Darren Badenhorst

Darren Badenhorst

Trained at Christina Martin School of Food and Wine in Kwazulu-Natal, before working as the executive chef of Benguerra Lodge in Mozambique. Worked in the kitchens of various Three Cities hotels, and became the youngest executive chef in the hotel group.

Executive chef of The Restaurant at Grande Provence in Franschhoek before opening Le Coin Français in October 2017, which has garnered numerous awards in its short tenure, including best restaurant in the Cape Winelands 2018 from Restaurant Week; the Plated award for exceptional cuisine 2018/2019 from The Gourmet Guide; and awards for best heritage restaurant, best French cuisine, best luxury restaurant and best romantic atmosphere at the Haute Grandeur Global Restaurant Awards 2018/2019. It also earned 14th place in the Eat Out top 20 Restaurants in the country in 2018/19.

Current Owner-chef at Le Coin Français in Franschhoek

Restaurants he rates in 2019

For a casual meal Genki Sushi Bar & Japanese Tapas in Stellenbosch. Amazing variety and fresh produce in a casual and buzzing small town courtyard. Try the prawn tempura.
For a special occasion La Petite Colombe. We dine there once a month, world-class cuisine in a beautiful environment.
For a guilty pleasure Marigold Authentic Indian’s “curry in a hurry” for sure! It takes me back to my Durban roots.
For a Winelands experience Chef Eric Bulpitt has recently taken over the restaurant at Pierneef à La Motte and is doing incredible food. I have always highly rated him as one of the country’s best chefs. It is wonderful to see his style and skills being embraced by a spectacular winelands property.
For authentic cuisine Marigold Authentic Indian without a doubt! The authenticity and depth of flavour Vani [Padayachee] achieves is a thing of beauty. I eat there at least once a week.
Best new restaurant Protégé is a great new addition to the Franschhoek dining scene. Bold small plates with sophistication of a fine-dining establishment.
Best “oldie but goodie” Planet Bar at Belmond Mount Nelson is always a grand occasion. Beautiful gardens and architecture are always a plus.
The best restaurant overall Foliage. Always a fun environment and delicious powerful flavours. Try the BBQ and smoked brisket, it will change your life.

Restaurants he rated in 2018

For a casual meal Chefs Warehouse & Canteen on Bree Street
For a special occasion Azure Restaurant at Twelve Apostles
For a healthy meal Nourish’d
For a quick bite Jason Bakery
For a Winelands experience Faber at Avondale
The best restaurant overall La Colombe