Tim Zekki is chef patron of Duende restaurant in Wiveliscombe, Somerset. Tim first started to cook at his father’s restaurant in Cyprus, where he inherited a love of foraging, pickling and preserving from his grandmother.
He developed his skills in restaurants in London, and his love of fine ingredients led him to open and run two delis, in Isleworth and Twickenham, appearing on Gary Rhode’s Local Food Hero on UKTV. After a move to the Chilterns he ran pop up restaurants under the name Duende.
Moving to Somerset meant a chance to settle into a permanent place, where Duende was recognised by Taste of The West, and won Somerset Life’s Best Restaurant in its first year.
Tim sources local, sustainable produce, and often includes wild ingredient in his tasting menus. He enjoys pushing the boundaries of food, such as the challenge of inventing a beef-based dessert course for Exmoor Food Fest’s celebration of beef. He’s been a semi-finalist in the Craft Guild of Chef’s National Chef of the Year in 2020 and 2021.
During Lockdown Tim rose to the challenge of creating 5 course tasting menus for guests to put together at home. He also cooks tasting menus in people’s homes for private events. He is currently a regular chef for events at William Sitwell’s Supper Clubs.