2012 Hawaii Rising Star Chef de Cuisine Nick Mastrascusa currently oversees all culinary aspects of Beach Tree and 'ULU Ocean Grill restaurants at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai. Before his tenure at the famed 57 restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel New York, he honed his culinary talents at the Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables, and the Ritz-Carlton Palm Beach, both in Florida. Mastrascusa also opened Hoquart 2000 restaurant in Montevideo, Uruguay, where he grew up and played on the national soccer team.
A graduate of the Culinary Arts program at Johnson & Wales in Miami, Mastrascusa credits his grandparents, who immigrated to Uruguay from Spain and Sicily and had a warm, welcoming approach to family meals, for inspiring his passion for cooking. After Beach Tree reopened in 2009 (following a $40 million renovation at the Four Seasons Hualalai), it realigned under Mastrascusa’s direction to take on a “barefoot elegance” approach, with an Italian-Calfornian-inspired menu that lures in locals and tourists alike.
Mastrascusa uses fresh, artisanal, and for the most part, local ingredients to create dishes that are Mediterranean with tropical touches—everything from signature pizzas and pastas to mango gazpacho. “I’m amazed by the high quality and range of produce that is grown on the Big Island,” said Mastrascusa. “I’m just beginning to explore all the possibilities.”