Three months after news first broke of Jock's death, his daughter Ava, 22, has paid tribute.“Still can’t accept that we’ll be remembering you for more time than we had you, but that doesn’t mean we’ll love you any less. I love you dad, always,” Ava captioned a post on Instagram alongside photographs of her and her dad.
News first broke of Jock's death just hours before the current season of MasterChef was set to premiere. A statement from his loved ones was shared via his Instagram reading: "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 mater, 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."
The Scottish-born chef started working in kitchens as a dishwasher part-time at the age of 13 and left school at 15 to begin an apprenticeship.
He worked for Marco Pierre White before travelling to Australia to work at Restaurant 41 in Sydney. In October 2019, Jock was announced as one of the new judges of MasterChef Australia, alongside Melissa Leong and Andy Allen.
Network 10 and Endemol Shine Australia released a joint statement via Instagram, announcing that MasterChef, which was set to premiere tonight, will not air this week.
"We 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."
"Jock was known to Australians as a chef, best-selling author, philanthropist and MasterChef judge but he will be best remembered as a loving father, husband, brother and son," the statement continued.
"Jock’s charisma, wicked sense of humour, generosity, passion and love for food and his family cannot be measured. He will be greatly missed.”
Jock married Lauren Fried on New Year's Day in 2017, they share two children together 6-year-old Alfie and two-year-old Isla. He also shares two older children, Ava and Sophia, from previous marriages.
Friends, fans and the MasterChef community have flooded the announcement with messages since the news broke.
MasterChef co-host Andy Allen took to Instagram a day after news broke to pay tribute to his friend and co-star.
"When I met you 5 years ago I knew our lives were about to change forever," he wrote on Instagram. "What I didn't realise is how close Alex and I would become outside of the kitchen with you, Lauren and your kids."
"You've become such an inspirational and important part of our lives. Sure, you've taught me so much about food, but it's the lessons I learnt about what it means to be a great father, husband and friend that I'll take away from our time together and will last forever."
"I'll miss the way you mentored me and every contestant that walked into the MasterChef kitchen, I'll miss you ordering the entire menu no matter how many dishes deep and making me eat every last bite, I'll miss your morning on-set coffees that made me shake from the amount of caffeine you were able to extract out of every individual bean, I'll miss the morning FaceTimes with Loz, Alfie and Isla, but overall I'll miss you looking out for me every single day," he continued.
"Thanks for making me constantly laugh and being there when I needed to cry. You really were the complete package mate and life will never be the same without you. I know you’ll be looking down on Loz, Ava, Sophia, Alfie & Isla. Give it up for Jock Zonfrillo."
Melissa Leong also took to Instagram to pay tribute to her co-host, penning; "Four years ago, the three of us stood on a precipice and jumped. I could never have guessed how much of an impact your arrival in my life would have, or that we would be saying goodbye to you so soon. You were always supposed to be the bulletproof one who outlived us all."
"In that time, you showed me what true excellence looks like both in the kitchen and outside of it; your kindness and generosity, the many lives you’ve lived, the way you carried far more on your shoulders than most could ever know."
"Thank you for challenging me daily, for making me better, my work buddy and friend, purveyor of excellent morning coffees, hater of pears, okra and nasturtiums. This all feels too raw too process still, I suspect it will for some time. Such is the impact of a life lived so large, with so much levity and entirely on your own terms."
"My heart goes out to your family, who were and are your life. A wee dram for you today, and always."
Jamie Oliver, who was set to appear on the season premiere of MasterChef Australia, shared a post upon waking up in the UK this morning.
"I'm in total shock to wake up to the sudden death of chef Jock Zonfrillo," Jamie wrote on Instagram. "We had the best time working together for this years MasterChef, 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… 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 MasterChef team and contestants xxx. Love Jamie."
"I’m so shocked and saddened by this. Jock was so kind, to me and to anyone else I’ve heard he ever had contact with. I’m so sorry," wrote Georgia Love.
Ex-contestant Khan wrote, "I’m so so sorry! My condolences," whilst Colin Fassnidge wrote, "Such a shock !!! Love to his family. Sleep well my friend! I’m floored!!!!"
Colin also told Daily Mail Australia, "It's so shocking. I'm sitting on a rock right now trying to take it in, I don't know what to say. I'm floored. I've had to call my wife straight away when I heard."
"Saddened by the devastating news of Jock Zonfrillo's passing," penned Gordon Ramsay on Twitter. "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."
"We are absolutely heartbroken," tweeted Carrie Bickmore and Tommy Little.
Earlier in the day, before the news broke, Jock's co-star and friend Melissa Leong had shared a loving tribute to her close pal on HIT WA's Allan and Carly radio show.
"He's freakishly talented, super lovely, really funny, totally handsome, rocks a three-piece suit like nobody else, and he can eat for days," she said at the time.
Our thoughts are with Melissa and all of Jock's loved ones at this time.