Jacqui Way

Jock Zonfrillo has announced Restaurant Orana will not be reopening.

The chef and MasterChef Australia judge took to Instagram to announce the closure of his Adelaide restaurant.

“Like all of my hospo mates around the world, COVID closed our doors,” said the chef. “For us, with our lease ending in a couple of months and the current restrictions meaning we can’t break even, our closure has become permanent.

“As we packed up our little restaurant back in March, with ex-staff coming in to help out the team, we had no idea how long this thing would last for, none of us thought it would mean the end.

“With the uncertainty of tourism and hospitality it’s not the right time for Orana 2.0 so the plans we had started discussing have been put on ice.”

Over its seven-year lifespan, Orana scooped up a number of awards and secured three hats.

But Zonfrillo says it’s not the last time you’ll see him in the restaurant realm.

“My journey doesn’t stop here – I’ll continue trying to make a difference through food projects outside of the restaurant,” said the chef. “And while these may be uncertain times they need to be a time of understanding, tolerance, and positivity for our industry and I’ll do whatever I can to help.”

The news comes after the launch of The Indigenous Food Database last week; an initiative spearheaded by The Orana Foundation, which commissioned The University of Adelaide as a research partner.

The project was majority funded by a funding deed with the South Australia Government, with additional donations from philanthropists.

According to a media release: the database “has seen 1,443 ingredients compiled together for the first time from published literature on Indigenous uses, specific scientific knowledge, and species bioclimatic envelope information that has been outputted as maps on where to find them in Australia”.

The release also states the Database will be handed over to an Indigenous entity, which will be the custodian of the database once the database’s findings are approved by Indigenous intellectual property lawyers Dr Terri Janke and Company.

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