Jock Zonfrillo Age, Death, Wife, Children, Family, Biography & More

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Death Date: 30/04/2023
Hometown: Glasgow, Scotland
Age: 46 Years

Jock Zonfrillo

Birth nameBarry Zonfrillo [1]The Sydney Morning Herald
ProfessionTelevision presenter, Chef
Famous forBeing a judge on MasterChef Australia
Physical Stats & More
Height (approx.)in centimeters- 175 cm
in meters- 1.75 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 9”
Eye ColourGrey
Hair ColourSalt and Pepper
DebutTV: Guest chef on Season 6 of MasterChef Australia (2014)
Last Appearance2023: Season 15 of MasterChef Australia
Awards, Honours, Achievements • 2011: Chef of the Year Award at South Australian Food Industry Awards
2014: South Australian Best New Restaurant and South Australian Restaurant of the Year at The Advertiser Food Awards
• 2015: South Australian Restaurant of the Year at The Advertiser Food Awards
• 2015: Chef of The Year at Restaurant & Catering Awards
• 2015-2016: Australia's Hot 50 Restaurants by The Australian
• 2017: Hottest Chef and Hottest South Australian Restaurant by The Australian
• 2017: Food for Good Award by The Good Food Guide
• 2018: Australian Restaurant of the Year by Gourmet Traveller magazine
• 2018: Australia's Hottest Chef by The Australian
• 2018: Australian Food for Good Award by The Good Food Guide
• 2018: Basque Culinary World Prize by Basque Culinary Center
• 2019: Australia's Restaurant of the Year by The Good Food Guide
• 2019-2020: Three-hatted restaurant at Chef Hat Awards
Personal Life
Date of Birth4 August 1976 (Wednesday)
BirthplaceGlasgow, Scotland
Date of Death30 April 2023
Place of DeathMelbourne, Australia
Age (at the time of death) 46 Years
Death CauseAccording to various media reports, the cause of his death is unknown. [2]The Guardian
Zodiac signLeo
HometownGlasgow, Scotland
SchoolBelmont Academy, Ayr, Scotland
Food HabitNon-vegetarian
Jock Zonfrillo's post about his eating habits
TattooRight Arm
Jock Zonfrillo's tattoo
ControversiesAssault towards a employee
In 2002, Jock was accused of deliberately setting fire to an apprentice chef in his kitchen, Martin Krammer for working slowly. He was charged with a penalty of $75,000. In May 2007, Krammer filed a petition against Jock for being bankrupt in the Federal Magistrates Court. In an interview, rammer claimed that Jock never paid me a cent to him. [3]The Age

Questions raised on Orana Foundation
In September 2020, he filed defamation proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against Nationwide News regarding an article about the Orana Foundation that he started in 2016 to preserve the historical cooking techniques and ingredients of Indigenous Australians. After the foundation was awarded The Good Food Guide Food for Good Award in October 2017, the media started raising questions about the charity management in his foundation. After the proceedings, Nationwide News wrote an apology in The Australian newspaper on 17 December 2020 and published it on their website. [4]The Sydney Morning Herald

Reports on his unpaid debts
On 5 October 2020, his restaurants Restaurant Orana and Bistro Blackwood faced unpaid debts amounting to approximately $3.2 million after which they entered into voluntary administration. The Voluntary Administrators with ASIC filed a preliminary report in October 2020 which checked if the restaurant companies were trading while insolvent or if there had been unfair preferences or potential breaches of director duties. [5]The Sydney Morning Herald

Eyebrows raised on stories in his memoir
On 28 July 2021, a feature story by Simon and Schuster was published in The Sydney Morning Herald which was based on Zonfrillo's controversial memoir, Last Shot. The story questioned Jock's visit to hundreds of Indigenous communities and his alleged drug use story. After the story came out, Marco Pierre White who was referred to as a father figure in the book, in an interview, said that  "almost everything he has written about me is untrue". In another interview, Simon and Schuster replied that the book was "a historical account written from the personal knowledge of the subject writing it." [6]The Sydney Morning Herald
Relationships & More
Marital Status (at the time of death)Married
Affairs/GirlfriendsLauren Fried (marketing strategist and entrepreneur) (2014-2017)
Marriage Date1 January 2017
Jock Zonfrillo's wedding image
Wife/SpouseLauren Fried (marketing strategist and entrepreneur)

Note: He was married twice before marrying Lauren Fried.
ChildrenSon- Alfie
Jock Zonfrillo with his wife, son, Alfie and daughter, Isla
Daughter- 3
• Isla
• Ava
• Sophia
Jock Zonfrillo with his daughters Ava and Sophia
ParentsFather- Ivan Zonfrillo (barber)
Jock Zonfrillo's father
Mother- Sarah (hairdresser)
SiblingsSister- Carla

Jock Zonfrillo

Some Lesser Known Facts About Jock Zonfrillo

  • Jock Zonfrillo was a Scottish television presenter and chef who is known for being a judge on MasterChef Australia. He was also known for being the founder of The Orana Foundation.
  • His mother’s family is Scottish from Dalmellington, Ayrshire, while his father is from Scauri, Italy.
  • When Jock was 13 years old, he used to work as a part-time dishwasher in kitchens after attending school.

    Jock Zonfrillo at the age of 13 working as a dishwasher

    Jock Zonfrillo at the age of 13 working as a dishwasher

  • When he turned 15, he left school and started an apprenticeship in the kitchens of The Turnberry Hotel in Scotland. Later, he started working at the Arkle Restaurant in Chester. After that, he started working for a British chef Marco Pierre White.
  • Later, he travelled to Australia for 12 months to work at Restaurant 41 in Sydney. When he returned to the UK after a year, he was appointed to his first head chef position at The Tresanton Hotel in Cornwall at the age of 22.

    Jock Zonfrillo before moving to Australia

    Jock Zonfrillo before moving to Australia

  • In January 2000, he returned to Australia and joined as the head chef at Restaurant 41 in Sydney. While working at the restaurant, he started using Australian native ingredients in his cooking. In an interview, he talked about this and said,

    At the end of the day, what I wanted to do was with good intent as anything, and I was doing it in consultation in keeping with indigenous people on country and was being asked by them and they were my check in points, they were my advisors and so I knew that I was on a path that I felt okay about. I’ve spent nearly two decades trying to bring some kind of acknowledgement around a conversation for indigenous culture and its people and its food and through food.”

  • In November 2013, he opened Restaurant Orana and Street ADL in Adelaide. In September 2017, his restaurant Street ADL replaced Bistro Blackwood.
  • In August 2017, his Restaurant Orana was named Australia’s 2018 Restaurant of the Year by Gourmet Traveller magazine.
  • In December 2018, he opened the restaurant, Nonna Mallozzi in Adelaide, South Australia. In July 2019, he closed the restaurant because he was facing a loss exceeding $140,000. Later in 2019, he closed his restaurant Bistro Blackwood and in March 2020, he closed the restaurant Orana. After closing them, he suffered combined debts that amounted to approximately $3.2 million. This loss led to his long-term restaurant manager, Greta Wohlstadt resigning from Orana. After he closed his restaurants, he and his family went to Melbourne in March 2020.
  • In 2014, he hosted the Discovery Channel show Nomad Chef where he used to travel to communities in 10 countries to learn how they gather ingredients and cook.
  • In 2015, he hosted the cooking reality television series Restaurant Revolution.
  • In 2016, he co-hosted Chef Exchange with Chef Qu Jianmin where they used to explore each other’s food and wine cultures.
  • In October 2019, he was announced as one of the new judges for MasterChef Australia, alongside Melissa Leong and Andy Allen.
  • In July 2020, he was announced as one of the judges for Junior MasterChef Australia.
  • In July 2021, he tried his hands at other businesses. He started selling handmade bracelets with skulls on them for up to $500 each, under the brand named Caim. In an interview, he talked about this and said,

    Caim is Scottish Gaelic, pronounced kyem. It’s not religious – it’s an invisible circle of protection that you draw around your body with your hand, to remind you of being safe and loved, even in the darkest times. I’ve got lots of different types of worry beads and when I’m feeling anxious or a little bit stressed, basically I worry. So I flick through them … and the more anxious … I get, the faster I do it.”

  • In February 2018, Jock and his wife had a son who was born two months premature and weighed only 1.2 kg.
  • In 2021, in his memoir Last Shot, he talked about being homeless and addicted to heroin. In the book, he said that he started with drug addiction in the 1980s when he was a teenager in Scotland. He smoked heroin for the first time when he was 15 years old. He had a very tough teenage life because of his drug addiction. He was expelled from his school and job because of his addiction. After some time, he started using needles and the addiction continued for nine years. Initially, he used to take cocaine and pills but to get higher, he eventually started using heroin. He used to take drugs at least twice a day and would fall sick. His parents and wife were unaware of his addiction. He only quit when he moved to Australia in 1999. In an interview, he said,

    Drugs were everywhere — we were surrounded. A lot of kids got into trouble and I was one of them.”

    Jock Zonfrill's memoir Last Shot

    Jock Zonfrill’s memoir Last Shot

  • In the book, he said that he took his last shot of heroin in a Heathrow Airport toilet on New Year’s Eve after which he quit the habit. In an interview, he said that cooking saved him from drug addiction. In the interview, he added,

    I’ve always said, ‘If it wasn’t for food, I would’ve died.’ When you’re an addict, there’s very little that’s more compelling than doing that drug. Luckily for me, I somehow fluked upon cooking.”

  • After his death, his family took to social media and talked about him and said,

    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. 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. 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. 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.”

  • In an interview, a friend and neighbour of Jock said that he used to open up about his “demons” while drinking.
  • In 2023, the 15th season of MasterChef Australia was to be telecast in which Zonfrillo appeared as a judge. The show was supposed to premiere on 1 May 2023 but was postponed to 7 May. Later, it was decided that the show would telecast a special episode of The Sunday Project reflecting on Zonfrillo’s life.