Roast Duck with sour cherry sauce PICTURE: Zimbali Fairmont

Passionate and experienced, Chef Tony Kocke is the newly appointed Executive Chef in the culinary field of Fairmont Zimbali Resort and Fairmont Zimbali Lodge. 

Growing up in Germany, Tony spent three-years in Berlin before moving to London in 1985 where he gained invaluable experience as a Commis Chef for The Dorchester Hotel, The Hilton and St James Club.

Chef Tony’s greatest accomplishment came later when he opened his own restaurant in Brandenburg, Germany. It was here that he was awarded a Michelin star for his high standard of quality and exceptional cuisine. After 5 years of owning his own restaurant, he decided to sell Ma Cuisine and move to South Africa, the place that stole his heart a few years before.

He was voted Best Young Chef Garde Manger in South Africa and in 1989 he was awarded the Hudson Knight Chef of the Year award.

He spent 17 years of his career working for a number of different hotels, including The Cullinan and The Beverley Hills Hotel,  before moving to the Fairmont Zimbali Lodge and Fairmont Zimbali Resort where he will oversee eleven kitchens and a seventy-seven member kitchen-brigade.

Tony shared his favourite recipe:  Roast duck with sour cherry sauce


240g Duck breast
1 tin sour cherries
1 tot brandy
6ml port
10g corn starch
60g parnish (peeled and medium diced)
200ml milk
2ml cream
8g salt
8g pepper
20g rainbow carrots
20g sugar snap peas
10g zucchini
50g butter


In a cold pan, place the duck breast-side down, and then turn up the heat. The fat will release slowly. After 4 minutes, when the skin is golden, turn it over and cook in the released duck fat for 9 minutes or until medium.
Drain off the juice from sour cherries. Add the brandy and Port into a heated pot, and then add the sour cherry juice. Cook for 3 minutes and thicken with corn starch.
Boil the parsnip in the milk until soft. Place the parsnip into a cup and blend with a stick blender. Add the cream, salt and pepper, and blitz until you have a smooth parsnip cream.
Boil the rainbow carrots, sugar snap peas and zucchini until soft. Sautè in butter and season.
Lastly, take the rested duck breast and cut into 4 pieces. Dress the plate to your liking.