One on One with The Great One – Ben McRae, Executive Chef at Bisma Eight
Bisma Eight, Ubud, and their rooftop restaurant Copper Kitchen & Bar is excited to announce the arrival of new Executive Chef, Ben McRae. Aussie born McRae joins the Bisma Eight family and headlines an authentic, ethical and inspired rotating menu with roots deep in the local soil that will see Copper Kitchen become the number one destination for foodies in Indonesia.
McRae brings over 18 years experience to the kitchen from a diverse background at some ofthe world’s ﬁnest dining institutions. Chef Ben can count Iguacu Restaurant, Auckland, and Thailands prestigious Issaya Group as previous residence, though most recently, theTravel+Leisure Magazine accredited, ‘World’s best resort’ Nihiwatu, were privy to his culinary delights.
How did you get into cooking?
My mother was a chef, when I was a kid I was helping her out for pocket money, so I decided to leave school and went to culinary school instead
What ingredients do you like to play with?
Anything that’s fresh and local: jerusalem artichoke, raw fish
Give us a few tips or techniques?
Be good to your mother!
What do you love about our organic farm, The Gardens?
It’s great having our own farm and knowing where our produce is coming from
Top 3 recommended menu from Copper?
Prawn and crab ravioli, dashi shoyu, nori crumb, prawn oil and angel hair seaweed house-made gnocchi, truffled jerusalem artichoke, garlic confit, gruyere and cream charred pineapple with thai basil and a lemon, chili and ginger granite
The best meal you’ve ever had in your entire life or your favorite food memory?
A dinner in Faro, Portugal, in a small coastal seafood village. It reminded me of my mother’s or grandmother’s cooking, nothing beats that! My favorite food memory would be my mum’s Sunday roast lamb. The family would always fight over who got the knuckle bone
What do you think is the most underrated ethnic food right now?
Middle eastern cuisine such as Lebanese or Moroccan, it is amazing food when done right
How do you keep getting inspired?
Eating out, following chefs’ pages, creating new recipes, experimenting with seasonal produce
Your favorite kitchen equipment/gadget?
My hand crafted Japanese knives made in Tokyo
What do you like to eat when you’re at home and the last thing you cooked for yourself?
Probably steak, vegetables or salad, I’m lazy at home, I hardly eat at home, I rather go out and eat
What would be your guilty pleasure food?
Any good ice cream will do