Award-winning chef Tony Kocke to head up MECCE restaurants
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Award-winning chef Tony Kocke has joined Mount Edgecombe Country Club Estate (MECCE) as the executive chef of all its restaurants.
Growing up in Germany, Kocke 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.
Kocke’s greatest accomplishment came 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 five years of owning his own restaurant, he decided to sell Ma Cuisine and move to South Africa, the place that had stolen his heart a few years before.
In his new role at MECCE, Kocke plans to play to his strengths, which includes sourcing the best quality local produce.
“I firmly believe Mother Nature is actually the true chef and that she dictates what food we will create in what she gives us. It is our job to take her products and to make the best food we can possibly make from that. I have always lived like this and cooked like this. This is why I believe in sourcing the best in fresh produce from local suppliers whenever possible.
“Each season we will create a new menu that is relevant to that season, always keeping in mind what produce is available. My goal is to create funky dining rather than focusing on fine dining. I truly want guests to keep coming back to our restaurants because they’ve had an unforgettable food experience,” Kocke said.
Below is a roast duck with sour cherry sauce recipe that Kocke once shared with IOL Lifestyle that you can also try at home.
240g duck breast
1 tin sour cherries
1 tot brandy
10g corn starch
60g parnish (peeled and medium diced)
20g rainbow carrots
20g sugar snap peas
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 cornstarch.
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 it into 4 pieces. Dress the plate to your liking.