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Chef's Corner: Benjamin Cross, Executive Chef of Aqua Blu


Benjamin Cross, Executive Chef on board Aqua Blu, talks to BOAT about cooking on board the 60m superyacht

Once a British Naval Explorer known as the HMS Beagle, Aqua Blu was transformed into a 60-metre luxury yacht in 2002. Following another refit this year she has now joined the Aqua Expeditions adventure fleet and will be cruising in Indonesia.

Australian-born chef Benjamin Cross will be working on board the 60-metre yacht Aqua Blu as she cruises around Indonesia.

Australian-born chef Benjamin Cross has been named as the new Executive Chef on board Aqua Blu. Cross will be using his wealth of experience, which included working at Santi Santamaria’s three-Michelin-starred Can Fabes, to set the culinary standards on board the yacht that can be booked per-cabin or for standalone charters. Currently at the helm of his own restaurant in Bali, BOAT spoke to the chef to find out more about the challenges of stepping from shore to sea.

A Yellowfin Tuna Tartare dished up by Benjamin Cross.

I am most excited about the travel. One of the main reasons for becoming a chef was because of the travel opportunities and places I could go within my career, so taking on this role is right in line with why I do what I do.

I think the biggest challenge of working on board a yacht will be the access to produce. I guess being in land you can have anything at any time compared to being at sea. For example, at the moment for our fish restaurant here in Bali we buy directly from sustainable fish importers due to the freshness and high standards they practice. But I am working with some unique produce that is native to only those areas.

Benjamin Cross loves cooking dishes on hot coals, such as his charcoal-grilled black cod with sambal & kaffir lime.

The strangest request I have ever had was a customer asking for a steak to be medium in the middle and rarer on the outside. I thought he was joking, but he was actually being serious.

My favourite way to cook is on hot coals. I love cooking with fire and the flavours it adds to most ingredients!

Aqua Blu is available to charter with Camper & Nicholsons and her weekly charter rate starts from $258,000 for up to 30 guests.