Our Chefs

Chef Peter Abarcar, Jr., Director of Culinary & Beverage Operations

Hawaii Island native Peter Abarcar, Jr. was promoted in 2015 from executive chef of Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel to director of culinary and beverage operations.

Abarcar oversees all culinary, food and beverage operations at the 350-room oceanfront resort including the resort’s signature restaurant, Coast Grille. He also supervises operations for extensive catering and banquets, the Ocean Terrace Restaurant and The Beach Bar.

Abarcar first began his Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel career as lead cook in 1997. In 2000 he left the Hapuna family to become Executive Chef at the Club at Hokuli’a. Eight years later, Abarcar returned to Mauna Kea Resort to help reopen Mauna Kea Beach Hotel as sous chef, following the hotel’s closure and extensive renovation. In 2010, he was promoted to chef de cuisine at Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel’s signature restaurant, Coast Grille. The following year, he was promoted to the position of Executive Chef.

Chef Abarcar enjoys pairing varieties of ethnic flavors from his Hawaii Island upbringing. His keen sense of local produce and seafood paired with his culinary talent and passion for creative food results in exciting tastes on each of the menus at Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel.

In 2015, he was honored as “Chef of the Year” by the American Culinary Federation Kona Chapter. Abarcar is an alumnus of Kapiolani Community College with a Certificate of Completion in culinary arts.

Executive Sous Chef Michael Quanan

As a sophomore in high school, Michael was asked what he was going to do with his life. That question sparked something and he soon got a job at a small Kona restaurant where he moved up through the ranks. At just 17, he worked at Mauna Kea and while admittedly intimidated by the strong executive chef at the time, he learned and absorbed. Following a few detours, he returned to Mauna Kea Beach Hotel as a casual “Cook 4,” an entry level position.

Two years later, with a little more culinary know-how, Michael left to work at Four Seasons Hualalai, then Hokulia, a private luxury development in south Kona and finally Nanea, a private golf club, where he became Sous Chef. That led to an opportunity to become Produce Manager for Suisan, the island’s oldest and largest goods and products provider. His position there allowed Michael to build relationships with dozens of the island’s best farmers since Suisan was and is a major purchaser of agricultural goods. He returned to the Mauna Kea Resort family in 2012 as Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel’s Storeroom Manager and Buyer and he was promoted to Purchasing Manager for the resort in 2015.

With a keen sense of quality products and pricing and his relationships with nearby farmers and ranchers, Michael is ideally suited to his newest role as Executive Sous Chef at Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel where he assists with product purchasing, menu pricing and development.

For such a long-time- foodie, what does he love to eat most? “I’m a simple guy,” Michael explains. “I love trying new foods for sure. But when I’m relaxing at home, there is nothing quite as delicious and satisfying as Spam and eggs.”

Coast Grille Chef de Cuisine Moses "Moki" Tavares

At a young age, watching his mom in the kitchen preparing meals for him and his five siblings, Moki knew he wanted to cook. But he took a less than conventional route. He signed on as a steward under the stern and disciplined Chef Piet Wigman, onetime executive chef at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, when Wigman was at Mauna Lani Bay Hotel. Fortuitously there happened to be a rising star in the hotel’s signature dining room, Canoe House, by the name of Alan Wong. During his eight years at Canoe House, Moki worked every station. Wong held training classes for interested staff late at night after the restaurant had closed. Moki absorbed everything he could. When Wong opened Le Soleil at the hotel, Moki was on board and there, he developed his own skills for taste and flavor refinement.

An opportunity to lead his own kitchen was presented with an opening at Café Pesto in nearby Kawaihae. Café Pesto had evolved into an award winning establishment and Moki led with vigor while developing numerous signature dishes for the restaurant’s Kawaihae and Hilo locales.

Now on board at Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel as Chef de Cuisine at the hotel’s signature Coast Grille dining room, Chef Moki is anxious to spread his wings, integrate local produce and bring out their “awesome flavors,” use the onsite Coast Grille garden to the fullest, and of course, add a daily pasta special to the Coast Grille menu. Oh, and his favorite food? Lau Lau!