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Chefs & Coffee

Jock Zonfrillo: a chef with a coffee-scented childhood

Published on 06 July 18

 

Born in Scotland into a Scottish-Italian family, Jock Zonfrillo’s unique culinary vision embraces the whole of Australia, from its ancient past, to the present day.

 

His style and philosophy are extremely unique and entirely personal. His cuisine is an ode to the culinary history of Australia, inspired by the Aboriginal traditions. 

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In a world in which change occurs at ever-increasing speed, where everything is conceived of as disposable, Jock upholds the values of tradition.

 

What is tradition? To Jock, it’s the true starting point of any worthy endeavour – especially when it comes to cooking. Tradition unlocks the potential enclosed within every ingredient, highlighting its history and its origins.

 

The secret behind his success is his unique ability to combine this appreciation for the values of heritage with his own definition of creativity: in his words, “creativity means being vulnerable enough to interact within a space or with a product in a way which has previously been unexplored, unappreciated or misunderstood.”    

 

The cornerstone of his restaurant, Orana, is integrity: it permeates everything, from product selection and regard for its origins, to the way business is conducted. This special care, Jock says, provides a deep connection between his work and that of Lavazza. Their partnership was announced on 21 May 2018, and Jock says he can’t wait for their projects to see the light.    

 

“ Italian coffee has style, it has a swagger that you just don’t get from coffee served anywhere else in the world.”

Jock Zonfrillo

Sitting down and enjoying an espresso with us, the talented young chef tells us about his childhood. Growing up, Jock spent a lot of time with his Italian grandfather, and he remembers the staggering quantities of espresso the older men would drink, day after day.

 

Every important event, every meaningful discussion, Jock remembers, was always addressed while drinking coffee: this is why he’s come to the conclusion that all major decisions should only be taken while sipping on a good coffee.

 

The scents that permeate the memories of his childhood in Glasgow are a blend of coffee, freshly-baked focaccia and olives – a fragrance that is part of his DNA, and that leads him to visit Italy at least once a year, every year.

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