Chef Mavro's BlogBlogging about food & wine
Excerpt from John Mariani’s column in Esquire.com
“”If chefs ate their own food,” said Paul Bocuse, “we’d have a better cuisine,” and the first duty of any cook is to make delicious food, to make his or her guests happy, sometimes surprising them with a novel idea, sometimes keeping them guessing with a bit of trompe l’oeil. The French have always recognized this distinction, emphasizing again and again simplicity in cooking, just as did da Vinci when he said of art and craft, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” When a chef goes to deliberate extremes to dazzle on the plate, he or she is violating the cardinal principle French gastronome Curnonsky insisted on: “Cuisine is when things taste like themselves.” In cooking, form follows function, not vice versa, in the same way that the designer of a beautiful airplane has, by necessity, to make sure the wings stay on.
For the fifth consecutive year Chef Mavro restaurant is the only independent restaurant in Hawaii, and one of only a handful nationally, to earn the American Automobile Association (AAA) Five Diamond award. Other notable independent restaurant winners nationally are The French Laundry and Gary Danko in California, and Charlie Trotter’s and Alinea in Chicago. See the complete list here:
The consistently outstanding food, service and décor of Chef Mavro restaurant was confirmed by the anonymous visits of highly trained AAA inspectors. The Five Diamond award is “reserved for those outstanding restaurants that exemplify the highest level of excellence in every facet of operation.”
Chef Mavro comments: “We’re delighted because the AAA Five Diamonds reconfirms that casual fine dining is possible. Our restaurant offers a unique combination of a relaxed Hawaii style with national-level excellence in food, service and ambiance.”
Reserve your table by calling us (808) 944-4714 or on the reservations page of this site www.chefmavro.com/reservations.html
Happiness on a Fork shows you recipes on the menu right now!
Over the holidays, Chef Mavro came out of his kitchen for a few moments to meet Chef Hirohisa Koyama of Japan’s Kokin Aoyagi restaurant, who is in Honolulu to cook for the 2012 Sony Open Gala Dinner at the Convention Center. In 2010, Chef Mavro was chosen to prepare the Gala Dinner so they were able to share thoughts on the challenge of cooking for 1,000 VIPs! Chef Koyama loved the flavors of Chef Mavro’s 6-course tasting menu and the relaxing ambiance of the restaurant.
Chef Mavro gives the back story on a recipe from the new menu available now: Boeuf Bourguignon Moderne.
“These beef recipes are killing me! American guests are experts in matter of beef cooking. By far the best steak houses in the world are in the U.S. For me this is the most challenging ingredient I have to deal with. People expect to see a beef selection on my menu and every season I have to come up with new ideas and new seasonal garnishes. I don’t like to pick up a recipe from the past and since we are not a steak house, NY steaks, prime ribs, Chateaubriands and rib eyes are out of question. I have been changing my menu every season since 1978 when I opened my first restaurant “La Presqu’ile in Cassis, Provence” and I can come up with a new seafood recipe every week. I have no problem with chicken, duck, pork, lamb etc… But beef terrorizes me. But I don’t give up!
Here is my latest beef story:
A few years ago Columbia Pictures asked me to promote the Julia Child-inspired movie “Julie & Julia” in Hawaii. They gave a whole theater for me to invite more than 200 of my friends for the premiere of the movie in Honolulu. It was an enormous success. I was amazed after the movie to hear everyone craving “Burgundy Beef!” I decided for the following month to do a promotional burgundy beef menu at the restaurant. We sold out the whole month and we had to extend the promotion for two more weeks to satisfy the demand.
During the promotion Nadine Kam who was then food editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin (now restaurant critic Honolulu Star-Advertiser), asked me to create a modern version of the Burgundy Beef.
I did it just for the newspaper and never put it on the menu. I deconstructed the recipe, using a whole piece of Certified Angus short rib. The beef is braised for 5 hours in burgundy wine, cut into rectangular pavé, covered with the cooking jus, topped with fresh mushrooms, carrots, parsnips, sautéed swiss chard on the side and served with one of my classics a fluffly caper and extra olive oil mashed potato. Since it is never too late, that delicious, elegant “Moderne” version of Boeuf Bourguignon is now on our menu.
I was wondering what kind of wine was going to balance this dish? Our food & wine pairing committee chose a non-traditional “Equis” from Domaine de Lises, Saint Joseph. Dark and meaty with fresh cracked pepper aroma; what a perfect match!”
Perigord truffles now available and are wonderful sliced tableside over Boeuf Bourguignon Moderne!
Read social media queen Melissa Chang’s experience helping the Chef Mavro team choose wine pairings for the new Holiday Menu that starts tomorrow. Fabulous food photos too!
A peek into Chef Mavro’s kitchen this afternoon…bunches of Sumida watercress delivered direct from the farm by David Sumida. Check the twist tie at your Hawaii market to know that it’s the authentic Sumida Farms brand.
Wine Pairing: Van Duzer, 2007 Dijon Block Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley “bright berry character, intriguing complexity, pleasing balance”
Reserve your table 808-944-4714 firstname.lastname@example.org
You don’t have to fly to Marseille and lose on the Euro exchange to enjoy Bouillabaisse. But there are only 5 more nights to enjoy Chef’s specialty as it will go off the menu after Thursday, December 15 (because Holiday Menus start on December 16). Chef wakes up every morning calling his sources for menpachi, the rock fish so essential for the flavorful fishermen’s broth in which he poaches the dayboat snapper. A labor of love to bring you an authentic Provencal treat.
The recipe has inspired rave reviews from guests about their memorable experience as the luscious aromatic soup is poured over the snapper. Also pictured here are the yukon potatoes, rouille (a special aioli for bouillabaisse) and a country bread crouton. The optional wine pairing:
Chateau de Pibarnon, 2008 Cotes de Provence Rose, Bandol
“melon, white pepper, cherry, white peach, delicate & refreshing”
“Divine” is the most frequent exclamation at the first bite of Chef Mavro’s winning truffle recipe. Fresh Island eggs from Petersons’ Upland Farm in Wahiawa absorb their first truffle flavor by “osmosis” as they spend some hours nestled on a bed of rice in a refrigerated glass jar with the precious truffles, flown in fresh from France of course. Then fresh truffles are added to the recipe during preparation. Finally, if you choose, you can have fresh truffles sliced tableside over this extraordinary recipe. If you’ve never tried fresh truffles, this recipe offers the perfect first taste.
Truffle poached egg “osmose”
petersons’ upland farm egg, served with a potato mousseline,
chervil. serrano ham ribbons
Hawaii CEOs have long chosen Chef Mavro restaurant for important business conversations. Discreet service and a serene ambiance sets the perfect stage for business meetings. Of course award-winning Hawaii Regional Cuisine is also key. The restaurant is famous for carefully selected wine pairings (optional of course) which makes ordering easy as the host doesn’t have to spend time reading a wine list. This advantage provides more time for relationship building and settling in to important conversations. After the successful negotiation are completed, Chef Mavro is also the choice for celebrations! Ask about setting a menu in advance for larger groups. 944-4714