Shocked Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver lead tributes to MasterChef Australia star Jock Zonfrillo after judge’s death aged 46

Tributes have poured in for MasterChef Australia judge Jock Zonfrillo following his death aged 46.

The author was found dead in Melbourne and the tragic news was confirmed by his family, who said they are ‘shattered’.

On Monday, his family wrote: ‘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.’

They added: ‘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.’

Paying tribute to Zonfrillo, British celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay tweeted: ‘Saddened by the devastating news of Jock Zonfrillo’s passing. I truly enjoyed the time we spent together on MasterChef in Australia. Sending all my love to Lauren and the family in this difficult time Gx.’

Restaurateur Jamie Oliver – who is joining the upcoming season of MasterChef Australia this year – uploaded a selfie with the late chef on Instagram and expressed his devastation.

‘I’m in total shock to wake up to the sudden death of chef Jock Zonfrillo,’ he penned.

‘We had the best time working together for this years master chef, I can’t tell 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…Mellisa, Andy & Jock work as the most inspiring judges and mentors and each have there very own unique view and style….’
He continued: ‘Jock will be so very missed…I can’t believe I’m writing this…….Sending heart felt love and condolences to all of his family, friends and his second family the master chef team and contestants xxx. Love jamie.’

MasterChef Australia also said: ‘Network 10 and Endemol Shine Australia are deeply shocked and saddened at the sudden loss of Jock Zonfrillo, a beloved member of the MasterChef Australia family.

Jock passed away in Melbourne yesterday. MasterChef Australia will not air this week.’

Meanwhile, Peter Newman, production company Endemol Shine’s chief executive officer, said of Jock: ‘On set he was loved by the team and his passion for food and the show was infectious.

‘He was also a brilliant champion for the contestants on MasterChef, always wanting the very best for them. He will be deeply missed by the entire MasterChef team. Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.’

Police confirmed Zonfrillo’s death is not being treated as suspicious, with a spokesperson for Victoria Police telling the publication: ‘Police attended a Lygon Street address for a welfare check and located a man deceased about 2am on May 1.

‘The 46-year-old man’s death is not being treated as suspicious.’

He is survived by his third wife, Lauren Fried, and his four children: Ava and Sophia, from his first two marriages, and Alfie and Isla, with Ms Fried.

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