Guest Quiz Master: Darren Badenhorst

This month’s quiz was specially created by Darren and focuses on South African food and wine. See how familiar you are with the culinary traditions from South Africa!

Guest Quiz Master: Darren Badenhorst, Executive Chef

Location: South Africa, Grande Provence Heritage Wine Estates

Darren’s Bio:

Having spent most of his life in Durban practically growing up in the ocean, spear fishing and free driving, Darren gained an appreciation for food flavours and textures at an early age.

After a stint studying marketing, Darren soon realised his true passion and enrolled at the prestigious Christina Martin School of Food and Wine in KwaZulu-Natal. Upon graduating, Darren worked as an Executive Chef at the Benguerra Lodge in Mozambique. In 2006 a tropical cyclone hit the lodge and the only building left standing was the kitchen. Stranded for over a week with no food or water, he managed to feed the locals with what he had including crustaceans he took from the sea. This stage in his career must surely count as a one of his most challenging kitchen experiences.

Darren is particularly proud of one of his early career achievements, when he was appointed the youngest executive chef within the international Three Cities Hotel Group. Never one to let his relatively young age deter him from triumphing at the very top of his profession, even as an already accomplished executive chef, Darren was still able to qualify for the international San Pellegrino Young Chef awards. He was the only Franschhoek chef to make the Top 10 Africa and Middle East regional finals in 2015 and one of seven South Africans.

A move to Cape Town – widely held as South Africa’s food capital – saw his knowledge and experience for wine appreciation grow into an absolute skill for marrying great food and wine: “Wine is a big part of my food ethos. If you can form a truly great pairing with wine and food by sculpting the underlying characteristics stemming from the growing and production of the wine, then you really are achieving something special.”

Since joining Grande Provence as Executive Chef in 2012, Darren has garnered three of the four consecutive American Express Platinum Fine Dining Awards bestowed on The Restaurant. Recognition indeed for his dedication to create a unique dining experience and sensory adventure for his guests.

Book It: Check out our South Africa Highlights we can arrange for you to stop by Grande Provence or a number of other amazing culinary hot spots while you visit the Winelands.

Take our Africa Geography Quiz from last month and test your knowledge of the different countries in Africa, can you score a 10 out of 10?!

Chris Laskey

Chris comes from a different background than most in the travel industry. Before joining AAC he worked for 10 years in the endurance sports industry managing, marketing, directing and participating in endurance sports such as marathons, triathlons, cycling events and more. Many of these multi-faceted events included planning travel for both professional athletes and securing travel relationships for the weekend warriors who participated. Chris has managed to travel to six of the seven continents around the world and found a passion for Africa when his first trip to the continent took him to Namibia.

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