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Meet Turtle Bay's New Chef de Cuisine: David Intonato

Posted on Fri, 2020/02/07 - 4:28pm by Jessica Gellert

Chef Intoano

Turtle Bay Resort has a new Chef de Cuisine in the kitchen.

Chef David Intonato comes to the North Shore of Oahu from Nosara, Costa Rica. He will be the Chef de Cuisine for the new and upcoming Alaia restaurant.

An alaia is a thin, round-nosed, square-tailed surfboard ridden in pre-20th century Hawaii. The boards were generally made from Koa wood.

“ My focus will be on refined Hawaiian comfort foods and using local ingredients as much as possible,” said Chef David about his Turtle Bay role.

He will be using ingredients as local as farms across the street from the resort.

“ I’m excited to work with our farm and use all that they will be growing for Turtle Bay. I’m also eager to introduce local favorites like ahi belly to our guests as well.”

Chef David was born in New York and was heavily influenced by his grandma, who was an Italian fine-dining chef.

“I grew up in a big Italian family in NY so food was always a focus. So I would have to say Italian/Mediterranean flavors always play a part in my cooking. I also personally try to follow a Mediterranean based diet. Lots of fish, greens and grains,” said Chef David.

By the time he was 22-years-old he was an executive chef of a four star restaurant.

Chef David was trained by incredible chefs building a diversified repertoire that includes French, Japanese, Mediterranean, Mexican, & Italian indulgences, as well as plant-based concepts.

In 2011, Chef David opened a restaurant in New York. It was the first restaurant of its kind on Long Island with a menu that was all organic and primarily plant based. He sold the restaurant to a friend in 2016 and his dream to live in Nosara, Costa Rica for a few years. The restaurant is still running today with the same menu and concept as when they established it. After consulting for a hotel/restaurant in Costa Rica, Chef David decided to move to Hawaii.

Besides cooking, Chef David also enjoys surfing. He’s been riding waves since he first learned how on the shores of Long Beach at the age of five.

“ We have only been in Hawaii for about 9 months, so I’m still a newbie in the Hawaiian surf scene,” he chuckled. “We currently live in town, so the town beaches are what I know best. I’m breaking in slowly to the north shore surf spots.”

Alaia is scheduled to open in the summer of 2020.

“ I’m excited for all the changes coming to Turtle Bay and grateful to be a part of it,” said Ched David. “ I hope I can bring some of my international knowledge of cuisine to Alaia and create great dishes with all that Hawaii has to offer.”



  • A coveted invitation to serve as Host Chef at the renowned James Beard House, New York, NY.
  • Glowing write ups by scrupulous critics in publications such as The New York Times, Newsday, Gourmet magazine, the Philadelphia Inquirer, & more.
  • Multiple accolades, including Zagat’s Diner’s Choice Award, Snail of Approval (Slow Food) Award, DiRōNA Award of Excellence, Wine Spectator’s Best Award of Excellence and Best of Philly.
  • Guest Chef appearances on NBC and CBS morning shows.

Book on his nightstand right now: Surf is where you find it - Gerry Lopez
Bucket list destination or ideal vacation: Hossegor, France
Favorite movie star: Jack Nicholson
Favorite inspirational figure: Dalai Lama
Family Info: Wife: Erin. Beautiful Blended Family: Yvonne, Parker, Gino, Dylan, Alexandra
Hobbies: Surfing, guitar, music, hiking, swimming, yoga
Best advice ever received: Practice and all is coming