Tasting Australia Programming Director
Born in Scotland to an Italian and Scottish family, Jock Zonfrillo’s formative years were heavily influenced by his respective cultures. Both had a genuine respect of seasonality and understanding of the land.
Zonfrillo’s culinary journey began in country house hotels of Scotland but the buzz and excitement of London soon lured him south. He quickly settled under the wing of industry legend Marco Pierre White at his eponymous restaurant in Knightsbridge. Here Zonfrillo earned the respect of his peers, supporting the maestro in achieving a third Michelin star.
Driven by a need to reconnect with the land, Zonfrillo then moved to Kent to work with David Cavalier at Michelin starred Chapter One before welcoming a complete sea change and moving to Sydney. After a year at Restaurant 41, Zonfrillo returned to the UK working again for Marco Pierre White before joining the opening team at The Pharmacy by artist Damien Hirst – a restaurant that received international acclaim for its cutting-edge cuisine.
Still, a head chef post at Restaurant 41 was enough to draw Zonfrillo back to Australia where he had developed a strong interest in traditional ingredients and cooking methods. He worked in various roles until he eventually opened his own venture, Restaurant Orana.
Restaurant Orana is recognised globally as Zonfrillo’s masterpiece, one that celebrates indigenous Australian culinary history, and has earned the chef great accolades. Most recently Restaurant Orana was named Australia’s Best Restaurant by Gourmet Traveller for 2018 while Zonfrillo was recognised as Hottest Chef 2017 by The Australian.
Few people know and appreciate real Australian native produce as well as Zonfrillo. Underpinning his restaurant interests lies Zonfrillo’s greatest passion: his not-for-profit The Orana Foundation. The Foundation is inspired by the first Australians and their unique relationship with the land and sophisticated knowledge of traditional food culture. It was borne out of the experience and ideals of Restaurant Orana, and his long-term relationship and ground-breaking partnerships with remote indigenous communities.