Last year, Isaac Bancaco was named one of the "Top Young Chefs to Watch" in Hawaii and recognized as a "Future Face of Hawaii Tourism."
Born and raised on Maui, this young chef attended the Western Culinary Institute (now Le Cordon Bleu) in Portland, Ore., and he has appeared on "Iron Chef" with James Beard winner Ming Tsai.
He's also cooked for Tsai at the master chef's Blue Ginger in Boston, cooked in?Los Angeles for another James Beard award winner, Oahu's Roy Yamaguchi; and he most recently kicked up his chef reputation with his innovative "localvore" menu at the Humuhumunukunukuapua'a at the Grand Wailea.
Born and raised on Maui, Isaac Bancaco joined the Pineapple Grill team in Kapalua earlier this month as the executive chef. His special here is antipasto influenced Kona kampachi with baby beet necks, mango, pipikaula (dried beef, Hawaiian style), and pohole fern shoots in papaya-seed emulsion. For reservations, call 669-9600.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
"This is officially my third day," Bancaco said in an interview during the Kapalua Wine & Food Festival. "I just did a gala for 900 people. The Ramey wine dinner, which we sold out. And I created the lunch at the shot-gun golf tourney for all of the players. This is a crash course in the Kapalua scene, but I'm ecstatic to be here."
That's because Bancaco's family is from Kapalua. Espiritu is his family name, well known in the area.
"Coming to Kapalua is a homecoming within a homecoming. Sure, I'm being thrown into the fire. Right now, I'm making some fun specials. And, I'll add my own menu twists soon."
"I hope to bring a new clean look to the Pineapple Grill. Ryan Luckey has left a great legacy behind and I have great respect for him and this restaurant."
"We are thrilled to have Chef Bancaco join the family of Cohn Restaurants," says Chris Kaiwi, PG's managing partner.