On April 30, MasterChef Australia: Secrets and Surprises judge Jock Zonfrillo died suddenly. The chef was only 46 years old. Now, Network 10 has slammed claims that they are already in the process of selecting the chef who will replace Jock on MasterChef Australia 2024.
“Casting for the next season of MasterChef Australia has not commenced. To suggest otherwise is completely false and misleading,” a spokesperson for Network 10 told news.com.au.
Network 10, MasterChef Australia production company Endemol Shine, and Zonfrillo’s family confirmed the late chef’s passing.
In a joint statement released just hours before the new season was set to premiere, they said: “We are devastated to share that Jock passed away yesterday.”
“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,” the statement read.
“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.”
MasterChef Australia: Secrets and Surprises was immediately pulled from the schedule. It then premiered a week later, with the full support of Zonfrillo’s family.
It’s a bittersweet season to watch. The hopeful home cooks who are living their dreams are a joy as always, but many fans and viewers have found it hard to watch Zonfrillo in the wake of his death.
Who Will Replace Jock on MasterChef Australia?
Recently, the Daily Mail published an article claiming that the search for Jock Zonfrillo’s replacement was on.
The article claimed that former MasterChef contestants Dan Churchill and Hayden Quinn, as well as Poh Ling Yeow, were being eyed as potential judges for MasterChef Australia 2024.
Network 10 has denied this, and stated that they haven’t begun the casting process for the 2024 series.
The news of Zonfrillo’s death is still very fresh, so it’s unlikely that there will be any announcements around who will replace him in the near future.
Zonfrillo first joined MasterChef as a judge in 2019, along with Melissa Leong and Andy Allen. The trio was a brand new panel of judges for the series, replacing longtime judges Matt Preston, George Calombaris and Gary Mehigan.
Want more MasterChef Australia? Read all our content here, and check out the stories below:
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- Alice Is a Gifted Academic, But Will She Win ‘MasterChef Australia’ 2023?
- Cath Is Ready to Make Her Culinary Dreams Come True on ‘MasterChef’
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- Step Inside the Historic Melbourne Space Where ‘MasterChef Australia’ Is Filmed