Meet Our Chefs


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Mauna Lani's talented chefs incorporate the freshest island ingredients into creative culinary delights. Meet the culinary masterminds of our Big Island restaurants, Executive Chef Clayton Arakawa,  Executive Sous Chef Allan Nagun, Chef de Cuisine Allen Hess and  Chef de Cuisine Al Pacatang.  And yes, there are many talented "Chef Al's" at Mauna Lani.  

Executive Chef Clayton Arakawa leads the overall culinary operations of the hotel, overseeing Mauna Lani's dining and banquet functions. He gained respect as a culinary genius for his creativity in showcasing local ingredients in bold and innovative ways. Chef Arakawa's culinary flair can be seen in all of the hotel's cuisine.

Read more: Executive Chef Clayton Arakawa

Executive Sous Chef Allan Nagun has been a key part of Mauna Lani's culinary team for 10 years and he's a firm believer that when you have superior quality ingredients, you don't need to hide the flavor, just reveal it.   Chef Allan leads the team at the Ocean Bar & Grill and the Bay Terrace, creates unique dining experiences for bungalow guests and adds his culinary talent to banquet events.  

Chef Allan is also personally recognized for his poke, a favorite dish on his menus. While he experiments with modern takes on this popular Hawaiian pupu, it's his traditional poke that lands him acclaim, including being recognized as ‘the one to beat' at the annual Hawaii Island Festival Poke competition.

Read more: Executive Sous Chef Allan Nagun

Chef de Cuisine Allen Hess is known for his bold and progressive take on Hawaii Regional Cuisine. He hails the CanoeHouse as a "Hawaiian culinary adventure that incorporates the best and freshest ingredients raised on the island." Showcasing more than 80% locally grown produce, each dish offers a compelling story fusing cuisine inspired by Hawaii's plantation era with modern aesthetics and technique. Chef Hess has been at the helm of the CanoeHouse since 2012.

Read more: Chef de Cuisine Allen Hess

Chef de Cuisine Al Pacatang is our camera-shy chef who is busy creating flavorful cuisine for gala affairs, dinners under the stars, and beachside parties. Chef Al has been an integral part of the Catering and Banquet culinary team since the hotel opened more than 32 years ago.  Chef Al's attention to detail can be seen as he  plans a private dinner for ten or an evening of island fresh cuisine for 600.

Al is highly respected by his peers as the quiet force behind the scenes ensuring every culinary event is seamless. Countless wedding couples have also enjoyed Chef Al's personalized touch as he creates each menu to include all the wedding couple's favorites. Chef Al Pacatang - a very dedicated Mauna Lani chef.