Chef Mavro's Blog

Blogging about food & wine

Korean actress films “I’m Real” TV show

Top Korean actress Sae Kyung Shin filmed a TV segment at Chef Mavro today with Chef de Cuisine Kevin Chong. It was dual cooking with Chef Chong preparing the Spring Menu Keahole Lobster with Pirie Mango Salad and Ms. Shin preparing Kim Chee Fried Rice. The segment airs in June or July on QTV.

A new Private Event photo gallery page on our website makes it easy to see the many diverse private parties that have arranged for Chef Mavro and his team to cook for their events outside the restaurant.

How many: as few as 2 and as many as 1,000.  Locations vary from private homes and unusual venues on Oahu, Lanai, Maui, the Big Island, and Kauai, to the Mainland U.S., and Japan. And on high-end cruise ships, golf courses, historic buildings, and practically anywhere.  Special parties for up to 70 guests can be produced in the restaurant.

Private parties

Wine pairings & photos added to post on 3-course menu ($59)

Chef Mavro Poisson CruWe’re getting lots of calls about our new menu and now we have the wine pairings and two recipe photos. Don’t miss this one.

Back from Bora Bora
includes 3 courses plus pre-appetizer, pre-dessert & house-made sweets


Cocktail suggestion: Tahitian Vanilla Martini 15.00

three courses $59

bigeye ahi, lime juice, tomato, cucumber, carrot, sweet onion, fresh coconut milk

pineapple glazed island pork
vanilla umara (sweet potato) purée
fresh coconut spinach

baked taro pudding with banana ice cream

Chef Mavro Poe Dessert

New 3-course “Back from Bora Bora” menu with flavors of French Polynesia

Chef Mavro “Back from Bora Bora” with Flavors of French Polynesia
new 3-course menu ($59) starts February 23rd

HONOLULU — The exciting French/Polynesian flavors of Bora Bora inspired Chef Mavro to create a special three-course menu, “Back from Bora Bora,” for only $59. The menu includes an irresistible version of Poisson Cru (surprise pairing with the Tahitian beer Hinano), followed by a main course of Pineapple Glazed Pork with umara puree, and finishes with a flavor-packed dessert of Poe of Taro. Of course the $59 includes all the Chef Mavro extras of pre-appetizer, pre-dessert and hand-crafted candies. This special menu is available by reservation from Tuesday, February 23. Chef Mavro restaurant is open Tuesday-Saturday from 6-9:30 p.m. Call 944-4714 or email

Chef Mavro just returned from his first trip ever to French Polynesia that included a short stop in Papeete, Tahiti followed by a stay on the idyllic island of Bora Bora. What caused him to leave his beloved Oahu? An invitation to join the maiden voyage of the very luxurious Seabourn Odyssey on a cruise to Bora Bora and to give a cooking demo and prepare a dinner featuring Hawaii Regional Cuisine. Once there, Mavro had no choice but to soak up the culinary flavors of this idyllic island as return flights to Honolulu are only once a week!

“I told myself if I’m going all the way to French Polynesia I’d better come back with some new flavor ideas! By good luck I stepped off the ship just as a cooking demo of poisson cru and poe dessert was getting underway at the harbor tourism office!” noted Mavro.

Three courses ($59)

bigeye ahi, lime juice, tomato, cucumber, carrot, sweet onion, fresh coconut milk

pineapple glazed Island pork, vanilla sweet pototo (umara) puree, fresh coconut spinach

baked taro pudding with banana ice cream

Two Classic French Cuisine Institutions Interesting story in the NY Times about La Tour d’Argent & Taillevent Restaurants.   With all the respect I have for this two institutions, perfect classic food execution, perfect service, perfect wine list.  I want the public to know that nobody  else cooks like that in France anymore, nobody serves like that and only some privileged customers drink this kind of wine (at least in a restaurant).   Some associate French cuisine with “too heavy, too expensive too pompous.”  La Tour d’Argent & Taillevent have been for too long synonymous with French cuisine and this is not necessarily a plus.   Also for decades now gourmet restaurants are owned by chefs (the contrary of  La Tour d’Argent & Taillevent).  Keep these two institutions as the “last bastions of Cuisine Temples” and enjoy the creativity and the spontaneity of the French new generation of restaurants.  G. Mavro

Celebrate Valentine’s pre and post February 12, 13 and 15

Chef Mavro restaurant is so romantic that the celebration goes on for four days! On February 12, 13 and then 15, you can choose from a four-course ($78) or a 6-course ($120) menu, each very flexible. From the comfortable ambiance, to delicious food & wine, to friendly expert service, this is a restaurant designed for couples. In fact, when Chef Mavro created the restaurant, he asked star interior designer Mary Philpotts to “make women look even more beautiful!” Soft lighting, peach tones and a relaxed vibe create an atmosphere that invites conversation and of course romance!

New Winter Menu starts January 5th

The 3-course menu ($69)  is back on Chef Mavro’s new Winter Menu!

New recipes and wine pairings include:

roasted lamb loin, “vadouvan” of lentils with lamb bacon
confit cherry tomato and garlic, winter savory lamb jus
“black cherry, blueberry, brown spice, earth and vanilla”

more details to come…

What is your dream feast for New Year’s Eve?

Chef Mavro will be cooking up the very best of Provence and Hawaii!

Fresh Truffles flown in from France, Caviar & Bigeye Ahi in an updated Chef Mavro classic, sautéed Foie Gras, Lobster with a chorizo puff, a greatest hit from a recent menu, 100% Wagyu, and for the grand finale a Fantasy of White, Milk & Dark Chocolate.

Premium wine pairings selected by sommelier Todd Ashline including Riesling Auslese, Champagne Rosé, Sauternes, Morey St. Denis, the rare Bordeaux Château Chasse-Spleen, and the unique Hungarian Tokaji with your dessert.

Bouquets of gold and black balloons float above each table creating a magical effect. Also a civilized and luxurious ambiance away from la “foule,” the smoke and the cacophony of fire works.

This is exactly what you’ll get on December 31st for Chef Mavro’s New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner.

Where: Chef Mavro Restaurant, 1969 South King Street, Honolulu on the beautiful Island of Oahu.

Cost: $170 without wine pairings; $90.00 for our sommelier selection wine pairings

Reservations from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Call (808) 944-4714 or


cod brandade, country bread croutons

big eye ahi, paddlefish caviar, taro chip, ponzu sauce

oven dried grapes, raisin bread, foie gras jus

kahuku cream corn, essence of lobster

strip loin and braised short rib in burgundy, celery root purée

persimmon kanten

a chocolate fantasy, mint white chocolate ice cream cone, rosemary milk chocolate malasada, dark chocolate flan

Letter from Chef Mavro – New Holiday Menu now through January 2, 2010 and New Year’s Eve Menu

Mahalo for another good year
AAA Five Diamonds again for 2010
18/20 Gayot’s top rating in Hawaii again for 2010

One more Christmas in my new home town.

I was born in Marseille, capital of Provence.  Marseille is a big city (on the French scale) more than 1 million inhabitants.  Growing up in Marseille is like growing up in a small village, everybody knows you and you know everybody.  If you haven’t seen a friend for a while you think “maybe is dead!”  Nobody (except me) leaves Marseille, born, grow, work and die some time in the same house.

People from Marseille are very welcoming, always smiling and joking. Nobody (except in the restaurant business) works very hard. When it takes one year in Paris to create a new road; it takes 10 years in Marseille to do the same road. But nobody really cares or complains.

In Marseille business is tough we always say “this is the price of the sun.”  We are not rich but happy. On bad times we think about the “pôvre” (miserable in Marseille dialect) inhabitants of Paris and Lyon and we feel better.

Now, replace the word Marseille by Honolulu…Is that not amazing?  I am home guys.

23 years in Hawaii and I don’t take anything for granted. I am, like the first day, still enjoying the morning run around the Punchbowl as well as the Monday swim at Kaimana Beach followed by a lunch at Ono Hawaiian Foods. Every time I eat ogo I celebrate like this is the best thing I have tasted in my whole life.  Same for local mango, watercress, lilikoi, guava, papaya, ahi, ginger etc.

Day-Boat Catch
Provence herbs, black olive, confit lemon & capers, caramelized fennel

Holidays are here and we are ready.  The Holiday menu is offered through January 2nd (7 days a week).  We will feature a special dessert to celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Our Day-Boat catch is the celebration of Provence.  Crusted with Provence herbs cured black olive, confit lemon and capers, it’s served with a caramelized  fennel bulb and a bubbling lemon thyme emulsion.  This recipe is a very good bargain.  It is going to make you fly to Marseille without leaving your seat.  The wine, very crispy, citrusy, peachy, apricoty with long acidity (all the words in “y” even the one doesn’t exist).  I am talking about the Domaine de Chatenoy, Menetou-Salon from the Loire Valley, selected by our wine pairing committee.

What is espelette and how good is the Tamarind Roasted Sablefish?

Back to Hawaii with the Tamarind Roasted Sablefish.  It perhaps looks like a misoyaki butterfish but it is not.  Tamarind glazed, the fish is garnished with salad of cucumber, red radish and celery, tossed with a yogurt-cilantro extra virgin olive oil dressing.  The sauce: a puree of garlic flavored with espelette.  What is “espelette?”

Thank you for asking.  Before this menu I was myself not sure exactly what it was.  Kevin Chong discovered the espelette while visiting years ago the Basque Country between France and Spain.

Basques are wonderful people, they don’t want to be French and they don’t want to be Spanish either.  They are Basques…The cuisine is wonderful, Chicken Basquaise, Piperade etc. What happens in Basque country stays in Basque country. Next door in Provence we don’t hear about it.

Sorry I forgot; you ask what espelette is?

Espelette is a dried basque chile, not too hot with very specific flavors something like maybe cayenne and paprika.

Challenge for the wine? Not really; we all picked up a Pouilly-Fuisse from Chateau Pouilly which was created for this recipe with dried-fruit flavors that work very well with the espelette.

Fois Gras “au torchon,” marcona almonds, fig balsamic, Portuguese sweetbread
I talk too much and I have almost no more room but I want to tell you about the new Foie Gras.

The foie gras is poached “au torchon” (inside a towel in order to squeeze the foie after cooking to remove the excess of fat).  The foie is topped with spiced marcona almonds (from Spain).  The dish is garnished with a marmalade of granny smith tomatoes (not apples), accented with baby mustard cabbage leaves.  Then served with a fig balsamic vinegar, toasted house Portuguese sweetbread on the side.

The wine is not a Sauternes which makes me happy because I think that as fantastic as this wine is, it is too sweet for Foie Gras terrine. The wine is a German Gewürztraminer Spätlese from Fitz-Ritter. This is a perfect balance of sweetness and acidity that doesn’t overshadow the foie gras.

Our Winter Menu will start January 5th featuring new dishes such as Lamb, Date Tarte, Big Island fresh Goat Cheese…But this is for my next letter.

Please check our complete holiday menus and our New Year’s Eve gala dinner.


George Mavrothalassitis/Chef Mavro
Chef Mavro Restaurant
1969 S. King Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96826
(808) 944-4714

Big Island Goat Cheese


Our sommelier and restaurant manager Todd Ashline is also a featured columnist for The Honolulu Advertiser. Read his Raise a Glass feature story on gift suggestions for wine and food lovers (scroll down to previous blog post).

Truffles, Lobster, Wagyu Beef on New Year’s Eve Menu ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Of course the highlight of the Holiday is our New Year’s Eve gala dinner with gold & black decor and favors.  This menu spotlights the ingredients that you dream about for this occasion:
fresh truffles, caviar, foie gras, lobster, wagyu beef and the grand dessert of 2010!
We create a festive oasis and a civilized way to dine for New Year’s Eve, yet close to Waikiki if you plan to finish the night with fireworks and dancing.

Gift Ideas for Wine Lovers from our Sommelier Todd Ashline

  By Todd Ashline. from The Honolulu Advertiser, Raise a Glass, December 16, 2009 

 Just before the holidays, guests at Chef Mavro start to ask me for gift advice for wine lovers. Of course, a solid idea is always a gift certificate to your favorite restaurant with a personal note recalling a wine pairing you enjoyed.

 Here are some of my best ideas for the food and wine lovers in your life.

 First, books. Most of them aren’t too expensive, and they will get tons of use. Wine books are perfect for the inquisitive and the experimental types. Some of my favorites are: “The New Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia” “Red, White and Drunk All Over,” and “The Oxford Companion to Wine.” Pocket wine guides can be a good gift too.

 Wine paraphernalia and accessories are always welcome gifts, and there are numerous choices: tags to mark individual glasses at parties and wine tastings; aerators to help a wine open up faster; boards, coasters, and trivets made from corks; wine refrigerators; electric corkscrews; wine buckets — the list is endless. Wine preserver systems, pumps and sprays are nice for those who like to save a little wine for another day.

 Wine glasses are another great gift idea for the wine enthusiast. You can buy different types of glasses for just about every different type of wine. Then, of course, there are glasses for beer, martinis, sake, scotch and bourbon, and snifters for brandy. Some wine glasses are even supposed to help the wine breathe and open up faster, too. Wine glasses range from those that hold a few ounces to some that will hold more than a full-size bottle if you are really thirsty.

 Decanters make nice gifts, and you can get a wine basket or cradle to accompany it. Decanters are used to separate the wine from its sediment, and also to help a wine aerate and open up faster. They are generally used for big red wines, old red wines, or tight, full-bodied whites. They can also be used to display a nice cognac or scotch. They range in style from simple square boxes to little roundish vases to elaborate “duck” decanters. With any decanter, a good cleaning kit would be a nice addition as well.

Then there is the ever-handy wine bag or wine carrier. Some come with insulation to keep those precious bottles at the right temperature when you are transporting them, and wheels to save your back and arms carrying heavy bottles. You can find them in single-bottle totes and multi-bottle pull-behinds, and most are under $100.

 This leads us to maybe the best gift yet: wine. How can you go wrong with a bottle of wine or spirits for those special friends and family members? Pick up their favorite wine or spirits in a local retail store, or ask the professionals there for some advice on introducing your loved ones to something new and exciting. During the holidays, I usually leave the everyday bottle on the shelf and opt for something a little different or more special. You can never go wrong with a little bubbly around the holidays, either.

 A few wines I’ve seen around town are:

 • Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau 2009. This wine is seasonal, released in mid-November. The grapes are picked, fermented, bottled, and shipped within a few months so the wine is extremely fresh and fruity, with juicy berries, a nice wine for brunches or earlier in the day, and it’s under $15 a bottle.

 • Charles Heidsieck Brut Non Vintage Champagne. This is a fuller-bodied style of champagne , with green apple, toast, lemon and minerality for about $60. For a splurge, try a vintage “Champagne Charlie” from Charles Heidsieck.

 • Pierre Ferrand Ambre Cognac. It’s aged 10 years and a great cognac for the money, smooth with nice floral notes, orange and citrus flavors and finishes with vanilla. It retails for around $50 a bottle.

Todd Ashline is director/sommelier of Chef Mavro restaurant.; 944-4714.

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