Hotel Wailea has hired Maui native Derrin Abac as its new director of food and beverage to lead the resort-wide culinary team, including The Restaurant at Hotel Wailea and Birdcage Bar, an open-air lounge concept with dramatic island views.
Abac is a fourth-generation Maui resident with an esteemed background. He has worked at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago at Four Seasons Resort Maui and earned his Advanced Sommelier accreditation from the Court of Master Sommeliers.
Growing up on Maui and working in the pineapple industry as a teen, Abac credits his upbringing for his strong work ethic and thirst for knowledge. He entered the restaurant industry at age 16 as a dishwasher and eventually ascended to the role of general manager at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago, where he also served as beverage director.
During his tenure there, Abac discovered an immense curiosity for food and beverage through regular food and wine tastings and pairings. The experience inspired him to pursue the rigorous curriculum of courses and tests required to achieve Advanced Sommelier, a designation he earned in 2020.
In search of a new location to expand his culinary prowess, Abac arrives at Hotel Wailea with plans to further enhance the property’s food and beverage offerings for its discerning guests as well as those celebrating milestone occasions at the hotel’s extraordinary collection of venues, including its dramatic ocean-view Treehouse.
In his free time, Abac enjoys giving back to the community in which he was raised. He is a supporter of the Maui Memorial Medical Center, where he and many of his family members were born. Abac attended Maui Community College, where he took coursework in areas including accounting.