As the Big Island continues to attract luxury travelers who seek exceptional cuisine, spectacular accommodations, and world-class amenities, Hawaii’s private chefs are finding their niche in the island’s luxury scene.
Chef Maria Peterson | Big Island, Hawaii
Chef Maria Peterson Providing Exceptional Cuisine to the Big Island Since 2005
One of my personal favorites is Chef Maria Peterson owner of Maria Peterson Catering. For over 8 years, Maria has been providing private chef services at some of the finest luxury homes throughout Kukio, Hualalai, Mauna Kea, Mauna Lani, and private Big Island estates.
Spectacular Wedding Reception | Kailua-Kona, Big Island, Hawaii
Some people believe that Maria is one of the original pioneers of the Big Island’s private chef scene. Known for her ability to source some of the finest local ingredients Hawaii has to offer, Maria continues to wow her clients with her culinary talent. I took the time to ask Maria a few questions about her background, and find out what inspires her cuisine.
Interview with Big Island Chef Maria Peterson
CN: How do you describe your cuisine?
MP: I am committed to using sustainably-raised organic products from local farms, Big Island ranches, and purveyors of unique Hawaiian specialty products. I truly believe that including locally sourced ingredients in my recipes ensures that the food I prepare has bold flavor, vibrant presentation, and is unique.
I was raised in Tennessee by a lively Italian family that loves to cook. I prefer to use an array of influences from Asia to the Mediterranean with even a southern touch upon request for the BBQ enthusiasts. My BBQ ribs tend to be a favorite amongst my regular clients. Sometimes you just can’t beat good old-fashion comfort food.
CN: When working with a client, how do you determine the menu?
MP: I custom tailor all of my menus to accommodate my client’s preferences and dietary needs. I always take into consideration the theme of the event and how frequently they visit Hawaii. If the client only comes once a year, they often want meals that feature fresh caught Hawaiian fish.
Locally Sourced, Big Island Farm Fresh Ingredients | Kamuela, Hawaii
CN: What inspired you to become a chef?
MP: Cooking and enjoying food has been a tradition in my family for generations. While attending Christian Brother’s University, I supported my way through college by cooking at various fine dining restaurants in Memphis.
My passion for cooking took me to New York, Bermuda, and landed me at the Mezzaluna Restaurant in Aspen. After much success and rave reviews, I opened my own private chef and catering company in Aspen. Since college, I have opened and managed 11 different restaurants around the United States.
CN: When did you become a private chef on the Big Island?
MP: When my husband’s company relocated us from Aspen to the Big Island, I quickly realized that the luxury community was growing fast and that there was a tremendous demand for private chefs. After living and working as a chef in Aspen, I was very familiar with providing chef services to the luxury connoisseur.
Shortly after relocating, I established Maria Peterson Catering, which quickly made headway into the kitchens of private homes located in Kukio and Hualalai. My goal was to fill the gap that the hotels simply were not filling, personalized service.
CN: What type of services do you provide?
MP: Whether you are hosting a large wedding or an intimate dinner with friends, I tailor all of my services to meet the needs of my clients. My team has orchestrated large weddings events to me personally cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a party of two while they are here. It all depends on the client’s need. My goal is to create unique events that make lasting memories so that my clients will want to return to the Big Island.
Exquisite Hawaiian Cuisine | Kukio, Hawaii
Maria Peterson Services
Not only is she a great chef, Maria naturally becomes a part of your family. With enthusiasm, Maria provides great insight on island activities, unique services offered by others, and will go out of her way to ensure that your time spent visiting the Big Island is memorable.
For more information about the services offered, please visit Maria’s website.