Chef Mavro's BlogBlogging about food & wine
First of all, our Chef Mavro Restaurant family
joins me & my wife Donna
in wishing you Delicious Holidays & an Astonishing 2015!!!
Festive Lamb Provençal on our 6-course Winter Truffle Menu
It’s a beautiful gift from Mother Nature, our Périgord truffles just arrived, as they do every year just before Christmas. And so our new Winter Truffle Menu starts December 17th and we’re open every night through the Holidays.
Truffle slices falling on more truffles!
Captured by our friend world-famous photographer Sherrie Ott.Don’t miss your Périgord truffles fix!
I love to observe the cycles of the truffle season. The season starts in Fall with Burgundy truffles, black outside, coffee color inside. They are cheaper than Périgord but no comparison with Périgord truffles. In Fall you find also white truffles from Alba Italy, they are delicious & very expensive. Their garlicky overtone is more appropriate for Italian cooking, gnocchi, pasta, risotto etc… At the end of the white truffle season comes Winter and the Périgord truffles…It has to freeze in Provence for the black truffles to pop up under oak trees! These treasures are black outside & black inside, you cannot be mistaken. They are not cheap at all; it’s why we call them the “black diamonds.”
As soon as they are delivered from France to our kitchen door, we open the box and they perfume the whole kitchen with their aroma! It’s totally addictive…but don’t worry, I never heard of truffle overdose! So every year just before the Holidays, we are proud to be the first to offer a Périgord truffle fix.
As you may know, every year we feature what is now our classic, Peterson egg upland farm, truffle “Osmose” with potato mousseline & San Danielle prosciutto ribbons.
When we receive the truffles, we store them in a hermetically sealed box with the eggs. By the osmosis process the eggs are naturally infused with truffle aroma.Then they are poached in order to preserve the truffle flavor. We serve them in truffled potato mousseline, topped with pickled shallot, prosciutto ribbon, chervil leaves & more truffles on top.
We selected the Jean-Marc Brocard, Chablis premier cru “Vaulorent.” I love our sommelier Doug Johnson’s description of this wine: “wet stone, white flowers & fruit notes; complex & intense, good length.”
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Truffled Brie de Meaux Mousse
If you never had Brie de Meaux, you don’t know brie…and if you never had this delicious cheese flavored with truffles, you don’t know Brie de Meaux..
We whisk the brie to a fluffy consistency, add chopped truffles, make it into a quenelle on top of country bread croutons served with escarole lettuce, lardons, walnut-truffle vinaigrette “et voila,” simple & delicious…
The pairing, Domaine Huet, Loire, Vouvray sec (dry) ask Doug about the “expressive aromas of apple, quince & honeysuckle, creamy long finish.” Don’t get him started, I’m sure that he can talk to you about the bouquet, aromas & flavor of this wine forever!
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These are fun vegetables!
Our new “méli-mélo”of upcountry vegetables. I love working on veggies…Vegetables don’t have to be boring, almost by tradition people kill them! Especially when they are blanched. In our kitchen we don’t blanch our vegetables. Instead each one is cooked the best way is supposed to be. We étuvée carrot, leek, fennel etc…we bake beets, we braise asparagus, broccoli…and when it is better not to cook them, we don’t. Red radish is an example…Also, this season we accompany the méli-mélo with a “sauce verte,” translation, green sauce…
We chop finely a selection of “fines herbes,” including chervil, chive, tarragon, parsley & cilantro mixed with a pinch of French mustard & extra virgin olive oil. This sauce is the main condiment of our veggies plate…
These are not boring vegetables especially paired with the Fiddlehead, Sauvignon Blanc, “Happy Canyon” from Santa Ynez Valley & as Doug likes to say, it’s “fresh pear, vanilla & citrus notes, with hints of apricot and balancing acidity” also balance the méli-mélo beautifully…These are fun vegetables!
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If I’m visiting Nice on the Côte d’Azur, you know where to find me!
Lamb, socca & ratatouille – I am very excited about this recipe. Totally inspired from the French Riviera, Côte d’Azur. When food is concerned I like to include the French Riviera into my Provence. If I am visiting Nice, you know where to find me…in the Vieux Nice (old part of the town) eating socca.
In fact socca is more considered as street food that you buy from vendors as you wander around the old streets. But what is socca?… Here is the recipe, chick pea flour, water, extra virgin olive oil that’s all. If you have a very hot oven, more than 500 degrees, & are not afraid to burn yourself with the boiling oil it’s also easy to make. If not, come to the restaurant we are always happy to make for you! It’s what we are here for, aren’t we?
I don’t have to describe ratatouille, you know what it is. Except that I have totally deconstructed the recipe to make sure you can appreciate every single one of the 1000 ingredients.
With the lamb, you have the opportunity to enjoy the prestigious Italian Brunello di Montalcino from Piancornello…by the glass of course!
Again, I’m way too long & I have no room to talk to you about the wonderful new desserts from our Jose Calpito, but don’t go anywhere I will keep you posted.
Did I wish you the best for 2015?…yes I did…
Aloha, Mahalo & Merci Beaucoup for letting us cook for you!
George Mavro, Chef Mavro
Honolulu, December 17, 2014
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Chef Mavro Gift Certificates include a glossy logo box with a card for your personalized greeting. When you drop by to pick it up you’ll receive a complimentary package of our house-made blondies!
How to cook 3 Holiday recipes!
Cooking Hawaiian Style! Starting Monday, December 8, 2014 at 7:30 p.m., on oc16.tv outside of Hawaii and in Hawaii tune in to OC16 Channels 12 and 1012 (HD).
Learn from Chef Mavro and Chef de Cuisine Jeremy Shigekane as they demonstrate how to make 3 festive Holiday recipes. Entertain your friends with these Hawaii farm-to-table dishes bursting with local flavors.
TAKO CEVICHE, tomato granite & juice, seasoned with espelette, jalapeno-cucumber brunoise, red onion shavings.
SPICY AHI, ogo, uni-aleppo pepper aioli, basmati rice sushi style, shoyu powder. * Now on the menu at Chef Mavro.
LILIKOI MALASADAS, guava coulis, hawaiian vanilla ice cream.
On your computer go to oc16.tv. Click on Shows, then Cooking Hawaiian Style.
Each episode runs for a week on the following schedule:
Monday, December 8 7:30pm (premiere)
Tuesday, December 9 1:30am 4:30pm
Wednesday, December 10 4:30am
Thursday, December 11 9:30am
Friday, December 12 12:00pm
Saturday, December 13 5:00pm
Sunday, December 14 2:30pm
Chef Mavro’s Pig and Pinot event offers the chance to taste three outstanding Pinot Noir with our popular pork dish:
Berkshire Pork Loin, house vadouvan curry, braised savoy cabbage
crispy pork belly
Guests are loving the flavor combinations and the chance to compare three pinots side by side! One guest came in for the Pig & Pinot but created an experience of Beef & Pinot and that works too! Flights of Pinot will be offered for a limited time so reserve your table now.
pig & pinot
a tasting of 2012 Pinot Noir
from New Zealand, Oregon and California
Wines are available as a flight 39.00 (2 oz. each); as an addition to the
four course wine menu 25.00; or by the glass.
greywacke, 2012 pinot noir, new zealand
“From the cool climate hillside vineyards planted to Dijon clones of pinot noir, Greywacke takes its name from the type of sandstone found in the hills, valleys and vineyards in Marlborough’s Southern Valleys of New Zealand. Crafted by veteran winemaker Kevin Judd, founding winemaker of famed Cloudy Bay Winery, the 2012 pinot noir oozes of mulled raspberry, spice, rose petals and pepper; full bodied and delicious.”
bergström wines, 2012 gregory ranch pinot noir
yamhill-carlton, willamette valley, oregon
“Gregory Ranch’s viticulture and biodynamic programs have been managed by Josh Bergström and the Bergström Wines farming team since the vineyard’s inception in 2007. Wines from the Yamhill-Carlton District of Willamette Valley typically show dark fruits such as blackberry and blueberry with flavors of mushroom and spice that stem from the marine sedimentary soil known as “Willakenzie.”
paul lato, 2012 “duende,” gold coast vineyard
santa maria valley
“From the cool coastal climate of the Santa Maria Valley, Paul Lato crafts the “Duende,” from the Martini Clone of pinot noir, a low tannin clone that yields a full bodied and silky textured wine that shows bright strawberry fruit with earthy notes.”
The exciting contemporary regional cuisine of Chef Mavro restaurant consistently earns the highest food rating in Hawaii with an 18/20 from Gayot. Also the AAA Five Diamond award means you’ve chosen Honolulu’s #1 restaurant for fine dining. A relaxed vibe, friendly service, and a subdued sound level is perfect for a Hawaii honeymoon dinner, an anniversary celebration, a special gathering of friends, as well as business conversations. Return guests confirm that Chef Mavro is Honolulu’s best restaurant.
“Premier contact charmant, à Hawaii – Première expérience gastronomique à Hawaii… Remarquable! Accueil invitant, expérience sensorielle envoûtante. Service courtois et attentionné. Expérience à renouveler lors d’un prochain séjour.”
post OpenTable Nov. 2014
Keahole lobster photo by Rae Huo
(new menu stories from Chef Mavro)
I must have seafood in my genes!
My previous newsletter “Fall Menu Part I” was mostly about our new seafood dishes. It is true that I love cooking seafood. Born on the old port of Marseille and from Greek sponge divers on my father’s side, I must have the sea in my genes! In fact Bon Appetit just asked me about fish cookery.
But I know how to cook meat too!
Berkshire pork loin, house vadouvan curry, braised savoy cabbage, Brussel sprout petals, crispy pork belly.
First of all, in our fall Hana Hou (our greatest hits), we welcome back the vadouvan curry!
You may already know the origins of the Vadouvan but I love this story. The vadouvan curry was created about 2 centuries ago by the French living at this time in the Indian territory of Pondicherry. I always like to romance this story like this… French used to like Indian curries but there was a problem. India curries are very spicy & this is a «problème » for pairing wines. You know French…there is no food if there is no wine & no wine if there is no food.
Also, I know very well what you are thinking… French are convinced that they can cook better than anybody else. So…they created their own curry… the vadouvan was born! Of course I am doing my own vadouvan. Anyway, we always do everything from scratch.
What better than the Niman Berkshire pork to go with the vadouvan.
I consider Niman Berkshire pork as “la crème de la crème” of pork. It has this kind of marbling that you can find only in the top quality of beef. Served with a duo of cabbage, sauteed Brussel sprout petals & braised savoy cabbage,
crunchy pork belly, sooo… crunchy.
No Darjeeling for the pairing…the astonishing 2012 Lytton Spring from Ridge Vineyards, Sonoma. A selection from our sommelier Doug Johnson which the committee was crazy about.
Wagyu pavé, pomegranate-teriyaki glaze, sauteed kabocha, sumida farm watercress potato mochi with yuzu koshu accent
We are featuring the wagyu as a “Tajima Wagyu experience.” You can add the wagyu to our 4 & 6 course menus. Or substitute it as your main entrée.
This is my opportunity to introduce our new chef de cuisine, Jeremy Shigekane, who contributed to this Wagyu recipe.
Jeremy just came on board a few months ago. Although he is young, he already has a very strong experience from working with Brian Bistrong at the Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay, to Gray Kuntz & David Bouley in New York. He came back home after working 10 years on the Mainland & was recently chef de cuisine of Hoku at the Kahala.
Back to seafood… I can’t help it!
Our guests asked us to put back on the menu one of our more popular recipes & not the onaga baked in salt crust this time but the…
Steamed day-boat snapper Chinatown style, shiitake mushrooms, ginger, sizzled with grape seed & sesame oil, topped with fried cilantro & green onion
This is a deconstructed version of the popular Chinese recipe. When I arrived in Honolulu, fresh from France I discovered this local favorite, it blew my mind & I’m always happy to feature it in my menu.
We look forward to cooking for you soon!
George Mavro, chef/owner
Excerpt from Chef Mavro’s letter introducing the new Fall Menu:
“Dessert has to be a harmonious continuation of the dinner. This is why I designed & executed the poached fig in spiced Burgundy wine accompanied with tapioca dumpling filled with toasted pistachio-fig marmalade & a side of crazy creamy pistachio ice cream. You might ask me how come your pistachio ice cream is not green? Just because we never use food coloring…
And the wine? Again, the Maculan, 2012 Dindarello won the dessert pairings. No surprise, this is a perfect dessert wine, not too sweet, long finish, ripe citrus fruit & orange blossom. What a marriage with the poached figs.”
Read Chef Mavro’s letter with about the Fall Menu:
Join us tonight and this week to be among the first to savor Chef’s new Fall Menu. Here’s an excerpt from his letter to guests and a link to the complete letter introducing the Fall Menu:
From Chef Mavro’s letter: “What about our Fall Chef’s Menu which is full of new creations…
Diver scallops are harvested one by one & freshly received from Maine. Not bleached, not frozen just an outstanding quality that you want to handle with care.
We crust the scallop with very thin slices of slab bacon then sautéed unilaterally until the bacon is crisped. Voila the scallop is ready. Hard to explain but for me, these scallops were calling for mushrooms.
It is the tip of the short season of chanterelles & chanterelles it is going to be. Now the chanterelles are calling for fiddle head ferns, hoi’o, & here they are. The salad is served on top of a velvety mushroom velouté a dish inspired from the forest.
The wine committee selected a Puligny Montrachet premier cru. By the way, do you know too many restaurants in the country that serve Puligny Montrachet premier cru by the glass?
This one is from the 2010 “Clos de la Garenne” from Louis Jadot. Its minerality matches perfectly the bacon, mushrooms & hoi’o & makes love with the scallops.”
Many guests of this top Honolulu restaurant say that the moment before dessert is a highlight. “Simple can be best” is one of Chef Mavro’s themes. Here is delicious Molokai watermelon in a cold-process gelee that preserves all the flavors of the Champagne intact. Accented by fresh mint. This is the perfect pause before the arrival of our famous desserts.
Chef Mavro’s Wagyu beef dish meets and exceeds the expectations of beef lovers! Menus are flexible so you can enjoy this seductive recipe on either the Hana Hou or the Chef’s Menu.
You can also enjoy our premium wine which is rarely available by the glass:
Cenyth, 2009 Meritage Red, Sonoma County
Our sommelier comments: “velvety textured flavors of, currant, plum & black olive; well structured bordeaux blend”
Wines by the glass are an option not to be missed at Chef Mavro restaurant. Each wine pairing is carefully selected to enhance the flavors of a dish and also to showcase that wine in the best possible way. Here is a wine perfect for vegetables and a wine pairing for lamb, both from the new Hana Hou menu:
Guests appreciate knowing that they will taste the freshest Hawaii ingredients at Chef Mavro. And Chef personally visits his farmer purveyors because he loves to “talk story” with them and also to show support for their hard work amidst many challenges. He especially appreciates Dick Threlfall, owner of Hawaii Island Goat Dairy, who is just as crazy about quality and consistency as he is. “I know I can feature Hawaii Island Goat Cheese on my menus because Dick never fails to deliver an outstanding product year in and year out,” comments Chef Mavro.
The current goat cheese recipe features another one of Chef’s favorite ingredients and one of the best flavors you can find in Hawaii – ogo (Hawaiian seaweed). Chef Mavro: “This recipe is a beautiful combination of sweet confit kumquats and salty ogo with the goat cheese. I wasn’t surprised that this dish became an instant hit with our guests.”
The final touch is from a small business just up the road from Dick’s goat dairy. Volcano Island Honey produces the most delicious rare white Hawaiian honey that adds so much to this irresistible dish.
On Father’s Day, treat Dad to everything with our Chef’s Menu featuring Abalone, Foie Gras, Lobster, Duck, Wagyu Beef, Cheese and of course a grand finale Chocolate dessert.
Chef Mavro is a restaurant designed for comfort. Soft Egyptian cotton napkins and tablecloths, sparkling crystal glasses and cushioned seating invite you to settle in and relax. Conversation is easy when you are surrounded by brightly colored original Hawaii art each with a story such as: inspired by petroglyphs, painted on location at Foster Botanical Garden, hand blown glass art by Kailua’s Geoff Lee. Welcoming and expert service makes sure that the pace of dining is adjusted to your preference. Just let us know. Spending the evening or catching a show afterwards? Families love to celebrate at Chef Mavro because the sound level was designed for conversation. Groups can easily converse from one end of the table to the other. Memories are made here.
Chef Mavro restaurant holds the highest food rating in Hawaii 18/20 Gayot and is also noted for wine pairings. Beer and cocktails are also available.
Reserve your table by calling (808) 944-4714 or reserve online from our Reservations page.
inspired by provence & the islands
chilled crécy orange, coconut foam
confit big island abalone on baby leek étuvée
“oursinade,” sea urchin emulsion, uni
hudson valley foie gras & mango déclinaison
“au naturel,” pickle mango ●seared, li hing mui mango tatin ●bavarois, with mango kanten
roasted keahole lobster, chorizo-crustacean taro puff
upcountry vegetable fricassée in tamarind-tapioca jus, lobster essence
free range duckling from grimaud farm in double cooking
fried bhutanese rice, black garlic, duck leg bacon, baby carrots, haricot verts
braised fennel, star anise duck jus
100% wagyu beef medallions, agave crisped brussels sprouts, serrano ham
chimichurri celery root mousse, essence of pinot noir
hawaii island goat cheese with lemon & chive
confit kumquats, molokai ogo, rare hawaiian organic white honey
watermelon in champagne gelée
waialua chocolate “marquise,” brick crunch, candied macadamia nuts
dulce de leche, sea salt caramel flan, crème fraiche, lilikoi coulis