Jamie Oliver 'in shock' after waking up to news of Masterchef star Jock Zonfrillo's death

The British celebrity chef took to Instagram just hours before the 46-year-old's death was revealed.

British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver says he is in "total shock" as he paid tribute to MasterChef Australia judge Jock Zonfrillo following his sudden death overnight on Sunday.

Oliver worked with the 46-year-old on this year's MasterChef series, saying he had "the best time" with Zonfrillo.

"I can’t tell how good it was to work with him! Jock was very generous to me with his time and spirit in the show and for that I was really grateful," he said, after waking to the tragic news.

"Jock will be so very missed…I can’t believe I’m writing this…….Sending heart felt love and condolences to all of his family, friends and his second family the master chef team and contestants."

Jamie Oliver posted about 'new bud' Jock Zonfrillo unaware of his death

It comes after Oliver had earlier shared a tragic post to social media hours before the news of Zonfrillo's death was made public.

The Scottish-Australian chef was found dead at 2am Monday morning at an address on Melbourne’s famous Lygon Street, after police were called to perform a welfare check.

Oliver was oblivious to the tragic revelation of the 46-year-old's passing, as he took to Instagram to promote the series' launch on Monday night on Channel 10.

Oliver shared a selfie of the MasterChef judges to his Instagram hours before the news of Zonfrillo's death was confirmed. Source: Instagram
Oliver shared a selfie of the MasterChef judges to his Instagram hours before the news of Zonfrillo's death was confirmed. Source: Instagram

The world-famous chef is appearing in the show's 15th series as a guest judge, and branded Jock and fellow judges Andy Allen and Melissa Leong his "new buds" as he shared a selfie of the four of them together smiling on set. Zonfrillo is pictured taking the photo with Oliver's arm around his shoulder.

Fans took to Oliver's earlier post in disbelief over the news. "This is the most shocking news I’ve heard in such a long time," one person wrote.

Zonfrillo himself had taken to Instagram to promote the show the day of his death, promising a series of secrets and surprises with Oliver.

Channel 10 has confirmed the show will not air this week in the wake of Zonfrillo's death.

Tributes pour in for 'great human'

Tributes have since flooded in for the Glasgow-born chef, with fellow celebrity chef Colin Fassnidge saying he has been "floored" by the devastating news.

Former MasterChef contestant Dulan Hapuarachchi described Zonfrillo as a "great human".

"Give back more than you take’ [was] the last thing he ever told me. Rest in peace Mate we will miss you!” he said.

Zonfrillo’s family confirmed his death in a post on Instagram.

“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," they wrote, asking for privacy at this time.

He is survived by his third wife, Lauren Fried, and his four children, Alfie, Isla, Ava and Sophie.

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