
Zonfrillo is survived by his wife and his four children. “For those who crossed his path … keep this proud Scot in your hearts when you have your next whisky,” his family said in a statement.
His sudden death has triggered an outpouring of grief from scores of people in the culinary and entertainment world. A number of former MasterChef contestants led the tributes.
Reynold Poernomo paid tribute to the Scottish-Australian chef on social media, saying he was “shocked” by the news.
Celebrity chefs Jamie Oliver – who was a guest on the first episode of MasterChef Australia’s upcoming season – and Gordon Ramsay also paid their tributes to the star.
Network 10 and MasterChef Australia production company Endemol Shine Australia expressed their shock and sadness over the incident.
Born in 1976, Zonfrillo started working in kitchens at the mere age of 13. At 15, he began working at a luxury Scottish resort, The Turnberry Hotel, becoming one of its youngest-ever apprentices.
A couple of years later, he started working for Michelin-starred British chef Marco Pierre White. But despite his enviable career, he wasn’t having a great time at the age of 17.
Zonfrillo became broke, homeless and addicted to drugs at the time. He elaborated on his struggles with drug addiction in his 2021 memoir Last Shot.
He moved to Australia in 2000 and subsequently opened several restaurants, including Restaurant Orana, Nonna Mallozzi, and Bistro Blackwood.
Restaurant Orana in Adelaide, which opened in 2013, went on to become one of his most successful restaurants. But it closed in 2020 with debts of millions of dollars.