Ben Massey grew up in Coffs Harbour before beginning his cooking career at age 14 in a hotel in the small town of Coramba.
Later leaving Coffs Harbour for Byron Bay, Ben landed a job at the internationally famous luxury resort Rae’s on Watego’s, where he mastered the delicate balance of Royal Court Thai, Chinese and European cuisines. Ben also began to master specialised dessert techniques and how to effectively work under pressure management.
Cooking for celebrities such as Richard Branson, Elle McPherson, Kid Kenobi and Neil Perry in a kitchen that Ben still claims to this day was “like no other I have ever seen”, he was witness to classic old-school kitchen horror stories of screaming chefs and the throwing of fry-pans as a common occurrence.
At 19 Ben relocated to Fiji, working as Junior Sous Chef leading a brigade of 22 Fijian cooks to open a new resort complex. The following six months consisted of hundreds of hours of labour, extreme working pressure and a fantastic life lesson in “tolerance”.
The next step in Ben’s career led him to Upper and Lower House in Federation Square, Melbourne, working with iconic industry greats such as Michael Lambie, Andrew Neilson and Julian Mann, and a former pastry chef of Marco Pierre White.
Working with chefs of this caliber, Ben learned the elegance of French flavors from Neilson, the simplicity of Italian cooking from Mann, and mastered pastry work that he had never seen before.
From there to Warrenmang Vineyard in Country Victoria (stunning country cuisine meticulously homemade with regional produce and flair), opening brand new venues in Canberra, and finally full circle back to Coffs Harbour. Ben was head-hunted to assist in the management of the kitchen at award-winning Latitude 30 working with the freshest and most magnificent seafood available, straight from the boat, and killed to order.
Now at 30, Ben along with long-time friend and past colleague, Finn Vedelsby, deliver Ben’s unique cooking style to very happy diners at their own venue in the Bendigo CBD, Rocks on Rosalind.
Ben’s cooking style is big, bold and beautiful. Massive flavour, generous portions, lashings of taste. Expect to be king hit by kaiserfleish or cornered by a curry. A little bit old school, a little bit new. Ben doesn’t follow trends, instead he is on a mission to provide flavour, texture and great dining memories.
Ben is excited about his latest venture – the Bendigo Gallery Cafe.