Chef James Domingo was born and raised on the Island of Maui. Residing in the town of Kahului for most of his childhood life. Chef James attended Lihikai Elementary, Maui Waena Intermediate and proudly graduated from Maui High School. After graduation, he wanted to be anywhere but “home”. Chef James decided to further his education by attending UH Manoa. He studied Liberal Arts and wanted to major in Architecture, after two whole days he decided that it was not in his best interest. In 1997 he enrolled at Kapiolani Community College on Oahu and joined their Culinary Program, after spending a year in the program he decided this is what he is going to do as a career. James decided to finish his college experience back home at Maui Community College.
Chef James started his Culinary career in 1999 with Chef Peter Merriman at the Bamboo Bistro as a pantry chef, then quickly moved up to become a lunch line cook. He then followed Chef Peter to Hula Grill Ka’anapali also to take on the lunch line cook position. He went on to become the Assistant Dining Room Chef to Chef Bobby Masters and then on to Sous Chef for Chef Scott McGill. In 2008, he was offered to become the Head Chef for our sister restaurant Kimo’s. He ran the Kimo’s kitchen for a little over 2 years before he was transferred in 2011 to Leilani’s on the Beach.
During these eventful periods in his life, he managed to marry the love of his life and raise 4 beautiful daughters. Chef James and his family lived in Pukalani for roughly 8 years, but recently made the move back to his hometown of Kahului. Chef James loves to attend 24 Hour Fitness on his free time and spending time with his Family.