Benjamin Cross

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 an exclusive chef-hosted departure from 10th – 17th August and experience the following unique activities:


Cooking Masterclass: Watch Chef Cross prepare two of his signature takes on traditional East Indonesian dishes – Balinese fish cakes and sambal matah. If you wish, note down the recipe secrets and recreate the dishes once you return home after your Aqua Blu expedition.  


Chef-Hosted Dinner: Join Chef Cross for a family-style dinner where you’ll have the opportunity to find out more about East Indonesia’s culinary scene and how it has evolved over the years.  


Kitchen Tour: Get a behind-the-scenes look at the kitchen on board Aqua Blu, where our cooks prepare the world-class cuisine which accompanies our East Indonesian expeditions.

Chef Hosted Departures - Benjamin Cross
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10 Aug 202417 Aug 2024Loading...KOMODO NATIONAL PARK (LBJ) - BALI (DPS)7
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10 Aug 2024 - 17 Aug 2024  |  7 Nights
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