‘He burns people and moves on’: Marco Pierre White and other chefs reveal what Masterchef judge is Jock Zonfrillo is REALLY like
He’s the Scottish-born celebrity chef who joined Masterchef judging panel in 2019.
And as Jock Zonfrillo celebrates turning 45, some of his nearest and dearest have weighed in what he is really like behind the scenes.
British chef Marco Pierre White, who worked with Zonfrillo in the 1990s has said ‘Jock is not a bad man.’
Weighing in: Masterchef Australia judge Jock Zonfrillo, 45, (pictured) has been described as a ‘famous bullsh*t artist who ‘burns people and moves on’ in his new memoir
Zonfrillo mentions White 159 times in his new memoir, Last Shot, and refers to him as ‘a father figure’ who ‘saved my life’.
Speaking to The Sydney Morning Herald about his former protégé on Saturday, White said: ‘[Jock] has a natural intellect and he’s very nice.’
Playing down Jock’s praise for him, White jokingly added: ‘The only problem is that almost everything he has written about me is untrue.’
Straight from the chef’s mouth! According to British chef Marco Pierre White (pictured) who worked with Jock in the 1990s, ‘Jock is not a bad man’. ‘He has a natural intellect and he’s very nice,’ he said of the Scotsman
Meanwhile, Zonfrillo hasn’t been afraid to speak about the less-than-positive feedback he’s received from former colleagues over the years.
In Last Shot, Zonfrillo – who struggled with an addiction to heroine in his earlier career – quotes a former college claiming: ‘Nothing Jock says is plausible’, while another described him as a ‘famous bullsh*t artist’ who ‘burns people and moves on’.
Jock moved from the UK to Australia in the year 2000, began using heroine at the age of 15, just as he was starting out at restaurants.
Struggles: Jock, who moved from the UK to Australia in 2000, began using smack at the age of 15, just as he was starting out at restaurants. Pictured with his wife Lauren
The Channel 10 star previously revealed that his addiction almost ended his culinary career before it even started.
Speaking to The Australian Women’s Weekly in March, Zonfrillo described himself as a ‘high functioning’ addict who was ‘always in the kitchen on time, ready to work’.
However, everything changed when he didn’t show up one day and was fired from his job.
Second chance: After being sacked from a restaurant at the age of 17, Jock got a second chance in London when White gave him a job at the Hyde Park Hotel
‘I was high functioning. I was always in the kitchen on time, ready to work. Except this one time during my apprenticeship… when I turned up for work four days late. In hindsight, I was lucky to be alive,’ the Scotsman said.
After being sacked at the age of 17, Jock was given a second chance when he packed his bags, headed to London and knocked on the door of the Hyde Park Hotel.
Jock said he was then offered a ‘life-saving job’ by Marco Pierre.
‘Marco was amazing because he understood what was going on with me as a young man,’ Jock said.
‘People were very quick to judge a drug addict. He didn’t. I was on my last chance, there’s no doubt about it, but he treated me exactly the same as everybody else.’
Star: Jock pictured with Masterchef judges Melissa Leong (centre) and Andy Allen (right)