Aboard the Aqua Blu, each meal is an adventure of its own. With remarkable cuisine curated by renowned chef Benjamin Cross, the dining experience promises inspiring food, drawing inspiration from Indonesian, European and Mediterranean palettes. For our expeditions, Chef Cross has crafted over 160 recipes, incorporating a variety of Indonesia’s spices and flavors, and allowing diners to go on a culinary journey of the region.
Hailing from a small village from Australia, Chef Benjamin Cross began his career over 20 years ago at the award-winning Byron Bay boutique hotel and restaurant Rae’s on Watego’s. He honed his craft under some of the top icons of Australian cuisine: Janni Kyritsis from the former MG Garage, and Neil Perry as part of the re-opening team of XO. Later, Cross went on to become a Sous Chef for Rockpool in Sydney.
Over the years, Cross has also made his presence felt in the USA and Spain at Tom Colicchio’s Craft in New York, Seamus Mullen’s Tertullia New York, and Santi Santamaria’s three-Michelin star restaurant Can Fabes in Sant Celoni, Catalonia.
Sample dishes created by Chef Benjamin Cross for Aqua Blu include:
In May 2008, Chef Cross relocated to Bali after a spontaneous holiday on the way to Barcelona left him mesmerized by the people, culture, and food. He first brought his brand of magic to the legendary Ku de Ta, then set up Mejekawi, a fine-dining concept under the same brand in 2013. Five years later, Ben ventured out on his own to open Hank’s Pizza & Liquor, Fishbone Local, Mason, and The Back Room with BHG (Brett Hospitality Group) as Co-Owner and Executive Chef.
His restaurants frequently top the list of the island’s best restaurants, which has become considered a food mecca. Cross attributes this to his food ethos, which is unpretentious and simple, based on top-quality produce and the ability to let the ingredients speak for themselves.
Aboard the Aqua Blu, Chef Cross will present highlights including the 48-hour beef short rib rendang, Balinese suckling pig with bumbu Bali (Balinese spices), organic Javanese prawns marinated in fragrant oil and lime, and his personal favorite, freshly handline-caught fish grilled with Balinese sambal.
Chef Cross has also curated an exclusive vegan menu for Aqua Blu, ensuring that everyone can partake in Aqua’s world-class dining experience. The menu is purely founded on natural ingredients, steering clear of synthetic and processed vegan alternatives.
Join us on Aqua Blu for exclusive chef-hosted departures from 10th – 17th August and experience the following unique activities:
- Customized Market Tours: Travel with our Chef to local markets to learn about locally grown and harvested ingredients – so essential to the freshness of our dishes.
- Master Cooking Class: Attend a cooking class or a kitchen tour hosted by our Chef as he walks you through his secrets of recipe planning, preparation and execution.
- Interactive Q&A with the Chef: Find out how the dynamic international food scene is transforming the way our Chef designs his latest visions of culinary creativity.
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