Jock Zonfrillo: Tributes flow after MasterChef judge's sudden death

The award-winning chef passed away at the age of 46 on Sunday.

Tributes are flowing following the death of MasterChef judge Jock Zonfrillo, who has sadly passed away at the age of 46.

The Scottish-Australian chef was found dead at 2am Monday morning at an address on Melbourne’s famous Lygon Street after police were called to perform a welfare check.

Jock Zonfrillo.
Jock Zonfrillo passed away at the age of 46 on Sunday. Photo: Getty

Former Masterchef contestants pay tribute

Jock's family posted a statement on Instagram on Monday afternoon confirming his death, which has since been flooded with comments from former stars of the franchise, as well as fellow media personalities and fans.

“I am literally in so much shock and hands are shaking,” Minoli De Silva wrote. “This is devastating news. I am so sad to hear this news.”

“I’m heartbroken and my hands are shaking as I type this,” Dulan Hapuarachchi said. “My deepest condolences to Jock’s family. He was such a great human being and we have lost a great one! ‘Give back more than you take’ [was] the last thing he ever told me. Rest in peace Mate we will miss you!”

“I’m so so sorry! My condolences,” Khanh Ong replied, followed by Laura Sharrad who shared, “This is heartbreaking news, sending love to you all”.

“I’m so shocked… rest in peace chef, my heart and condolences to loved ones,” Reynold Poer commented.

“Shocked and heartbroken,” Emelia Jackson shared. “RIP Jock, you will be sorely missed. My condolences to your beautiful family.”


Reece Hignell, who appeared on both season 10 and season 12 of the reality show, tells Yahoo Lifestyle he's "deeply saddened" by Jock's passing.

"I feel so much pain for his friends and his young family," he says.

"I was lucky enough to be coached and mentored by Jock during my time on MasterChef. Jock is a ball of energy, a bit of a larrikin with a massive heart. He was kind, caring and most importantly to me, he was encouraging. You could really feel that he believed in you.

"I’ll hold onto many memories, most importantly the kind words he shared to me about my Nan and the encouragement he gave me when I opened Cakeboi."

Jock Zonfrillo.
A number of former MasterChef contestants have shared tributes to Jock on social media. Photo: Channel 10

MKR judge Colin Fassnidge 'speechless'

My Kitchen Rules judge and fellow celebrity chef Colin Fassnidge, who had been friends with Jock for over 20 years, said he was “speechless at the loss of a young man”.

“Such a shock,” he commented. “Love to his family. Sleep well my friend! I’m floored!!!!”

Chef Matt Moran also shared a post on Instagram saying he was "lost for words".

"A great mate for over 20 years and one of the best chefs I have ever known," he said. "Absolutely heartbreaking. Thoughts are with Lauren and his family. We'll miss you chef."

Jamie Oliver sends his condolences

British chef Jamie Oliver, who is set to appear in the season 15 premiere episode of MasterChef which has since been postponed to next week, also posted a lengthy tribute to Jock following the sad news.

"I’m in total shock to wake up to the sudden death of chef Jock Zonfrillo," he wrote alongside a photo of himself with Jock, Melissa Leong and Andy Allen at the MasterChef warehouse.

"We had the best time working together for this year's MasterChef, I can’t tell [you] 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… I can’t believe I’m writing this… Sending heartfelt love and condolences to all of his family, friends and his second family the MasterChef team and contestants."

Melissa Leong, Andy Allen, Jamie Oliver and Jock Zonfrillo.
Jamie Oliver said he was in ‘total shock’ waking up to the news of Jock’s sudden death. Photo: Instagram/jamieoliver

'Our irreplaceable husband, father, brother, son and friend'

Jock’s family confirmed his death in a post on Instagram, writing: “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.”

Jock joined MasterChef in 2019 and starred alongside Melissa Leong and Andy Allen in the series.

He is survived by his third wife, Lauren Fried, and his four children, Alfie, Isla, Ava and Sophie.

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