Chef Biography

Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, David Paul became a juvenile in a detention center and was allowed to only watch PBS.  He was enthralled with Julia Child and at  age 14, he got a job washing dishes at a pizza parlor.  Two years later in 1974 he met his mentor, French chef Max Mercier from Bordeaux, who ran the first French restaurant in Salt Lake City, Le Parisien Restaurant.  Max took David Paul in as an apprentice, teaching him the basics of French cooking, encouraging him to learn more on his own, and eventually helping him spend time in Paris, Mexico and Japan.

In 1978, he got a job in Honolulu as an assistant cook at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki, and three years later worked his way up to the Chef Tourneau position.  In 1982, he started his own catering company, and in 1988 met Crazy Shirt founder Rick Ralston who was restoring the historic Lahaina Inn on Maui.  Two years later, they opened David Paul’s Lahaina Grill on February 14, 1990.

In 1996, Great Chefs taped him for the Discovery Channel’s Great Chefs of Hawaii at David Paul’s Lahaina Grill.  In 2000 the restaurant sold, but in 2009, Chef Johnson opened a new David Paul’s Island Grill in Lahaina, Maui, next to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and the Hard Rock Cafe where if flourishes today.


Eggplant Napoleon

Serving: 4 Print Eggplant Napoleon By Great Chefs October 6, 2015 Layers of eggplant, herbs, and mozzarella cheese create a savory tower with Italian flavors. The vinaigrette is so good you’ll want to make it for other salads. Ingredients Tomato-Balsamic Vinaigrette Tomato – 1 large, peeled, seeded, and diced White Onion – 1/2 cup, finely […]

Kalua Duck with Plum Wine Sauce and Lundberg Rice

Serving: 4 Print Kalua Duck with Plum Wine Sauce and Lundberg Rice By Great Chefs September 23, 2015 Moist pieces of duck are placed on top of a rich, nutty rice blend and then drizzled with rich plum wine sauce. The dish gets its name, Kalua Duck, from a traditional preparation for pork. Kalua pig […]

Caramelized Onion Soup

Serving: 4 Print Caramelized Onion Soup By Great Chefs September 21, 2015 Sweet Maui onions are the delicious base for David Paul Johnson’s take on onion soup. Browned, stirred with white wine and sherry, and added to chicken stock, they create a lighter-colored onion soup than the expected deep brown broth. Big crisp croutons and […]

Restaurant Information

Address: 900 Front St, Lahaina, HI 96761

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