Chef Mavro's BlogBlogging about food & wine
Be among the first to savor this year’s fresh truffles flown in from France. Return guests make a special trip to dine at Chef Mavro this time of year lured by the irresistible even intoxicating allure of fresh Perigord truffles! Here’s one of the top recipes of the season:
egg – truffle
from peterson’s upland farm, truffle “osmose,” potato mousseline, chervil, serrano ham ribbons
wine pairing: jean-marc brocard, 2011 chablis premier cru “montée de tonnerre”
“complex flavors of peach & wet stone, flinty dense finish”
Modern Luxury Hawaii always has the scoop on life’s pleasures and the Holiday issue is no exception. “Now in Hawaii” (page 54) previews Chef Mavro’s new Pastry Chef Elizabeth Dippong. Senior Contributing Editor Diane Seo filed this report:
Chef Mavro just came up with yet another exciting flavor combination of pickled persimmon and North Shore sea asparagus, Frankie’s Nursery fresh green peppercorn accented by li hing mui. Big Island feta is fried (according to a technique learned from fish house owner Manos on Symi where Chef’s father was born) and layered with country bread tuiles baked daily by Pastry Chef Elizabeth Dippong. Add tableside service of Volcano Island’s rare hawaiian organic white honey and voila! A reason in itself to join us for the Autumn Menu.
Since this is a last-minute change to the menu, there was no time for our usual wine pairing committee to meet. Sommelier Doug Johnson did a great job finding the Chateau de Montifaud, Pineau de Charentes “jeane blanc.” We look forward to your comments on this new recipe. Bon Appetit!
feta cheese – persimmon
hawaii island fried feta cheese, layered with country bread tuiles
salad of pickled persimmon, sea asparagus, green peppercorn, li hing mui, rare hawaiian organic white honey
chateau de montifaud, pineau de charentes “jeune blanc”
“unique blend of cognac & unfermented grape juice; slightly sweet, hints of melon, caramel & spice”
From now-Sunday, November 17, all guests of Chef Mavro will enjoy “Taste Exotica – Rainforest to Table,” a complimentary flight of Hawaii’s tropical fruits served just prior to the restaurant’s famous desserts.
Pastry Chef Elizabeth Dippong collaborated with Frankie’s Nursery in Waimanalo to select four of Hawaii’s exotic fruits that are by definition “excitingly different!” Then she spun each fruit into a mini-tasting experience that best showcases that fruit. Grown with expertise and love by Frank & Lyn Sekiya and harvested specially for this promotion, featured fruits will include Jackfruit, Mamey Sapote, Meli Kalima Honeycream Pineapple, and Green Peppercorn.
“Part of my mission is get people to try foods (and wines) that are out of the mainstream. Elizabeth and our team are having fun coming up with ways to show Hawaii fruit at their best,” commented Mavro.
Here’s an excerpt from the annual Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Best Restaurants 2013. Chef Mavro restaurant won the 2013 award “Critic’s Choice Fine Dining.”
“Local touches are never far, though they get upscale treatment, such as Indochine-style poached Keahole lobster served over long rice beside Kurobuta pork kau yuk, ladled with tamarind and lemongrass broth. And an “ahi bowl” of spicy big-eye tuna topping steamed basmati rice is accompanied by velvety sea urchin and aleppo pepper aioli dotted with ogo with a side of soy sauce powder adding its umami effect.
Pastry Chef Elizabeth Dippong creates dazzling finale dishes combining savory and sweet.”
In fact, Elizabeth wowed the crowd of 500 this week at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser ‘Ilima Awards party to benefit Diamond Head Theatre with tastings of her new Madre chocolate dessert:
chocolate – black sesame
madre chocolate cremeux, black sesame seed caramelized rice,
orange meringue, hazelnut dragées, butterscotch crisp & sauce
wine pairing: broadbent, 10 year malmsey madeira, portugal
“light & elegant with hints of toffee & mandarin orange, balanced & smooth”
click here for the complete Chef Mavro story:
Join us tonight for an “After Opera” Dinner!
Chef Mavro supports the arts in Hawaii and loved the Friday performance of Puccini’s Turandot. Just click below to get tickets for this afternoon’s 4 p.m. curtain and then reserve your “After Opera” table at Chef Mavro by calling us 944-4714 (or book online). This exhilarating opera will leave you in the mood to enjoy a glass of wine over dinner to chat about the opera’s question, “What would you do for love?”
Information on the opera and tickets: http://www.hawaiiopera.org/shows/turandot/
Shown here, Chef Mavro’s new Watercress, Fiddlehead Fern & Heart of Palm Salad. And the Wagyu Beef, Oxtail Loco Moco, Quail Egg dish.
Mahalo to a guest from Washington D.C. who just posted on Yelp with Five Stars. Mahalo from the Chef Mavro team!
“Spectacular cuisine/service. Eye-watering price makes it a special occasion meal, for sure, but, we’ve never regretted a single cent spent at Mavro. Chef is from Cassis/Marseilles and his southern French roots are evident. One memorable dinner on Mothers Day found us being served Chef’s mother’s own pistou recipe table side with gentle description and memories conveyed. Have breakfast the next day in Kaimuki at Town and you may run into Chef and his wife, there. One of Earth’s great restaurants.”
Today’s Biting Commentary, Honolulu Magazine’s online newsletter covering what’s hot in the local dining scene, featured Chef Mavro’s exciting new Autumn Menu. Pictured in the newsletter is Pastry Chef Elizabeth Dippong’s taste sensation Lilikoi Cremesicle, passion fruit & vanilla “cremesicle,” sauternes gelée, anise coconut froth, macaroon crisp.
Wine pairing: la spinetta, 2012 moscato d’asti “bricco qualia”
Reserve your table now (808) 944-4714
Here’s a link to Chef Mavro’s letter with food photos and details about his new Autumn dishes and wine pairings.
Here’s an excerpt about the new beef dish:
I love Japanese cuisine! For me Japanese cooks are as crazy as we are in France. No short cuts, using the best and freshest ingredients available. In both countries, cooking is more than a job, it’s a religion!
We accompany the wagyu with small oxtail patties topped with a sunny side up quail egg. This is our version of loco moco! Delicious.
We stay in Japan with the sansho jus and accent the wagyu with a few dots of yuzu kosho. Yuzu koshu is by far my favorite Japanese condiment ( a yuzu, green chili & sea salt preserve). The first time I had yuzu kosho I cried! Not because it was too hot but just because it’s not every day that you discover such an intense & beautiful flavor!
Then I asked our sommelier Doug Johnson to try the dish in order to pre-select at least five wines for the wine pairing committee. Doug was close to either quit or commit suicide. I was happy that the wine selection was his problem & not mine.
Doug did it again! Out of 5 wines only one was really working…but what a pairing! The very American red zinfandel, Lytton Springs Estate Zinfandel from Ridge Vineyard. click to read more…
Chef Mavro’s Signature Onaga Baked in a Hawaiian Salt Crust served tableside with a sauce of tomato-ogo-fines herbes. Only tonight and tomorrow.
Honolulu Star-Advertiser featured the another signature, the Original Lilikoi Malasadas, in the TGIF weekend entertainment section by Nina Wu. Also only two more nights.
An interview with Doug Johnson, sommelier and dining room manager at Chef Mavro opens this month’s Hawaii Beverage Guide. “Tapping the Trade” is written by Liane Fu, owner of The Wine Stop (also on South King St. just a few blocks from Chef Mavro restaurant).
Doug has a recommendation based on his two years plus experience at this restaurant popular for romantic occasions as well as business gatherings: “trust in what the restaurant does. Let the restaurant’s experience with product knowledge, the dish and the pairings make it easy for you to have an exceptional food and wine experience.”
Liane quotes his comments about some awesome pairings that stick out for him in this season’s menu:
“Etienne Guigal Crozes-Hermitage with the Lamb Tapenade for the intensity of the wine and the dish. A perfect match.”
“Another of his favorite pairings is the Mushroom-Black Garlic dish with the Jermann Pinot Grigio. The wine and the dish have a mutual nuttinesss. The Pinot Grigio pairs well with mushrooms because it has a nice minerality and nice creaminess.”
“Another excellent pairing is The Dayboat Catch which is currently onaga with the 2012 Bandol Rose. This was an outstanding vintage for this Rose. I love how it pairs with the dish. It has generous fruit yet is still bone dry.”
Be sure to engage Doug in a conversation on your next visit. Questions and comments are always welcome! Food & wine is what it’s all about at this top Honolulu restaurant.
PACIFIC BUSINESS NEWS, September 6, 2013
Four questions for Chef Mavro
Reporter-Pacific Business News
George Mavrothalassitis is chef and proprietor of Chef Mavro, a top-rated fine-dining restaurant in Honolulu. I had the opportunity to talk story with Chef Mavro, as he is most commonly known, in his restaurant with the same name. Here is what we talked about:
What do you enjoy about living in Hawaii?
I’ve been here for 27 years. Do I have to explain? I come from the French Riviera. It’s not bad.
But, what I like about Hawaii — it’s not the scenery or the coconut trees — I think it’s the people. I like that Hawaii is islands, and maybe that comes from my blood. My father was born on a very small island. Maybe it comes from this. Who knows? When Halekulani hired me in ‘88, I remember I came, I flew, and we arrived at the end of the day. It was dark. I went to Halekulani, I had dinner at La Mer and after that, I went to my room. It was, I guess 6 o’clock in the morning, dawn, I opened the window and I saw what I didn’t see when I arrived because it was dark. I saw Waikiki, Diamond Head and it was blue because it was early in the morning. I couldn’t believe — I said, ‘Wow, I’m home.’ I think it was deep.
What do you do when you’re not working?
Not working? What are you talking about? I don’t have a concept of “day off.” To me, day off doesn’t exist. Restaurant is closed on Monday, on Monday you can think “day off” [but] I have so much paperwork.
This doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy being off. My restaurant, I don’t have to give notice to take off, so I escape. I escaped a few weeks ago and we went to spend three weeks in Provence, close to my hometown in the south of France. And I love to escape to Kauai, to Big Island. If my schedule is OK, I escape. Even sometimes, I can stay home. I’m lucky to live Makiki with a fantastic view. Being home and looking out my window, I’m already on vacation.
What is your favorite meal to cook at home?
I like fish. I cook a lot of fish. I go to pick up my fish at Tamashiro Market. I like chicken. I like easy cooking. I cook a lot. Usually chefs don’t cook at home. I cook at home. To me, it’s almost like meditation because there’s no pressure. My kitchen, I can cook all day with not one single spot on me, and at home, I make a mess.
What do you enjoy about operating your own Facebook and Twitter accounts?
I have to confess, I enjoy it. I enjoy Twitter and Facebook. I start to communicate with people and it’s quite interesting.
You are not going to see “I went to Magic Island this morning and the weather was beautiful.” I don’t do that. It’s 100 percent business, 100 percent restaurant and 100 percent cooking.
We never advertise. I never spend one dime on advertising — one dime. We opened 15 years ago and we never advertised. In my category, we don’t advertise. If I advertise, people say, “Oh what is going on?” So to me, what I felt a long time ago, 15 years ago, I started a newsletter. It was communication by email, a newsletter about what is going on. Now we have a database of about 9,000 guests.
When I discovered Twitter and Facebook it was to me, to multiply. So I was posting my newsletter, which if you look at my page, you’re going to find. I post my newsletter on my page and on Twitter, also.
It’s great. I have a great return for this, and I enjoy doing it.
At beginning, I thought it was taking too much of my time. I found a way to do a little better and faster and to be more efficient. I have almost 2,000 friends on Facebook and 2,000-something on Twitter that follow me. I think this is good enough.
Stephanie Silverstein covers tourism, retail and money for Pacific Business News.