McDonald is the "rad grad" of the MCC Food Service program. Now he's the
executive chef of three, count 'em, super haute Lahaina restaurants and the number ONE
Chef of Maui's kitchens.
HIS STORY: A Philadelphia native,
James McDonald came to the islands in 1980 and has called Hawaii his home ever since. He
currently showcases his talents as the award - winning Executive Chef of Pacific'O in
Lahaina and the [recently opened] I'o and the Feast at Lele nest door on the ocean. I'o
will be a funky, post modern room with exhibition kitchen set behind etched glass walls
with underwater life and flames: While the Feats at Lele will be a high-end niche Luau.
WHAT'S MORE: McDonald is the
"Poster Child" for MCC's Food Service Program. He's featured in advertisements
in theaters statewide and his "mug" is all over city buses on Oahu. His plate is
full: he just returned from cooking in London, Nagoya, and the Norwegian Cruise Line.
The Maui News readers say the dapper James McDonald is
the "Best Chef on Maui" in 1998. He's shown here "practicing safe fish" by
dinning rubber gloves when handling a fresh ahi. "I want to thank the front of the
house and the back of the house too, because without them, I couldn't do what I do. I must
say, this Best Chef Award is one of the greatest honors I can think of."
WHAT HE SAID:
"Yeah, right!" said a stunned James McDonald. "What are you talking about?!
The best chef on Maui?! Hah Hah, come on. Holy _ _ _ _ ! That makes my day! That is
incredible! That is fabulous! I couldn't have asked for better news."
WHAT WE SAID: "The lamb was the
best I ever had. I thought the Rainbow Room was good until now." "The fusion of
flavors is delicious and unexpected. How in the world do you think of this kind of
NEVER TRUST A SKINNY CHEF?: "I say that's and old wives tale," says the trim
McDonald. "This is a healthful time. Our food is a testament. It's fresh. It's light
and you can eat as much as you want without any guilt."
PERSONAL FAVORITES: The Tandoori catch with Indonesian spices, caramelized Maui
pineapple; shiso spicy tuna served rare and layered over green papaya tomato salsa; and
Muscovy duck in ponzu glaze and mango salsa.