MasterChef fans divided over rumours of Jamie Oliver replacing Jock Zonfrillo

Jamie Oliver is rumoured to replace Jock Zonfrillo for MasterChef 2024.

MasterChef Australia is due to start filming the 2024 season soon, and a very famous face has been reported to take on the third judging role, replacing Jock Zonfrillo.

British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver is touted to be the man to step into the role, after Jock's shock death earlier this year.

According to Woman’s Day, Jamie has negotiated a $2 million deal to fill Jock’s place, however, it’s believed he hasn’t agreed to permanently take on the role.

Jamie has previously been a guest judge on MasterChef Australia, including on the 2023 season premiere episode.

MasterChef fans, however, are not 100% sold on the potential appointment.

MasterChef's Andy Allen, Melissa Leong, Jamie Oliver, and Jock Zonfrillo on set in 2023
MasterChef's Andy Allen, Melissa Leong, Jamie Oliver, and Jock Zonfrillo. Photo:

'No one can replace Jock'

In a dedicated Facebook group for MasteChef fans, a conversation kicked off about Jamie Oliver's potential involvement, with one fan deeming it as the 'wrong move'.

"Love him, but it needs to be Australian," another person said. "You do realise Jock wasn't Australian?" another person pointed out in rebuttal.

"Not a fan of Jamie taking over the job," another said. "He has an established brand as a British chef. He does not understand regional Asian or Pacific cuisines or Australian Indigenous cuisine. We need an experienced Australian resident chef."

"Jamie and Andy, not good together!" one passionate fan said. "Bring in Julie, the first MasterChef!"


'A great move'

However other fans leapt to Jamie's defence, saying he'd be the perfect person for the job.

"I think it'd be a great move. He is a great example for young cooks to learn from," one person said.

"His personality would fit really well with the fabulous judges we have and I'm sure he will be a good fit for the contestants," another pointed out.

"Jamie is an amazing chef and I think he will do a great job," another fan said.

The late Jock Zonfrillo's and wife Lauren
Jock Zonfrillo's wife Lauren has been keeping his memory alive on Instagram. Photo:

Jamie pays tribute to Jock

Upon finding out about Jock's death earlier this year, Jamie took to social media to pay tribute to his friend and fellow chef,

"We had the best time working together for this year's MasterChef I can’t tell [you] how good it was to work with him!," Jamie said in his post.

"Jock was very generous to me with his time and spirit in the show and for that, I was really grateful…Mellisa, Andy & Jock work as the most inspiring judges and mentors and each has their very own unique view and style…Jock will be so very missed."

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