Gordon Ramsay pays tribute to MasterChef star Jock Zonfrillo after his sudden death
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Gordon Ramsay has paid tribute to MasterChef judge Jock Zonfrillo who has sadly died at the age of 46.
It was confirmed that the Glasgow-born presenter passed away in Melbourne on Sunday (30 April).
Zonfrillo's family, who shared a statement on his Facebook page, were devastated by the sudden death of their 'irreplaceable husband, father, brother, son and friend'.
"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," the statement read.
"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."
Ramsay has been leading the tributes online and tweeted: "Saddened by the devastating news of Jock Zonfrillo's passing.
"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."
A joint statement issued by Network 10 and the programme’s producers, Endemol Shine Australia, also read: "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.
"Determined and talented and with plenty of grit, Jock was born in Glasgow to an Italian father and a Scottish mother, which meant his formative years were heavily influenced by two strong cultures and it was his obsession with food and desire for a new pushbike that at just 12 years old fuelled Jock to knock on kitchen doors looking for a job.
"Jock’s love and passion for food saw him become one of the youngest culinary students to do an apprenticeship at The Turnberry Hotel at just 15 years of age.
"From that point onwards there was no holding him back and by 17 he was working alongside Marco Pierre White at his eponymous Restaurant Macro Pierre White.
"Throughout his career he worked with world famous chefs and in restaurants all over the world."
Zonfrillo worked in some of the world’s most formidable kitchens as well as opening Bistro Blackwood and Restaurant Orana in Adelaide after moving to Australia.
The statement added: "Jock’s charisma, wicked sense of humour, generosity, passion and love for food and his family cannot be measured.
"He will be greatly missed."