excerpt from today’s Honolulu Advertiser Island Life story by Wanda Adams:

“Chef George Mavrothalassitis of Chef Mavro restaurant said it’s easy for him to think about Thanksgiving without turkey because he grew up in the south of France where, of course, they don’t celebrate this American holiday. They do serve turkey, however, once a year at Christmas, often paired with a stuffing made from cepes (aka porcini mushrooms), which are in season during the holidays.

For a Thanksgiving turkey substitute, Mavro, as he’s universally known, recommends a menu that he is planning to offer as a special fixed-price promotion in his restaurant starting this week and continuing through the first week of December: roast suckling pig.

He points out that you can stuff a suckling pig as you can a turkey, but his plan is to bone the pork, roast it, crisp the skin and serve it with white sweet potatoes from Moloka’i and a garnish of pickled mustard cabbage.

He chose this option because roast pork pairs beautifully with Beaujolais Nouveau, the young and fresh red wine made from gamay grapes and released on the third Thursday of November each year. This year’s vintage is said to be the best in a half century, and Mavro wanted to celebrate the wine with something complementary.

In the course of describing how he will prepare this menu, he offered some interesting culinary advice. Be sure, when roasting meats, that the meat is dry (wipe it well with a paper towel) because excess moisture will affect the texture; the meat steams instead of roasting. And he laid down a rule: “Bake every red meat at low temperature and every white meat at high temperature.”
And his opinion of stuffing? “A culinary mistake – whatever you put inside the cavity, you are going to totally lose the texture.”
Reach Wanda A. Adams at wadams@honoluluadvertiser.com

Chef Mavro's Suckling Pig in a festive 3-course menu (photo Honolulu Advertiser)

Chef Mavro's Suckling Pig in a festive 3-course menu (photo Honolulu Advertiser)