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.
Address: 900 Front St, Lahaina, HI 96761