Darren Badenhorst

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    CRUSH CHATS TO Darren Badenhorst

    Executive Chef, Grande Provence Restaurant, Franschhoek

    Crush creates a series called Chefs & Music, in which we pair a chef with a local SA band. The chefs create dishes based on the song they picked.

    The Dish: Warm Vanilla, Coconut and Tonka Bean Sago

    The song: Smiling by Monark


    When listening to the song and based on the title, you would think that the song has a happier tone, but in fact, it is rather about the underlying layers and emotions of the age old story of two people and different relationships. I played on the opening lines “under the covers” firstly, by creating a dessert that encompasses two aspects of warmth and cold and essentially putting one under a cover. The top layer is the bright, floral, playful and attractive saffron ice cream with dried wild flowers which is what people see first.  Once you break through the cover, which is a champagne and lime gel disk you find the comforting, rich and warm coconut and Tonka bean sago which is covered with edible gold to romanticise the ingredient. This was my play on the two aspects of the song – what you see is not always what you get. The music video also assisted with this inspiration as it depicts sacrifice and commitment over one’s own best interest – this is reflected in the dessert as the agar gel disk is the buffer between the hot and cold elements and without this ‘cover’ the two elements could not co-exist.



    MonArk are changing the face of pop music in South Africa. Vocalist, Eugene Coetzer’s uniquely characterful voice and polished, distinctive falsetto is backed by Ewald Jansen van Rensberg’s global production style. MonArk craft songs rich in meaning with soul stirring hooks. Performing as a 4-piece band, MonArk deliver something completely fresh and unique and are setting trends and stirring up tastes in the South African music landscape. MonArk released their latest album in July 2014 and it peaked at number 1 on the iTunes Album Chart on its release day.



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