Five Questions with Steven Skelly Head Chef Da Maria Bali

Bali is only a six hour flight from Sydney and if you’re in Brisbane or Perth even closer, I’ve been on a mission recently to find out what spots are a must visit in Bali and our first pick is the delicious Italian inspired Da Maria in Badung. We chatted to head chef Steven Skelly and got the low down on what the inspiration is behind the name and food on offer.

1. Where does the name Da Maria originate from?

Da Maria began as a Maurice Terzini idea, that myself and Isabella Rowell brought to life. Maurice’s vision was super clear which made this such a pleasure to be a part of. It was a huge learning curve and we are all so proud of it. The name was one of a few names proposed but the idea was always the important part.

2. You encourage food sharing when people are dining, what inspires this?

We always wanted to create a casual, family experience that allows guests to experience as much of the menu as possible.

3. Your food isn’t just beautiful to look at it is also absolutely delicious where do you find inspiration?

Traditionally Italian food can be super rich and often heavy. I am very conscious of the climate in Bali and was terrified of people rolling out of here, stuffed and sleepy! We have developed a very light and modern style that suits Bali and you can eat every day.

4. What do you like cooking or eating on your days off?

I eat very simply. Lots of tropical fruit for breakfast, I rarely have lunch but I have a few spots like Xich Lo, Sisterfield and KYND that are always great. Dinner is eaten in the kitchen at one of the venues in the group. Or a cheeky dinner with my wife at Sangsaka or Bikini. If I cook at home its always simple. Grilled fish and vegetables. Easy!

5. What food Trends are you vibing with at the moment and we might see in your menu in the future?

I love the fact that more and more venues are sourcing ethically, building relationships with growers and producers. Super important. The vegan and raw approach, I feel will continue to grow and I’m a massive fan. It will never be a huge part of my menus, here at Da Maria or across the group simply because of customer expectations but I’m 100% behind it.

So on your next Bali trip make sure you add Da Maria to you foodie hit list, whether its just for cocktails, the delish food or to party on a Sunday night it’s definitley a Rogue Homme Must Visit.

Words by Arrnott Olssen