Jock Zonfrillo will be in conversation with Alex Sloan on Jock's new book Last Shot, a coming-of-age memoir of addiction, ambition and redemption in the high-stakes world of Michelin star kitchens.
While MasterChef fans have fallen in love with the show's suave, handsome Scottish judge, life hasn't always been smooth-sailing for Jock. His life spiralled out of control when he tried heroin for the first time as a teenager while growing up in 1980s Glasgow. For years he balanced a career as a rising star amongst legendary chefs with a crippling drug addiction.
Jock made his way to London looking for work and found himself in front of the legendary Marco Pierre White. Jock credits White for saving his life, but Jock continued to struggle with addiction in a world of excess, celebrity, and cut-throat ambition.
On New Year's Eve 1999, Jock shot up his last ever dose of heroin before boarding a plane to Sydney, where he would find passion and new meaning in life in the most unexpected places. There would be more struggles ahead, including two failed marriages, the closure of his award-winning Adelaide restaurant Orana during COVID-19, his time on-country, and some very public battles. Jock Zonfrillo's powerful life story will both shock and inspire.
Jock Zonfrillo was born in Glasgow to an Italian father and Scottish mother. His formative years were heavily influenced by his respective cultures. Attracted to the dynamic and competitive kitchens of London, he worked alongside top chefs like Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsay and David Cavalier.
Jock eventually moved to Adelaide and in 2013 opened Restaurant Orana , a fine-dining experience designed to acknowledge Indigenous culture through food. Jock hosted Nomad Chef on The Discovery Channel, a show which led an exploration into the Indigenous cultures and cuisine of some of the most remote communities on earth. He appeared in the MasterChef Australia kitchen as a guest chef across three seasons and in late 2019 Jock was announced as one of the new MasterChef Australia judges alongside Andy Allen and Melissa Leong.
Jock is married to businesswoman Lauren Zonfrillo. They live in Melbourne with their two young children, Alfie and Isla.
Alex Sloan AM, the 2017 Canberra Citizen of the Year, is a regular conversationalist for ANU Meet the Author events. Alex is a Director and Deputy Chair of Australia's progressive think-tank, The Australia Institute, Director of The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust where she is Regional Director of the ACT Selection Committee and Director and Deputy Chair of the ACT Writers Centre.
In accordance to the current COVID-19 guidelines in the ACT, attendees may have to wear masks to attend the event. Attendees are requested to review and follow ACT Health guidelines before attending the event.
This event is in association with Harry Hartog Bookshop. Books will be available for purchase on the evening in the Cultural Centre foyer. Pre-event book signings will be available from 5.30pm, and available again after the event until 7.30pm.
A bar will be open from 5.30pm in the Kambri Cultural Centre lobby for drinks preceding the conversation.