Sydney: MasterChef Australia host Jock Zonfrillo has died at the age of 46, his family said in a message on Monday.
Zonfrillo, a Scottish-Australian father of four who was a judge on the popular TV cooking competition, was found dead by police in Melbourne in the early hours of Monday.
“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,” his family said in a statement on social media.
“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.”
No cause of death was given but Victoria state police said the death was not being treated as suspicious.
Police said they were preparing a report for the coroner.
MasterChef Australia broadcaster Network 10 and production house Endemol Shine Australia said they were “deeply shocked” at his sudden death.
“Talented and with plenty of grit”, Zonfrillo — born in Glasgow to an Italian father and a Scottish mother — was heavily influenced by his parents’ cultures, they said.
“Jock’s charisma, wicked sense of humour, generosity, passion and love for food and his family cannot be measured. He will be greatly missed.”
Scottish-born Australian rock star Jimmy Barnes said on social media he had lost a “dear friend”.
“Jock was like a brother to me and we made each other laugh and cry. My heart goes out to his family.”
MasterChef will not be airing this week following Zonfrillo’s death.