Following the passing of celebrity chef Jock Zonfrillo, friends and family have gathered to bid farewell to the beloved MasterChef judge in an intimate funeral on Saturday, May 13.
Zonfrillo passed away on Sunday, April 30 at the age of 46.
Zonfrillo’s wife Lauren Fried, and their four children, Eva, Sophie, Alfie, and Isla joined fellow celebrity chefs George Calombaris, Manu Feildel, Shannon Bennett, and Colin Fassnidge in mourning the beloved Masterchef judge.
Also in attendance were Zonfrillo’s MasterChef co-judges, Andy Allen and Melissa Leong as well as tennis icon Dylan Alcott and Australian singing icon Jimmy Barnes who performed Amazing Grace as the ceremony drew to a close.
The casket was adorned with a number of white roses and orchids and elegantly cloaked in a Royal Banner of Scotland as a tribute to Zonfrillo’s ancestry.
The moving farewell follows a poignant television tribute recently that was aired to honour the life and legacy of Zonfrillo.
Ahead of MasterChef’s season 15 return on Sunday, May 7, The Project aired a special tribute episode for Zonfrillo. The episode showcased numerous heartfelt messages from notable chefs and celebrities, culminating in a stirring rendition of The Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomond by Jimmy Barnes.
Jock Zonfrillo mastered his craft in some of the greatest kitchens in the world, and now his fellow chefs, those with him at the very top of the industry, share their memories of a lost mate. pic.twitter.com/KoZJWpgjW4
— The Project (@theprojecttv) May 7, 2023
A visibly emotional Gordon Ramsey was among those who paid tribute, revealing how “devastating” Zonfrillo’s death had been.
‘The ripples have been devastating. If there’s one thing that we’ve done as chefs is we’ve united and we’re talking about the good times,” he said
“That’s all. If I could say one last thing. Mate, love you. Miss yoy. And that next glass of whisky, it’s dedicated to you, mate. I’ll miss you.”
Australian chef Curtis Stone described Zonfrillo as a “kind, fair, genuine and honest” man.
“He genuinely loved people. He would speak to the person who made coffee the same way he spoke to the director,” Stone recalled.
“He did a lot on this planet, and it’s time for him to rest.”
Marco Pierre White said “Jock Zonfrillo will never die. He will live on through everyone he touched.”
“He lives within us, and everybody who watches that show, a little piece of him will be still in there. That’s the truth.”
Zonfrillo was only 13 years old when he began his culinary journey as a part-time dishwasher while still attending school. By the age of 15, he left formal education to pursue an apprenticeship at The Turnberry Hotel’s kitchens, and later honed his skills at the prestigious Arkle Restaurant in Chester. After working with the legendary Marco Pierre White, Zonfrillo made his way to Sydney’s Restaurant 41 in Australia for a year.
Zonfrillo’s impressive skills landed him the position of head chef at The Tresanton Hotel in Cornwall at the young age of 22. However, the call of the Australian culinary scene was too strong, and he returned to Australia in 2000 to take on the role of head chef at Restaurant 41. Zonfrillo’s culinary creativity and expertise continued to grow, leading him to become the head chef at Penfolds Magill Estate Restaurant in South Australia in 2011, where he stayed for a year and a half.
Zonfrillo’s talent earned him numerous accolades, including the title of Australia’s 2018 Restaurant of the Year for Restaurant Orana by Gourmet Traveller magazine, and Australia’s 2018 Hottest Chef in The Australian.
Zonfrillo continued to receive recognition for his culinary achievements, as Orana was named Australia’s 2019 Restaurant of the Year by The Good Food Guide and was awarded three chef hats in the 2019 and 2020 Chef Hat Awards.
In 2019, Zonfrillo joined Melissa Leong and Andy Allen as a judge for MasterChef Australia, bringing his wealth of experience and passion for the culinary arts to the popular cooking competition. Zonfrillo’s signature style and enthusiasm captivated audiences and showcased his exceptional talent as a chef.