Chef Mavro's BlogBlogging about food & wine
Foodie Top 100 U.S. 2016:
Southwest & Hawaii
updated December 12, 2015
Foodie Top 100 Restaurants U.S. 2016
According to the nation’s top food critics, the not-to-be-missed restaurants of the Southwest and Hawaii can be found in Austin, Las Vegas, and Honolulu.
For 2016 the winners in the Southwest & Hawaii are: in Honolulu Chef Mavro; in Las Vegas Joel Robuchon, Restaurant Guy Savoy, and Twist by Pierre Gagnaire; in Austin, Texas Uchiko.
“Chef George “Mavro” Mavrothalassitis is behind the legendary James Beard Award-winning island cuisine served in an unassuming building in Honolulu’s Moiliili area. A synergic union of French technique, local ingredients, and Hawaiian flavor, his multi-course menus expertly blend the likes of Hudson Valley foie gras and local mango. The wine program is serious, with pairings to prove it.”
“The Foodie Top 100 is selected by an elite group of the world’s top food critics and Foodie editors, including Gael Greene, Jonathan Gold, Phil Vettel, Michael Bauer, Karen Brooks, and Mode Media’s Samir Arora, this list highlights America’s very best dining, based on a primary criterion of truly exceptional food.”
Reservations: (808) 944-4714 www.chefmavro.com/reservations
Chef Mavro Serves Mom’s Pistou Soup Complimentary for Mother’s Day Dinner Sunday May 8
HONOLULU – For one night-only-on on Mother’s Day dinner, Sunday, May 8, Chef Mavro will be in the dining room serving a complimentary course of his Mother’s Pistou Soup! Menus are flexible and this complimentary course means that four courses become five for the same price, and six courses becomes seven. The irresistible aroma of the tableside service will waft across the dining room!
Chef Mavro explains his inspiration for Pistou Soup, a comfort food from Provence:
“My Mom was an angel. She was very romantic, always reading and listening to music. She loved art and was half-Italian and half Austrian and lived in Marseilles, She was cooking a legendary pistou soup. It was the best in the whole world. Her soup included a large variety of spring beans, ham hocks, tomato, salted pork belly, and of course one ton of basil and parmesan cheese. And…love, always the best ingredient. I’m still carrying on her recipe when I cook a pistou soup.”
On Mother’s Day guests will also enjoy many greatest hits from the Spring Menu including: Keahole lobster “à la française,” split english peas, manoa lettuce, bacon, tokyo turnips, essence of crustacean; and North Shore farm fresh free range chicken roasted on the bones, périgord truffle, green asparagus, fork crushed yukon potato, bearnaise jus. Complete menu.
Chef Mavro restaurant holds the highest food rating in Hawaii, 18/20 Gayot, and is the State’s only independently owned AAA Five Diamond restaurant. Chef Mavro is a James Beard Award winner who has championed Hawaii farmers and fishermen for the last 28 years.
Chef Mavro and Chef Jonathan Mizukami are the topic of Catherine Toth Fox’s fascinating story in the February issue of Honolulu Magazine. Great quote “Between his craziness and my craziness, we have a lot going on,” explains Chef Mavro about his collaboration with new Chef de Cuisine Jonathan Mizukami.
“I’m excited to welcome Jonathan Mizukami to our kitchen. His 10 years of experience in The French Laundry, a Michelin 3-star restaurant, expands our pursuit of excellence. I look towards the future of our profession through the eyes of the next generation,” affirms George Mavrothalassitis, chef/owner.
Born on Maui and a graduate of the Maui Culinary Academy, Mizukami went on to work at the highest levels of gastronomy in the U.S. including 10 years with Thomas Keller at The French Laundry. He completed a seven-month internship at Spain’s famed 3-star Michelin restaurant elBulli and other internships at Alinea in Chicago, Per Se in New York, and Gordon Ramsay and The Fat Duck in the U.K.
“I’m enjoying the collaboration with Chef Mavro. We share a passion for showcasing unique Hawaii products and supporting local farmers and fisherman,” comments Mizukami.
Last night is tonight! Chef George Mavro will be preparing his most famous dishes:
Onaga baked in a salt crust and Lilikoi Malasadas.
Book your table now to enjoy two of Chef Mavro’s Greatest Hits! On the menu only until February 12th.
Chef Mavro restaurant is famous for cutting edge dishes and new seasonal menus. But sometimes guests ask Chef to bring back some of his Greatest Hits! So now through Friday, February 12, 2016 you will find two famous dishes on the 4-course Hana Hou Menu. Menus are flexible so you are welcome to move these dishes over to the 6-course menu.
Onaga baked in a salt crust, tomato-oho-fresh herb sauce. This dish was names a Top 10 Recipe in the U.S. by GQ Magazine. It earned the cover page of the food section of The New York Times with a complete recipe and commentary. One taste and you’ll understand the ever-growing popularity!
Lilikoi Malasadas, guava coulis, hawaiian vanilla ice cream This addictive dessert returns for an encore from time to time. The tropical festival of Hawaiian flavors is a perfect light ending to a Chef Mavro dinner. Pastry Chef Jose Calpito continues to delight guests with his creativity (see the current Chocolate dessert) but is also able to execute “Greatest Hits” to perfection!
Jonathan Mizukami’s house-made choucroute accompanies our Keahole Lobster. Now all truffle-friendly dishes can be enjoyed with Perigord black truffles. Not to be missed. Call (808) 944-4714
New Year’s Eve Gala Menu at Chef Mavro in Honolulu
celebrating the best of Provence and Hawaii
Thursday, December 31, 2015 call (808) 944-4714 for reservations
russian sturgeon golden osetra, egg brouillé
MAISON DE CHAMPAGNE TAITTINGER, 2008 BRUT
hand harvested diver scallop, cauliflower grenobloise
BARON DE LADOUCETTE, 2012 POUILLY FUME
hudson valley foie gras parfait, preserved black mission fig
pinot noir gelée, marcona almond purée
ROYAL TOKAJI COMPANY, 2007 RED LABEL
dayboat snapper in marseilles fisherman’s soup
saffron, rouille & croutons
CHATEAU D’ESCLANS, 2014 COTES DE PROVENCE, ROSE ROCK ANGEL
white truffle risotto, kahuku corn, crustacean sauce
DOMAINE COLIN-DELEGER, 2013 CHASSAGNE-MONTRACHET, 1ER CRU EN REMILLY
australian tajima 9+ wagyu bordelaise, bone marrow pain perdu
périgord truffle-foie gras sauce
DOMINUS “NAPANOOK” VINEYARD, 2012 BORDEAUX BLEND, NAPA VALLEY
whipped brie de meaux, périgord truffle accents, apple & belgium endive
grilled walnut country bread
CHARLES JOGUET, 2012 CLOS DU CHÊNE VERT
LE GRAND DESSERT 2016
GRAHAM’S, 20 YEAR OLD TAWNY PORTO
gala menu 285.00
premium wine pairing menu 110.00
(hawaii state tax 4.712% and tip not included)
Located 5 minutes from Waikiki
Actual guests tell you about recent fine dining at Chef Mavro restaurant:
Five Stars: Chef Mavro never ceases to amaze
We have had the pleasure to dine with Chef Mavro, going back to his stint with La Mer, at the Halekulani. We have also had the pleasure to dine at his restaurant on King St. many times, and have always found it to be a constant highlight.
Five Stars: A true 5 star experience from the time you park your car
Top notch service from the time you park your car when we were greeted by a very friendly lot attendant. The hostess and all the waitstaff were upbeat and very attentive from the moment you walk thru the front door. This was one of the most satisfying meals we have eaten the 3 years we have lived on Oahu…
Five Stars: Meal of a Lifetime
From the excellent service to the exquisite food, this restaurant is incredible.
The following is a letter from a young culinary student who was selected to experience Chef Mavro’s complimentary 2-day Restaurant Reality program, given twice a year in collaboration with the Hawaii Culinary Education Foundation. Hawaii culinary students are selected to spend two days working side-by-side with Chef Mavro and his culinary team to experience the reality of a independently owned Five Diamond level kitchen. Also included in the two days are visits to Hawaii farms, food producers, the fish auction, to meet the people behind the products featured at Chef Mavro restaurant. The finale of each Restaurant Reality is the Grand Tasting dinner hosted by Chef Mavro for the students and their instructor.
In her own words:
“Resturant Reality Fantasy”
I’ve been skydiving, shark diving, climbed the stairway to heaven forwards, and in reverse, but I can truly say my experience with “Restaurant Reality” was the most exciting, inspiring, humbling experience of my life. To call it “Restaurant Reality” is slightly a far shot because we felt like we stepped into a magical world far from reality, into something greater than ourselves. Hawaii Culinary Education Federation, Kapi’olani Community College, and Chef Mavro’s restaurant have something amazing going on, enriching the lives of culinarians across the map. I feel so fortunate to be chosen by some of the best Chef instructors in the world to participate in this amazing experience. Exciting would be a basic word to describe the feeling of “how did I get so lucky to be here?!” that I had every hour spent with Chef Mavrothalassitis, and the bunch. Inspiring would be a simple concept to describe the feeling of a small tear being brought to your eye when you hear pure passion in Chef Mavro and his team’s voice. Humbling is an understatement, because after the best two days with the people apart of Restaurant Reality, all I wanted to do was run to the labs at school, run into work and implement all the things I learned.
We started our first day in the dining room at Chef Mavro’s. We got to learn about the amazing things the Hawaii Culinary Education Federation do. We talked to Chef Mavro about everything culinary, and he introduced us to his staff, which in just 10 minutes shined like stars. They were each very inspiring, and you could see why he chose them specifically, from a head Chef who was turned away by Chef Mavro many times until Chef knew he was completely ready for the task at hand, who showed perseverance for what you want will get you there in the best path possible, to a pastry chef who was called to work before he even himself knew he was ready, but turned out to be the best possible choice for a pastry chef, especially at 24 years old. We spent our first day under the roof of Chef Mavro’s restaurant, and by the second day we were able to see what makes the kitchen so successful. We saw mutual respect for all, from a hard working dish washer, to high expectations for the hostess. The kitchen staff truly trusted the small group of people working around them, and they moved like dancers in a great ballet, every movement had a reason, every step was thought out. With one person working per station, they owned their stations, something every kitchen needs. The staff was amazingly humble, including Chef Mavro, we were happy to learn so much from them in two days which felt like two weeks, but also two minutes.
The second day we experienced family owned, 3rd generation run, Sumida Watercress Farm. It was amazing to see the love that goes into one simple, amazing piece of vegetable. It was beautiful to see what the farmer, David Sumida had to do to keep his product amazing. We have a lot of respect for farmers like Mr.Sumida, and we see the shine in Chef Mavro’s eyes when he talks about the farm and the product as well. Next we went to the new location for the brain and heart of Honolulu Coffee Company. Our eyes were opened to another aspect of the culinary world, and the main focus for myself, was product, if you love your product, and you choose the best product, you will get amazing results, the coffee company gets those amazing results. We were led on the first tour by Director Jon Chadwick in the new building that hasn’t even finished its plan, but was gracious enough to let us get in their way and take up their time to show us something they are passionate about. He educated us about what makes their product the best: love for what they do, and only providing the best to their coffee plants, their employees and most importantly, their customers. We met Row Aczon, the director of coffee quality, he showed us what makes great coffee great, and happily made us the best cups of coffee we have ever had. Next we saw their bakeshop which provided us the best macaroon pairing with coffee that we have ever had, and saw their production kitchen, which was beautiful, seeing the care and passion Chef Curtis Horka has for his kitchen and the products they push out, was eye opening.
Following an Afternoon well spent, we went back to home base at the restaurant, were able to have another yet conversation that lasted hours with Chef Mavro and his crew. I felt that I learned what some people take years to realize, in two days just by talking to this astounding chef. We went back into his kitchen to see more of the care they take with their product and their instruments. Through this entire experience, Chef taught us what makes an amazing product the crème de la crème, and he always chooses the best products for his staff. I really appreciate the great habits and practices that hold strong under Chef Mavro’s roof. Finally, we were able to dine in, as guests, and we were offered everything on the menu. This was the best food experience I have ever had, the most humble I have ever felt, my senses were on fire, it was a very emotional meal. I want to thank all who were involved in making my experience everything great in the world. Kapi’olani Community College, for the chance to be even eligible to participate, and our chefs who chose Spencer and I, who saw something in us, especially Chef Alan Tsuchiyama, Chef Mavro’s wife for graciously accepting us into their culinary world as family, the Hawaii Culinary Federation for making every part of this amazing experience possible, Farmer David Sumida for showing us hard work and passion and what it takes to make the best ingredients, we as cooks should always cook with, to Honolulu Coffee for showing us what one amazing product can achieve, when you are truly passionate and proud of that product, to all the individuals that took time out of their busy schedule to help get us there, Chef David Brown for enhancing our experience by filling our minds with his own experiences, and opening his mind to allow us to see our experience through the eyes of a very qualified, experienced Chef, Hayley MatsonMathes for coordinating the entire event so beautifully, and well executed. Especially Chef Mavro, who I cannot begin to write about my respect for, for giving us the gift of insight, and education, as well as a meal that was full of hard work and passion, Chef Mavro’s restaurant staff for inviting us into their kitchen as if we were one of their own, giving us their knowledge and teaching us not just things, but ideas to live by,
Thank you all so much.
Pastry Chef Jose Calpito creates the famous desserts at Chef Mavro restaurant but so much more! Flavor combinations are a speciality and recently he’s added a touch of fresh herb to certain desserts.
Here is his Waialua chocolate bar, yuzu “guri guri,” chiboust & caramel, sesame crumbs, basil essence
His magic touches to the Chef Mavro dining experience include the complimentary sweets enjoyed by all guests at the end of dinner. These “mignardises” are changed frequently but could include tropical fruit pate, macarons, and chocolate truffles.
Chef Jose works quickly and precisely as he makes the restaurant’s signature French country bread.
Also Chef Jose Calpito makes crisps, wafers, croutons and all other small baked details that are important accents for the savory dishes. Here is the irresistible honey candy that tops the popular Big Island goat dairy cheese mousse, one-minute strawberry jam.
Chef Jose Calpito with Chef Mavro at this year’s Hawaii Food & Wine Festival. Always sharing a little joke and their love of cooking!
Chef Mavro restaurant selected as an OpenTable Diners’ Choice Local Pick for September. OpenTable recognition is determined by recent verified OpenTable diner reviews in Honolulu.
Only diners who have actually eaten in the restaurant receive an opportunity to post a review. Chef Mavro restaurant is also the OpenTable Diners’ Choice in the categories of:
Fit for foodies
Hawaii regional cuisine
Notable wine list
“Guests comment on our Hawaii style service and ambiance that make everyone comfortable. And of course we love to cook and it shows!” comments George Mavro, chef/owner.
Provence roasted niman ranch lamb loin, socca & basil ratatouille, sweet spiced lamb jus. A must-try on the current Summer Menu!
wine pairing: brunier, vieux telegraphe, 2012 chateauneuf du pape “la crau”
In Chef Mavro’s words:
“Our committee picked up unanimously the Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2012 Vieux Télégraphe as the wine pairing for our Lamb Provençale dish.
For me, this is not a surprise since in this part of Provence we know quite a bit about how to cook lamb.
The pairing is totally exceptional! And this shows again that wine and food from the same terroir are natural pairings. Le cul du berger sentira toujours le thym.
When you taste the Vieux Télégraphe with the lamb you can imagine the lambs eating the wild thyme and rosemary that grows between the vines. The winery is totally amazing with vines of grenache, mourvedre, syrah, cinsault…growing between the pebbles. There are so many pebbles than you cannot see the earth.
Local people there say under every stone is a drop of water. This part of Provence is very dry and you understand that people and vines are desperate for water.
Even if any Chateauneuf du Pape is potentially a good pairing with lamb, the Vieux Télégraphe is way above the others. This is centuries of wine making experience. The wine has high alcohol but perfectly balanced by its acidity. The acidity is a gift from the freezing temperatures every winter.
To me drinking this wine is a trip back to Provence in my mind and especially for my taste buds. I can see myself with my family in the Aix-en-Provence countryside. Dining on Sunday under the shadow of a huge fig tree, a plate of daube d’agneau (lamb stew) & a bottle of Vieux Télégraphe on the table. Who’s going to Provence this year?”
In Chef Mavro’s words about the new Summer Wagyu Beef dish:
When we decided to select our wagyu beef our Chef de Cuisine Jeremy Shigekane and I looked deeply into what was going on. We narrowed our investigations & came up with two wagyu available on the American market: the Australian Tajima grade 9+ and the Japanese Miyazaki A5.
Compared to the Tajima, and by far, the Japanese wagyu has more marbling & melts in your mouth, like foie gras. The Tajima although not as tender is more flavorful & Jeremy and I agreed that flavor is more important to us. Now you know everything about the beef…what about the new dish:
Barigoulo or barigoule is a classic summer dish from Provence. Artichokes are simmered with bacon, tomato, carrot, mushrooms, thyme & oregano. We add fava beans to make the dish even more summery. Then we deconstruct the recipe around the Tajima.
I have to say humbly, this is our best beef recipe ever!!! Forget all the beef we did before…The sauce, mahalo to Jeremy, is a beef jus accented with pickled mustard seeds.
We choose a wine as big as the dish, the Washington State Col Solare 2011 red mountain.
Reserve your table or call us (808) 944-4714