Well-traveled and culturally-versed, Isabelle Adda Toland vows to “put her past on the plate,” showcasing her extensive years of culinary expertise in various regions of the world.
“Growing up with a French dad and a Filipino-Spanish mother, food has always been a part of my upbringing,” says Chef Toland. “My parents have always been travelers and so have I. I am grateful to be a world nomad with many cultures involved in my cooking and lifestyle.”
Born in Bordeaux, France and having lived her teenage years in Manila, Philippines, Chef Toland drew inspiration for several dishes on the new Banyan Tree menu from the flavors and ingredients found in these traditional cuisines. Learn more in our video above.
Chef Toland and her team are bringing Banyan Tree at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua back to its plantation roots, while dressing the menu with a French and Filipino flare inspired by her personal upbringing. After being closed many months for renovations, the reimagined dining experience at Banyan Tree takes guests on a culinary journey of the various cultures of influence, while remaining anchored in local ingredients and Hawaiian traditions.
“This menu actually consists of specials I’ve done over the years, because that includes something a little wacky, something a little bit here and there,” explains Toland. “Then being able to work with farms to be able to incorporate that is super awesome.”
With Chef Toland at the helm, classic Hawaiian recipes are deconstructed and redesigned with a local twist using Mediterranean cooking techniques, featuring items like ‘ulu (breadfruit), poi and lū‘au leaf.
“Mix unfamiliar ingredients with familiar ingredients to open the palate a little bit,” she adds.
The restaurant’s transformation pays homage to the history of the banyan tree in Hawai‘i as a gathering place to meet and share a meal under the shade of its canopy. The changes include a creative cocktail menu, where each beverage features an identifiable local ingredient with a story of the farmer or a nod to the source. That’s highlighted by a modern, hand-crafted bar that serves as the focal point of the redesigned space, which still hosts stunning ocean views.
Banyan Tree now has an expanded outdoor area complete with firepits, along with a vibrant tiki torch-lighting tradition and fire knife show every evening at sunset.
There’s a separate Fireside Bar menu in addition to the main Banyan Tree menu for another unique dining experience. Every evening during “Tiki Hour” from 5 to 6 p.m., guests can enjoy 50% off on select pūpū and Moët Impérial Champagne by the glass.
Banyan Tree is open for dinner nightly from 5 to 9 p.m. Local residents can also get a 25% kama‘āina discount off food. For more details or reservations, please call (808) 669-6200 or visit The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua  website.