Fresh, seasonal local. Somerset Life Restaurant of the Year 2018. Taste of the West Gold award

Local West Country SUPPLIERS

Chef patron Tim Zekki was selected as a Gary Rhodes Local Food Hero back in 2010 in London. He’s continued to use as much fresh, local produce as possible. We have a wealth of great local food here in the West Country, so it’s a lot easier to source than it was in West London and Twickenham. 

The duck for the dish that many customers describe as ‘the best duck they have ever had’, comes from Creedy Carver at Crediton. A very popular lamb dish uses meat from either Westcott Organics just outside Wiveliscombe or local butchers Thorne’s, who have their own farm nearby.

Wagtail Farm on the way to Wellington supply pork and some veg such as squash, whilst other vegetables and salad are from Ray’s veg at Halse, two miles away. Some dairy comes from Hagley Bridge Farm, Waterrow, other cheeses appearing on the cheeseboard are usually Somerset cheeses. 

Fresh fish is delivered by a local supplier direct from Brixham market. There are also local beers from Wiveliscombe, and even a sparkling white wine from Wellhayes vineyard just 4 miles away. 

Sustainability - hate waste

One of the reasons Chef Tim Zekki has decided to go back to tasting menus rather than al a carte is that tasting menus minimise waste.

It’s a strange thing, but we’ve found with tasting menus that people tend to eat everything on their plates - even though they didn’t know what was coming up on each course. It’s also a bonus when people say things like “I didn’t think I liked beetroot - now you’ve changed my mind.”

Obviously with a la carte, preparing lots of different dishes, although Tim is pretty good at predicting how many people will order each dish, there is always food left over. Which is not what we want.

We compost all veg waste. Duende uses high tech kitchen equipment to keep our carbon footprint low. Using local produce, apart from supporting locals, is also a way to minimise emissions.

Why THE NAME duende?

Duende is said to be the hardest Spanish word to translate to English. The meaning is akin to spirit, passion, inspiration – a spontaneous feeling arising in creativity. It’s particularly relevant to the arts that disappear, that are born and die perpetually, like the performance of a dance or a song.

In 2014 Duende started as a pop up restaurant, appearing and disappearing around the Chilterns, so the meaning seemed especially relevant. Duende restaurant has now settled down in a permanent location in Wiveliscombe, Somerset.

"The duende never repeats itself, any more than the waves of the sea do in a storm”

 – Lorca, poet