My Maui

Where Maui - - Contents - Isaac Ban­caco

An­daz at Maui ex­ec­u­tive chef shares his day.

As the adage goes, you can take the boy out of the is­lands but you can never take the is­lands out of the boy. No truer is this than for Isaac Ban­caco, who spent more than a decade hon­ing his culi­nary skills on the main­land. We caught up with the Maui na­tive to dis­cuss the lat­est culi­nary trends.

How has the Maui food scene changed since you re­turned in 2010?

Speak­ing from a chef’s point of view, things have gelled among the other chefs. There’s a real ca­ma­raderie here and we’re all sup­port­ive of one an­other. The bonds are healthy and preva­lent, and we’re bet­ter chefs be­cause of th­ese re­la­tion­ships.

Hav­ing trav­eled as a guest chef, what is it that you seek to do when you first visit a new city?

Eat! I try to get in as many restau­rants as pos­si­ble. Even though I went to culi­nary school in Port­land, Ore., I haven’t been back and the food scene there has re­ally ex­ploded. I would say it’s the most im­proved dining scene in the past 15 years.

How would you de­scribe your cui­sine?

It’s ta­ble to farm. We want the in­gre­di­ents to speak for them­selves. We don’t like to use a lot of sauces and we try to keep fla­vors light. We have a mantra around here and it’s, “Thought­fully sourced. Care­fully served.”

What ad­vice would you give Maui vis­i­tors?

Don’t plan an agenda. You can try to pack in all the sights and at­trac­tions, but you won’t fully ex­pe­ri­ence the is­land. They say there’s no place like home. I say there’s no place like Maui.

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