KU DE TA TOP 5
KU DE TA, Bali's iconic dining destination for the past decade, would like to introduce you to their latest superstar team who are behind the venue's phenomenal dining experience. A team of 3 renowned chefs, together with a talented Bar Manager and dedicated Restaurant Manager, work tirelessly to manage 350 employees to ensure that each and every one of KU DE TA's 1000 daily visitors leaves with a memorable experience. These personalities have been highly trained at some of the best restaurants and hotels around the world and constitute an amazing collective pool of talent under one roof, a rarity in Bali's dining scene.
Together with KU DE TA's 350 employees, the team includes:
Hailing from a small village of Eltham, 30 minutes outside Byron Bay, Chef Ben began his career at the award winning ‘Rae’s on Watego’s’ Byron Bay. Since then he has travelled around the world and worked for a number of prestigious restaurants to feed his love for different kinds of cuisine.
Chef Ben has most notably honed his skills in the kitchens of household names such as Janni Kyritsis from former MG Garage and Neil Perry, as part of the re-opening team of XO and as Executive Sous Chef of Rockpool. Ben also did small stints at Tom Colicchio’s Craft in New York an Santi Santamaria’s three-Michelin star restaurant, Can Fabes in Sant Celoni. In May 2008 he came to join KU DE TA, and after being in second command for five years, in summer 2013 Chef Ben takes the helm at KU DE TA kitchen.
Bringing innovative techniques styles and cuisines from his travels around the world to KU DETA and the newly opened Mejekawi tasting kitchen and laboratory, Chef Ben is determined to bring KU DE TA and Mejekawi to the next level and placing culinary excellence at the fore. Chef Ben loves the challenge of cooking for so many people on a daily basis as well as continuously collaborating on re-inventing menus different dining programs and concepts.
Chef Ben takes great pride in being able to share in creating a memorable dining experience and hopes diners’ palates will be excited by the food he lovingly serves at KU DE TA and Mejekawi.
British-born Chef Stephen Moore has cooked in some of the world's best fine dining restaurants, hotels and resorts for more than 20 years. Stephen first got into cooking when he was in primary school and it has become a way of life for him ever since. His culinary career began in Perigord, France, followed by stints in Switzerland and the UK. Stephen's gastronomic skills were further honed in New Zealand and Australia, most notably Park Hyatt restaurants in Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney. His role as Sous Chef at Rockpool gave him a priceless opportunity to work with and learn from the iconic Chef Neil Perry, which was then followed with a change of scenery when he relocated to New Delhi, India to work for the luxurious Aman Resorts.
Stephen's extensive culinary experience also includes 6 months with 3-Michelin star restaurant El Raco De Can Fabes in Barcelona, Spain with the late Santi Santamaria. Most recently he was based in Sydney, Australia where, together with acclaimed Chef Ross Lusted, he helmed The Bridge Room, during which it was awarded two Chef's Hats in the Sydney Good Food Guide.
Spending time all around the world working in exotic and obscure places has helped him form a food philosophy that is not only technique and produce-driven, but also holds great respect for local food culture. Bringing his global influences to KU DE TA as Head Chef, Stephen will work together with Executive Chef Ben Cross to create dishes of the very highest quality and innovation for both KU DE TA and Mejekawi.
Chef Goldfarb discovered a love for cooking while working as a waiter while at Duke University. His passion developed rapidly and he opted out of law school to pursue life on the streets of Paris. Now regarded as the 'Golden Boy' of pastry, he has worked with Ferran Adria, Tetsuya Wakuda, and Masaharu Morimoto. In 2006, he opened the critically acclaimed Room 4 Dessert in New York offering avant garde desserts with cocktail and wine pairings. Chef Goldfarb was one of the 10 Best Pastry Chefs in America by Pastry Art and Design, and was a James Beard nominee for Best Pastry Chef in America.
Chef Goldfarb just returned from Lugano, Switzerland presenting at the inaugural Art and Pastry conference. This season he has featured at the Jakarta Culinary Festival, as well as the Miele Gala for Asia's Top 20 restaurants. The most recent book to feature his desserts is the epic Love.Food.Book by the designer Emilie Baltz. Just last year, Chef Goldfarb was identified in Lisa Abend's book, The Sorcerer's Apprentices, as one of the finest chefs to pass through the El Bulli kitchen.
Now residing in Bali, he directs the pastry program at KU DE TA and Mejekawi. He brings with him a fanatical attention to detail and aesthetics, a boundless curiosity in developing new techniques and interest in the purity of flavours in his dishes. His brand of cuisine blends the finest elements of cutting -edge gastronomy with traditional techniques and flavours. Counting new opening Mejekawi tasting kitchen and laboratory, Chef Goldfarb oversees a team of 16 to complement Chef Ben Cross' menu, hoping to provide diners with a sweet and satisfying end to an already outstanding experience at KU DE TA.
As Restaurant Manager, Juri Menicucci has operational and directional responsibilities of KU DE TA and the newly opened Mejekawi tasting kitchen and laboratory, including management of staff and food and beverage operations. Juri’s passion and interest for food and hospitality developed at the young age of seven, when he started cooking with his grandmother at her restaurant. He began his career in 1998, working in Michelin star restaurant Zafferano Restaurant for four years. In 2002, he worked in Wildfire restaurant.
Throughout his career, Juri has been recognized for his dedication to exceptional service and his contribution to the restaurants he worked in, garnering many professional achievements and accolades. Amongst them, the Wine Spectator “Award of Excellence” for KU DE TA two years in a row, and for Zafferano Restaurant in London, Restaurant & Catering Association New South Wales “Wine List of the Year” for Wildfire restaurant and Australian Liquor Industry Awards “Best New Venue” for Hugos Manly, are the ones Juri hold closest to his heart.
For his current role as Restaurant Manager, Juri is keen to impart his own service philosophy to members of the team and believes in building good relationships with the guests while having fun on the job. More importantly, he hopes to deliver a worldwide Michelin standard of service, which is friendly, personal but very professional for guests to enjoy a pleasant dining experience.
When asked what he hopes diners will leave feeling from their experience at KU DE TA and Mejekawi, his reply is simple and sincere “I would like our customers to feel like they had a fine dining experience, but with the best and most friendly service, like they just had dinner at my house.”
A native of South Africa, Bruce Bartholomew has received his hospitality training from renowned and award-winning restaurants and bars in London.
Bruce managed restaurant and bar openings for Zeta Bar, Hakkasan and Kabaret’s Prophecy in London. In 2005, he joined HIX Soho and deemed his time there as one of the most invaluable of all his restaurant experiences. Already well-seasoned in opening restaurants for others, he ventured out to set up his very own establishment in 2006 called ‘Pinchito’, which was voted the best cocktail bar in England just one year later.
As KU DE TA’s Bar Manager, Bruce continues to be inspired by local produce found in Bali and makes a conscientious effort to promote them in his cocktail menu at KU DE TA and the newly opened Mejekawi. His philosophy is to extract the best and truest flavours out of the simplest of ingredients but also to maintain the fine balance of flavours without overpowering his overall concoctions. He employs molecular and other modern techniques to invent truly unique creations which continue to impress KU DE TA’s well-travelled guests.
At KU DE TA and Mejekawi, he encourages an additional level of personality and creativity in his bartenders. With his dedication to creating exceptional personalized service and delicious cocktails, he hopes to provide guests with a memorable experience that will incite them to visit again soon.