Ahead of the November 16 inaugural voyage of the Aqua Blu expedition yacht, we are delighted to announce Benjamin Cross as Consulting Chef as the ship explores the seas of East Indonesia!
Born in Australia and based in Bali since 2008, Chef Cross boasts a well-traveled culinary resume. He began his career Down Under, working with Australia’s best culinary talents Neil Perry (Rockpool) and Janni Krystis (MG Garage), before co-founding the award-winning Urbane restaurant in Queensland.
Chef Cross then headed for Spain, where he opened a restaurant and worked in Santi Santamaria’s three-Michelin starred Can Fabes before settling down in Bali. He was appointed Executive Chef of Bali’s premier dining venue Ku De Ta in 2008. In 2013, he opened Mejeakwi, a fine dining establishment before opening three more restaurants, Fishbone Local, Mason, and The Back Room on the Indonesian resort island in 2018.
For Aqua Blu, Chef Cross will create and oversee more than 100 recipes that together showcase a refined journey of flavors from Asia to the Middle East, at the same time reflecting Indonesia’s role as the heart of the global spice trade in the 16th and 17th centuries.
In executing his eclectic culinary vision for the Aqua Blu, Chef Cross will rely on local ingredients sourced primarily from Bali and East Indonesia, including indigenous spices such as nutmeg and cloves as well as a wealth of seafood such as giant Papuan prawns sustainably sourced from the Indonesian seas.
Chef Cross also sees Aqua Blu as an opportunity to create a larger-than-life culinary experience that complements a five-star cruise journey. “Aqua Expeditions regards authentic cuisine as central to the itinerary, which means that the dining experience onboard won’t be just a menu, but a cohesive journey of discovery.”