Jock Zonfrillo asked fans to tune into the newest season of MasterChef in a final Instagram post shared just hours before his death.
The 46-year-old chef and judge died in Melbourne on Sunday, just a day before the latest edition of the cooking show was set to premiere on Channel 10.
He made the post on Sunday night. Picture: Instagram @zonfrillo
“The time has come for @masterchefau to kick off a new season filled with Secrets & Surprises! And @jamieoliver of course!” he wrote.
Network 10 and his family made the announcement in a statement, alongside declaring that the show would be postponed for a week due to his sudden death.
“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,” Jock’s family said in a statement on Monday.
“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.
Jock Zonfrillo and wife Lauren. Picture: jockzonfrillo/Instagram
“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.”
Mr Zonfrillo is survived by his wife Lauren Fried and his four children Ava, Sophie, Alfie and Isla.
Network 10 also shared a statement.
“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,” the network said.
“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.”
Judges Melissa Leong, Jock Zonfrillo, Andy Allen on the last season of MasterChef. Picture: Ten
The renowned chef established himself in Australia as the head chef at Restaurant 41 in Sydney in 2000, before going on to open Restaurant Orana in 2013.
Restaurant Oranaa was named as Restaurant of the Year by Gourmet Traveller in 2018 and by the Good Food Guide in 2019.
He initially worked under renowned Michelin-starred chef Marco Pierre White.
“Zonfrillo climbed his way to the top of the gastronomic ladder only to abdicate his position. He still inspires chefs worldwide,” Mr Pierre White said about Mr Zonfrillo in 2022.
Mr Zonfrillo grew up in Glasgow to an Italian father and Scottish mother.
He began working in kitchens as a dishwasher part-time at the age of 13 before going on to leave school to start an apprenticeship in the kitchens of the Turnberry Hotel on the west coast of Scotland.