MasterChef Australia host Jock Zonfrillo died on Sunday (30 April) aged 46.
His death was confirmed by Networks 10.
“With completely shattered hearts and without knowing how we could possibly move through life without him, we are devastated to share that Jock passed away yesterday,” Zonfrillo’s family said in a statement.
“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 whiskey.
“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.”
Networks 10 also paid tribute to the award-winning chef.
“Jock’s charisma, wicked sense of humor, generosity, passion and love for food and his family cannot be measured. He will be greatly missed.”
The news was announced on the day the 2023 season of MasterChef was scheduled to be aired.
It has been revealed that the 15th season of MasterChef Australia which was due to begin on Monday (1 May) night will not air this week as planned.
“This is a deeply sad day,” Beverley McGarvey, executive vice president of the network’s parent company Paramount ANZ, said in a statement. “Jock was an extraordinary man. He was a wonderful colleague and friend, and we feel very privileged to have him play such an important and impactful role in MasterChef.
“Despite all his notable professional milestones, nothing brought him more joy or happiness than his family. Our thoughts are with them at this very difficult time.”
Zonfrillo worked under Michelin-starred chef Marco Pierre White in his early career before establishing himself in Australia as the head chef at Restaurant 41 in Sydney in 2000, going on to open his own Restaurant Orana in 2013.
He is survived by his wife and four children.