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 who is also the Chef de Cuisine of the CanoeHouse and Chef de Cuisine Al Pacatang.  

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  is also the CanoeHouse Chef de Cuisine and he has been a key part of Mauna Lani's culinary team for 15 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 CanoeHouse and is the host chef for the Captain's Table.  

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 Allan's: Captains Table Sample Menu

Sous Chef Bryce Velez first joined Mauna Lani in 2002. While he fine-tuned his skills along the coastline at neighboring resorts Bryce came home to Mauna Lani in 2014. His degree in Food Service along with his years of experience can be seen in his creative cuisine.

While staying true to the flavors of island fresh cuisine, Chef Bryce gets creative with his melding of ingredients and unique presentation. Chef Bryce's cuisine is featured at the Honu Bar, Ocean Bar & Grill and special events.

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 35 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.