Who was Jock Zonfrillo?
Jock Zonfrillo was a Scottish-born chef, restaurateur, and television personality who was best known as one of the judges on the popular cooking show MasterChef Australia. He was also the founder of The Orana Foundation, a non-profit organization that aimed to preserve and promote the culinary heritage of Indigenous Australians.
Zonfrillo had a passion for food and travel since he was a young boy, and he started his culinary career at the age of 17 in London. He worked in some of the world’s most renowned restaurants, such as Marco Pierre White’s The Restaurant and Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck. He moved to Australia in 2000 and opened his own restaurant, Restaurant Orana, in Adelaide in 2013. The restaurant won several awards and accolades, including three hats from The Good Food Guide and the Restaurant of the Year title from Gourmet Traveller.
Zonfrillo was also a successful TV personality, appearing in several shows such as Nomad Chef, Chef Exchange, and Restaurant Revolution. He joined MasterChef Australia as a judge in 2020, alongside Andy Allen and Melissa Leong. He quickly became a fan favorite for his charismatic and compassionate personality, as well as his expertise and enthusiasm for food.
How did Jock Zonfrillo die?
Zonfrillo passed away at the age of 46 on May 1, 2023. He was found dead by police at Zagame’s House hotel in Melbourne at about 2am, just metres away from his former inner-city home in Carlton. According to Daily Mail Australia, the police believed that Zonfrillo had died of natural causes and found nothing unusual or suspicious in the hotel room. There was also no drug paraphernalia found in the hotel room, sources said.
The cause of death has not been officially confirmed by the coroner, but it has been reported that Zonfrillo had secretly battled bowel cancer for years. According to a source quoted by Daily Mail Australia, Zonfrillo kept his health problems from most friends and colleagues, usually receiving treatment when MasterChef was not filming. It is not suggested that Zonfrillo died of cancer, only that he had told very close friends he was suffering from the disease.
What is bowel cancer?
Bowel cancer, also known as colorectal cancer or colon cancer, is a type of cancer that affects the lower part of the digestive system. It can start in the large intestine (colon) or the rectum (end of the colon). It can cause symptoms such as changes in bowel habits, blood in the stool, abdominal pain, weight loss, and fatigue.
Bowel cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in Australia, with about 15,000 new cases diagnosed each year. It is more common in people over 50 years old, but it can affect anyone at any age. The risk factors for bowel cancer include family history, genetic conditions, diet, lifestyle, smoking, alcohol, obesity, and inflammatory bowel disease.
Bowel cancer can be treated with surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy, or targeted therapy, depending on the stage and location of the cancer. The survival rate for bowel cancer depends on how early it is detected and treated. According to Cancer Council Australia, the five-year relative survival rate for bowel cancer is about 70%.
How to prevent bowel cancer?
Bowel cancer can be prevented or detected early by following some simple steps:
- Eat a healthy diet that is high in fibre and low in red and processed meat.
- Maintain a healthy weight and be physically active.
- Limit alcohol intake and quit smoking.
- Participate in regular screening tests such as a faecal occult blood test (FOBT) or a colonoscopy.
- See a doctor if you notice any symptoms or changes in your bowel habits.
How to cope with bowel cancer?
Bowel cancer can be a challenging and stressful condition to deal with, both physically and emotionally. It can affect your quality of life, your relationships, your work, and your finances. It is important to seek support from your family, friends, health professionals, and support groups. You can also find helpful information and resources from organizations such as Bowel Cancer Australia, Cancer Council Australia, or Beyond Blue.
How to remember Jock Zonfrillo?
Jock Zonfrillo was a beloved chef, TV star, and humanitarian who touched many lives with his talent, passion, and kindness. He will be remembered for his contributions to the Australian culinary scene, his advocacy for Indigenous food culture, his mentorship to aspiring chefs, and his warm and witty presence on MasterChef.
You can honour his memory by supporting his foundation, watching his shows, or cooking his recipes. You can also share your condolences, tributes, and memories on his social media pages or on the MasterChef website.
Jock Zonfrillo will be dearly missed by his family, friends, fans, and colleagues. He leaves behind his wife Lauren and their two children, Alfie and Ava, as well as two older children, Ava and Sophia, from previous marriages. He also leaves behind a legacy of excellence, generosity, and inspiration. Rest in peace, Jock Zonfrillo.