Born and raised on Maui, Isaac Bancaco will tell you his fascination with the island's cuisine first took root during early visits to his grandmother's house.
"She would always have 10 to 12 different dishes going at one time -- talk about multitasking on a four-burner stove," Bancaco said with a laugh. "There were just all these wonderful smells and flavors."
Executive chef at Pineapple Grill in West Maui's Kapalua Resort, Bancaco said he believes every Valley Isle visit should include a sampling of the destination's food.
"Everybody comes here for basically two things: the lush green environment or the ocean," he said. "Those are two huge components in what we do at the restaurant. People come and get to see it, smell it, take pictures of it, but it would be devastating if they left without actually tasting Maui."
Local seafood is a menu staple, and the restaurant's pistachio-crusted tuna is a well-known dish among foodies statewide, but Maui vegetables, fruits and products also play a starring role.
"The food is fantastic, and it's just gotten better with Isaac on board," said Kanara Woodford, director of sales for the Hawaii destination management company Weil & Associates.