Pacific’O Restaurant is Lahaina’s beachfront dining experience that has set the new standard for Farm-to-Table cuisine on Maui. Celebrating 20 years in 2013, Pacific’O on the Beach offers recipes inspired by local ingredients, friendly “aloha” staff, an elaborate bar menu and the “best-view-in-town” for your lunch or dinner. We deliver a contemporary menu that has been inspired by the finest local ingredients from the land and from the sea.
We support local farmers and own O’o Farm which supplies us daily with fresh organic produce. Fresh fish delivered daily.
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About Our Chef: Tj Valentino
Growing up with a Sicilian Grandmother, Chef TJ Valentino has been passionate about food from a very early age. Surrounded by Italian Great Uncles and Aunts who imparted their knowledge from the family bakery in Palermo, owned their own farm and also grew grapes and made wine in New York state, Chef TJ found himself immersed in a world centered around food and wine. While still in high school in fashionable La Jolla, California, Chef TJ began working in one of Southern California’s earliest premier Sushi restaurants, the venerable Tatsu Yoshi in La Jolla Cove. “ The older Japanese Chefs recognized my enthusiasm in the kitchen and trained me in the foundations of Japanese cuisine.”
A move to sunny Santa Barbara in the mid eighties found Chef TJ manning the helm at the long time California Bar & Grill The Paradise Café. “ I ran the kitchen at Paradise while attending college in Santa Barbara, servicing the local celebs as well as the weekend crowd from Los Angeles”, soon his list of star clients included Steve Martin, Michael Jackson and actress Daryl Hannah, amongst others.
After five years in Santa Barbara, Chef TJ set his sights on the Oregon wine country, which was still developing into the diverse wine country producing world class vintages it is today. He worked closely with Stephanie Pearl Kimmel, an Oregon Chef and Protégé of Alice Waters of Chez Panisse, and was involved in bringing the Farm to Table style of dining to the Willamette Valley. He also collaborated with Chef Ray Sewell, personal Chef to San Francisco’s Rock and Roll elite, as well as helping found the Eugene eatery Café Soriah with Palestinian Chef Ibrahim Hamide.
1992 found Chef TJ embarking on two one year stages with Michelin Starred French Chef Royalty Jean Michel Bouvier of Le Essentiel Restaurant and Le Panoramique and Michel Sarran of Le Mas du Langustier, both disciples of the eminent French Master Michele Guerrard of Eugenie les Bains fame. “ I had never worked so hard in the kitchen as when I was in France, trying to keep pace with not only the energy but also the advanced techniques of the French Master Chefs…”
Upon returning from France, Chef TJ designed, built and opened his first restaurant, Chez Lillian, named after his Sicilian Grandmother in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. “ I was trying to emulate the Napa style restaurants and work closely with the winemakers to better understand the beautiful marriage which is food and wine”. The Chef has personally visited over 250 wine estates on 3 continents, and is always searching for new ways to combine his ingredients in such a way as to showcase the wines he chooses for each course. “ As a child I was taught the importance of wine by my Great Grandfather, Sebastiani Valentino, and how to honor the tradition of winemaking through pairing quality wines with inspired cooking.”
While in Oregon, Chef TJ also operates a seasonal event and catering business in the charming tourist haven of Bend, Oregon, as well as serving as a food consultant for large corporate campus dining operations at Nike and Intel, among others.
Chef TJ Valentino is currently the Executive Chef at Pacific’O Restaurant in Lahaina, Maui, where he specializes in Pan Pacific cuisine, sourcing his food from local fisherman as well as the restaurants O’O Farm, an 8 acre Organic farm located in Maui’s upcountry in the town of Kula.