CJ’s Deli & Diner Events & Catering is on the main highway (Honoapiilani), in the Fairway Shops, along the border of Kaanapali Beach, so it’s a 2-minute drive from any of the Kaanapali hotels or condos. Phone 808-667-0968.
CJ’s serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, from 7 AM to 8 PM every day. It’s a casual place and is great for families. In addition to a wide variety of plate lunches and dinners, they have numerous sandwich choices. One of my favorite items here is their “Hana Box Lunch,” a generous box lunch that you can carry out for your trip to Hana or to the top of Haleakala or anywhere on Maui. You can even take it with you on your airplane flight out. Get their yummy “Hana Bar” for dessert. CJ’s also offers many vegetarian and vegan items and they have the longest list of gluten-free menu choices on this side of Maui. Or if you want an easy way to cook in your condo, see their prepared and ready-to-cook Chefs-To-Go menu.
Chef Christian Jorgensen
Chef CJ (Christian Jorgensen) is the chef owner of CJ’s Deli and Diner. His wife Marilyn helps manage the restaurant. CJ’s is an excellent, casual, inexpensive restaurant and catering company in the Kaanapali area of West Maui. I interviewed him at the restaurant in February of 2012, to learn more about his history and the services that the restaurant offers. See the complete interview below.
Interview with Christian Jorgensen February 2012
Jon: When and why did you decide to open CJ’s Deli and Diner?
Chef CJ: I opened CJ’s Deli & Diner in January 2003. I had worked in the corporate world for fifteen years and was working too many holidays and too many hours! I wanted to have my own restaurant and be able to leave in the afternoon for a couple of hours to coach my daughter’s soccer team. I also recognized the need for affordable eating on the West Side of Maui.
Jon: What does your wife Marilyn do in the restaurant?
Chef CJ: Marilyn is the manager. She has a degree in hotel and restaurant management from Penn State University. She loves meeting our customers and they love meeting her.
Jon: Did you have other restaurants before CJ’s, or work at other restaurants before CJ’s?
Chef CJ: I have worked for Hilton in Chicago, Hyatt in Guam and Macau, and Westin in Maui. I was originally a sous chef and worked my way up to Executive Chef.
Jon: How long have you lived on Maui? Did you work in restaurants in other places before Maui?
Chef CJ: I have lived in Maui since October 1998. I worked in Denmark, Switzerland, Chicago, Guam, Macau, and now Maui.
Jon: What do people like about CJ’s Deli & Diner?
Chef CJ: People enjoy the casual ambience with homemade cooking. We specialize in comfort food that is affordable. Our menu is extensive and caters to all tastes. People also like our Hana Lunch Box ($12 complete lunch with a styrofoam cooler to take to beach, Hana, gardens, parks, fishing, airplane, or anywhere on Maui).
Jon: What are your most popular foods?
Chef CJ: At breakfast it’s the All American with 2 pancakes, 2 eggs, and meat (bacon, sausage), or the Fully Loaded Omelette with potatoes and biscuit. At lunch and dinner the most popular are the Classic Rueben, Hot Pastrami, Mocchiko Chicken, Pineapple Fried Rice, and Mango Ribs.
Jon: What do people like about your catering services?
Chef CJ: People like our adaptability – we cater small parties of 2 on the beach to large weddings with 75 people. We offer creative menu planning with attention to detail. Guests like doing their planning with me and knowing that I will be there on the day of their event to ensure that it is the wonderful event that they had dreamed of.
Jon: What are the most popular catering items?
Chef CJ: People enjoy our food cooked fresh on the grill at their catering event. People really enjoy the live interaction with the chef and guests.
Jon: Do you cater all over Maui? Just the west side? Or where?
Chef CJ: We do cater events all over Maui – South side, Makena, Kula, and primarily the West Side.
Jon: What is the minimum and maximum size groups for which you cater?
Chef CJ: 2 people to thousands (such as the Hyundai golf tournament and Maui Invitational basketball tournament)
Jon: Do you serve the food when you cater, or just drop it off?
Chef CJ: We offer full service catering with servers, bartenders, and CJ as the planner/coordinator (especially with weddings). Drop off and pick up caterings are also available.
Jon: Do you cater in hotel rooms, condo rooms, at parks, on the beach, where else?
Chef CJ: Most of our catering occurs at private estates (Olawalu Plantation House, Sugarman Estate, El Dorado Cabana, White House Estate). We also cater in guest’s suites at their condo/hotel and resorts.
Jon: What else would you like to tell Maui visitors about your restaurant or your catering?
Chef CJ: CJ’s Deli serves gourmet food at affordable prices. We have guests come to Maui for 10 days and eat 7 meals at CJ’s. Our menu is so extensive that our guests will come in several times and try something new each time. We are very blessed to have so many repeat customers as well (some guests come every year to Maui and always eat at CJ’s).
Jon: What would you like to tell Maui visitors about yourself?
Chef CJ: I grew up in Copenhagen, Denmark and attended culinary school there. I did my internship in Interlaken, Switzerland. I moved to Chicago and met my wife Marilyn (we have been married for 20 years). I have 2 daughters (15 and 13) and enjoy teaching them to cook and making beautiful meals for them too. I have traveled extensively and enjoy preparing food from many different cuisines. Cooking is a passion for me and I like to share that passion with my customers.
Tell the owners, Christian and Marilyn, that you heard about this place on Jon’s Maui website. See below for some specific CJ’s menu items as well as photos.
Click for my interview with Chef CJ in 2012 where you will learn the fascinating history of Chef CJ from Copenhagen, and you’ll also learn about CJ’s great catering services.
If you’re staying anywhere on the west side of Maui, be sure to stop in at CJ’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Or for other restaurants in all price ranges in this area see West Maui Lahaina-Kaanapali Restaurants.
CJ’s Comfort Zone menu (subject to change) $ Inexpensive
Eggs with or without
. . . Bacon, Ham, Sausage, Pancakes
Eggs with biscuit and rice
Omelettes – many choices
Breakfast Wrap tortilla
Eggs & Cheese Croissantwich
Beef with eggs and potato
Norwegian Smoked Salmon Bagel
Fruits – several choices
Big Kahuna Pancakes with bananas, pineapple, nuts and whipped cream
Lunch and dinner plates:
Sauteed Mahi Mahi
Mixed Grill BBQ
Herb Grilled Salmon
Sauteed Mahi Mahi
Mom’s Meat Loaf
Kalua Pork & Cabbage
Mixed Grille Big BBQ – ribs, mahi-mahi, chicken
Royal Hawaiian Plate
Fish & Chips
Spaghetti with Meatballs
Spinach & Feta
Grilled Chicken Caesar Wrap
Sauteed Mahi Mahi
BBQ Kalua Pork Hoagie
Build Your Own Deli Sandwiches
. . . – Many choices
– Many choices
Pineapple Fried Rice
Carryout Box Lunches
Click for images of complete CJ’s menu with prices
Fish and Chips:
Spinach & Feta Salad:
Chicken and Salad with Pita:
Volcanic Ono (fish):
Kalua Pork Plate Lunch: