Bali Hai Restaurant Names New Executive Chef Introduces New Summer Menus

| June 30, 2012 | 0 Comments

Ben Lieberman uses a multicultural approach to develop new menu items.

Ben Lieberman, previously the acclaimed chef de cuisine at San Diego hot spot Burlap, has been named executive chef at the Bali Hai Restaurant, the iconic Shelter Island dining spot known for its sweeping bay front views, oversized Mai Tais and distinctive Pacific Rim cuisine.

According to co-owner Larry Baumann, Lieberman, 34, has been tapped to spearhead the 30-member culinary team at the San Diego restaurant – overseeing all food operations for the 55-year-old venue, including catering and banquets. In his new position, Lieberman has used his multicultural approach to develop new menu items, capitalizing on the freshest area ingredients.

“Ben is a multitalented and creative chef with extensive expertise in preparing all types of cuisine,” Baumann says. “His knowledge of the local market and his versatility will add an important new dimension to our menu, which with his direction will change regularly, based on what is freshly caught and available from small farms, nearby markets and local suppliers.”

Lieberman was most recently the chef de cuisine of Searsucker in downtown San Diego, and also oversaw the menu design of Burlap – San Diego chef and showman Brian Malarkey’s newer Del Mar, Calif. venture. In fact, Lieberman was an early protégé of Malarkey’s, working with him in 2005 at Oceanaire in Indianapolis.

Lieberman has already put his culinary prowess to good work at Bali Hai, and recently introduced new spring menus, with highlights such as chopped chicken salad with edamame, rice noodle, fried wontons and ginger plum dressing for lunch; a rock shrimp tempura roll appetizer; seared diver scallops with glazed pork belly, sesame spinach and ginger soy butter on the dinner menu and tempting side dishes such as Thai Brussels sprouts and black bean bok choy.

Raised in San Diego, Lieberman’s love of cooking dates back to his childhood, during a vacation to Saipan, outside of Guam, where he was exposed to a whole new style of cuisine. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in nutrition with a minor in hospitality from Long Beach State University, he traveled to Denver, where he graduated from Johnson & Wales University’s prestigious College of Culinary Arts.

He then returned to his hometown and landed a job as chef de cuisine at the Hyatt Islandia. Further honing his skills, he worked in Las Vegas at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant and at Spago at Caesar’s Palace. In Los Angeles, he served as executive sous chef for the celebrated Japanese restaurant Katsuya.

The Bali Hai Restaurant is open daily for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch; reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 619-222-1181.

Category: Entertainment

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