Celebrities including My Kitchen Rules star Manu Feildel, UK Chef Jamie OLiver and The Project’s Sarah Harris have paid emotional tributes to Masterchef judge Jock Zonfrillo, who died on Sunday age 46.
Speaking to Seven News, MKR host Manu Feidel, who had a friendly rivalry with Zonfrillo, said he was devastated for the Scottish-born judge’s wife and children.
“I just turned fifty and I’m still feeling young so I’m telling you, forty-six… it’s far too young to go,” Feildel said.
“I feel really sorry for his wife and his kids… I’ve got kids myself and I’m finding it hard to find my words right now.
“He’s had a really successful career and suddenly it’s all stopped. You just wonder how and why.”
Feidal said it is a tight industry and a lot of the Chefs are friends.
“We are all mates and when one person goes down everybody feels a pinch. We feel terrible about it.”
“He was a genuinely nice guy… He’s going to be sorely missed by a lot of people.”
UK chef Jamie Oliver, who stared in this season’s MasterChef alongside Zonfrillo, said he was in “total shock” to hear about Zonfrillo’s passing. In a Tweet, Oliver described Zonfrillo as “generous” adding that “he will be missed”.
In total shock to hear of the sudden death of chef Jock Zonfrillo. Had the best time working with him for this year’s @MasterChefau. Jock was very generous with his time and spirit in the show and will be so very missed. Sending heart felt love and condolences to all of his… pic.twitter.com/Ssa9qOKiFr
— Jamie Oliver (@jamieoliver) May 1, 2023
Meanwhile The Project‘s Sarah Harris was visibly moved on last night’s show as she explained why Zonfrillo always carried his worry beads everywhere.
“He was never without his worry beads. And I love this about him, despite the fact that he was this kind of manly Scott, and drank whiskey, he knew there was power in vulnerability”.
“He really worked to normalise anxiety, and he said he would keep those beads on him at all times, and pressed the beads when the anxiety got too much.
“But more than that, he loved his food. He was Irish and a Scot, and he told us once, the way to make carbonara without cream. He was very insistent on that.”
Zonfrillo’s death was announced by his family, who 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.”
He is survived by his wife Lauren and four children Ava, Sophia, Alfie and Isla.