Posts Tagged ‘Honolulu’


Chef Mavro – brief comment about buying ahi sashimi

July 26, 2009
Ahi comes in many grades and prices

Ahi comes in many grades and prices

Sashimi grade bigeye ahi (tuna) priced from 9.50 to 21.50 for fish caught maybe from the same boat.
Question from B On Hawaii: + caught from the same ocean! why? quality, you think, or time in a refrigerated case? do tell.

Thanks @bonhawaii I was hoping someone would ask these questions.
Why? first for sashimi grade, fat content, from the skin up: measure one, two, three fingers.
Watery is bad. Color (less red means more fat, dark red is not the best). Freshness, time in the ice, how deep the ahi has been caught, temperature of the water, maturity, where the fish has been caught etc…one hundred reasons the range of the price in the Honolulu market can be from $3.00 to $35.00/pound.


Catered events by Chef Mavro produce the the highest quality – from an intimate group to hundreds

July 8, 2009
Cocktail parties are lively when Chef Mavro prepares fresh canapes

Canape action station

Stage service of Onaga Baked in a Hawaiian Salt Crust

Chef Mavro cooking class

Chef Mavro canapes

Why are our catering services known as the best of the Islands?

Chef Mavro and his team cook to the highest standards every time. That means cooking everything “á la minute” fresh to order including canapés, garnishes and vegetables. Chef Mavro’s experience is a guarantee of great food from canapés to sit-down tasting menus

For large groups such as corporate gatherings, weddings, and celebrations, we cook from action stations. A “top gun” chef at each station prepares each course just as we do in the restaurant “à la minute.”

No food lingering in warmers, no pre-cooked food served from steam tables, no oxidized canapés. This is the Chef Mavro promise: your food will be of the same quality for several hundred guests as for a table of two.

What formats are available?

1. Cocktail receptions – Luxury boutiques often chose Chef Mavro to produce and serve one-bit canapés in the store to provide an attraction and focal point during promotional events.

2. Gala dinners with table service – Sit-down dinners offer optional add-ons such as Chef’s personal and entertaining description of the menu; Sommelier descriptions of wine pairings

3. Cooking Station stroll-around events solo or with other chefs

4. Team Building events – Chef Mavro and his culinary team have years of experience organizing small groups of people into teams for hands-on cooking experiences followed by sit-down lunches or dinners at a Chef’s Table for information conversation with Chef Mavro.

5. Food & Wine Pairing events – Chef Mavro and his sommelier are experienced in producing a lunch or dinner event that includes guests blind tasting 3-5 wines with each dish and voting on which food & wine pairing they prefer.
This event is educational and highly entertaining as it inspires lively discussion at the tables.

6. Farm Tours and on-location cooking demos – Chef Mavro can produce a cooking demonstration literally anywhere. An example of a unique location is the Sumida watercress farm in Aiea, as well as farm partners on the Big Island and Maui.

7. Weekend in the Country with Chef Mavro – combination of in-kitchen hands-on cooking experiences, gourmet meals and farm tours. This event has been staged twice at a luxurious Big Island inn.

8. Private Cooking Classes for celebrities

Where can events be staged?

Chef Mavro and his culinary team have produced catered events as far away as Tokyo and Osaka, and as close as Lanai, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island and at prestigious venues on Oahu.

Examples of venues:
Hotels including New Otani Osaka, Miyako Hotel Tokyo, various Four Seasons Resorts, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel etc.
Historic locations such as Iolani Palace,
Private estates such as Shangri la and the Sullivan Estate

What size groups?
Group size has ranged from 2 to 500.

Contact: Call 808-944-4714 or email


Noted restaurant critic recommends Chef Mavro for romance

June 13, 2009

Chef Mavro: Oahu’s Most Romantic Dining Destination

By Si Si Penaloza, Editorial Director,  Saturday, June 13, 2009 Posted in Travel – Culinary Tourism

Romantic Restaurant 5 minutes from Waikiki

Romantic Restaurant 5 minutes from Waikiki

Where Sensual Hedonism is Made to Order

Welcome to Pop-The-Question Central. If you find yourself on the magical island of Oahu with your sweetheart and he happens to mention that he’s made a reservation at Mavro, you might be in for more than a little seared tuna. Chef Mavro’s soulful culinary creations and intimate dining venue set the stage for magical evenings and grand gestures.

Since the venue opened in 1998, the accolades have been flowing in a steady stream. Chef George Mavrothalassitis, a founding member of Hawaii Regional Cuisine, holds the prestigious James Beard Foundation award as the Best Chef in Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest. The restaurant earned the Five Diamond rating from AAA for 2009. The prestigious Gayot restaurant critics bestowed their only “18/20” rating in Hawaii, and also named Chef Mavro as the only Hawaii restaurant in their Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. 2008-2009. Mavrothalassitis was also recognized as one of “America’s Top Six Chefs” in a Wine Spectator cover story on the masters of food and wine pairing.

With a charismatic and telegenic personality, he has also appeared on CNN, numerous shows on The Food Network, PBS “Great Chefs in America,” Discovery Channel’s “Home Matters,” the Travel Channel’s “The Tourist,” NBC’s Travel Café, and many others.

Mavrothalassitis’ impressive commitment to Hawaiian regional cuisine and island ingredients make his restaurant Oahu’s most celebrated destination dining venue. An evening at Chef Mavro brings together the formidable skills of this remarkable chef-owner into a sublime marriage with the finest specimens Hawaii has to offer. As satiated sentiments break like waves from table to table, it’s obvious the results are elegant, intriguing and unforgettable.

Mavro’s menu is reinvented each season as the culinary team works hand-in-hand with local farmers to bring new offerings to the table. He is a genius at developing innovative techniques that enhance the natural flavors of fresh local products. Chef Mavro is recognized as a trail-blazing innovator with his introduction of food & wine pairings, which has been an integral part of his practice since the restaurant opened its doors.

Instead of a wine list, every menu selection is presented with a wine pairing offered by the glass. This takes the edge off for a guy nervous about making the right moves with the wine list. No need to worry about impressing your dining partner. At Mavro, all the nuances of your masterpiece meal have been carefully studied an pre-selected. The selection process created by Mavro himself makes this even more unique. Four times a year, he convenes a committee of twenty five including his cooks, wait staff, and food and wine media. Together they carry out a blind tasting of a variety of wines with each of his recipes. The winning pairings, to be enjoyed by guests for the following three months, are selected based on a democratic vote.

Mavrothalassitis was born on the port in Marseilles, the capital of sun-kissed Provence, surrounded by the feral calls of fishmongers and the farm-fresh abundance of southern France. His award-winning cuisine is rooted in training with numerous masters of contemporary French cuisine and his experience as owner of the Restaurant Mavro in Marseilles and the Restaurant La Presqu’ile in the seaside village of Cassis.

Drawing current influence from his life in Hawaii, he loves to tell the story of his first morning in Honolulu. “At sunrise I looked out over Waikiki Beach to Diamond Head and I said to myself – That’s it! I’m home!” Ever since that day in 1988, Chef Mavro has embraced the multi-ethnic people and foods of Hawaii and has become close friends with dozens of boutique farmers and specialty fisherman. On the occasion of the 5th anniversary of Chef Mavro restaurant in December 2003, he gathered his longtime purveyors around a Chef’s Table to honor them as the foundation of his success.

One example among so many is Mavro’s partnership with Island-born vanilla farmer Jim Reddekopp and their launch of the Hawaiian vanilla industry in Honolulu. His dedication to quality is legendary. As his fresh fish buyer, Don Leong of Honolulu’s Wing Sing Seafood, comments “Chef Mavro is picky picky picky!”

“Sometimes buying local means the cost is higher and sometimes it takes more time but the reward is huge. Local farmers succeed and my guests enjoy fresh, regional ingredients and a dining experience they could have only in Hawaii,” explains Mavrothalassitis.

Chef Mavro recently made a trip to New York’s James Beard House for a tribute dinner for Mildred Amico, director emeritus of programming. As noted on the Beard website, “Mildred has spent the last 22 years inviting risen and rising star chefs of American gastronomy to cook in James Beard’s Kitchen.

For this seven-course Tribute dinner establishing a new culinary scholarship, Amico chose nine chefs who were closest to her heart: Four James Beard award-winners George Mavrothalassitis (Chef Mavro/Honolulu),Ming Tsai (Blue Ginger/Wellesley, MA), Eric Ripert (Le Bernadin/NYC), and Takashi Yagihashi (Takashi/Chicago), plus five other notable chefs Ed Brown (Eighty One/NYC), Rebecca Charles (Pearl Oyster Bar/NYC), Clark Frasier & Mark Gaier (Arrows and MC Perkins Cove/Ogunquit, ME), and Florian Bellanger (Mad Mac and Rue et Violette/NYC).

“I am deeply honored to cook for Mildred’s dinner. Her enthusiasm for my regional cuisine has helped put Hawaii on the national culinary map,” says Mavro. Chef Mavro featured an innovative farm-to-table recipe from his current menu, Big Island Abalone Ceviche with Red Chimichuri and Salt Cod Croquettes. Big Island Abalone is donating their fresh product in support of the event.

In 2004, he began offering intimate cooking classes at his restaurant. If you want to sweep a girl off her feet, do it in the kitchen. Make reservations for two at the next class; after all, the couple that cooks together stays together. Reservations for his classes can be made through Gourmet Cooking Hawaii. “Cooking for the Love of It!” offers a rare up-close experience with Chef Mavro and includes demonstrations, tastings, a gourmet lunch with wine pairings and, as always, entertaining anecdotes from a lifetime of “la dolce vita”!

If you only have one night to dine in Honolulu, make it Chef Mavro.

Chef Mavro

1969 South King Street

Honolulu, HI 96826

Phone: 808.944.4714

By Si Si Penaloza, Editorial Director,
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Si Si Penaloza, Editorial Director
About the contributor:

Si Si Penaloza is the Editorial Director of Prior to joining’s powerhouse executive team, Si Si cultivated strong ties with editors, producers and publishers at all major Canadian media outlets. She is a seasoned print, radio and broadcast specialist. Graduating Magna Cum Laude from Bowdoin College in Maine, Si Si moved to Manhattan to study Film at New York University. Her strengths lie in contextualizing relevant content for a broad audience. She’s driven to stay competitive and at the top of the market – commissioning exclusive features and launching bold initiatives. Contact Si Si at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
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Chef Mavro Recipe Maitake Mushroom Salad, Sumida Watercress Salad

June 4, 2009

Oahu Farm-to-Table recipe

Oahu Farm-to-Table recipe

Peppery Sumida watercress salad

Peppery Sumida watercress salad
In the watercress field at Sumida Farm

In the watercress field at Sumida Farm

sautéed in white truffle oil, salsify shavings, bouquet of Sumida watercress

(2 servings)

Ingredients for the mushrooms:
16 pieces Maitake mushrooms, Hamakua.
1 piece Shallot, peeled, minced
2 cloves Garlic
1 sprig Parsley, Italian, chopped
1 T. Olive oil, extra virgin
½ piece Salsify, peeled, sliced into shavings

Ingredients for the watercress:
½ pound Watercress, Sumida Farm (Aiea, Island of Oahu)
2 T. Soubise (Maui onion simmered in white wine for two hours, pureed)
½ C. Olive oil, extra virgin
½ piece Lemon, juiced
½ tsp. White truffle oil
Salt and pepper to taste.

Method for the watercress:
Step one – salad:
Keep the leaves from the tip of the watercress for salad, wash in ice water; spin dry and reserve in refrigerator.
Step two – essence of watercress
Remove the leftover leaves from the stem of the watercress, then blanche them in salted boiling water and cool in a dry bowl on ice.
Blend the blanched watercress leaves with two tablespoons of soubise and one third cup of olive oil. Season to taste.
For the dressing, mix the remaining olive oil with the lemon juice and season.
Saute the mushrooms in olive oil for two minutes, add the salsify, shallots, garlic, white truffle oil and parsley at the end.

Place the sautéed mushrooms in the middle of individual plates. Spike a bouquet of watercress (tossed with the lemon/olive oil dressing) in the middle of the mushrooms. Surround with essence of watercress.

George Mavrothalassitis, chef/owner
Chef Mavro


Chef Mavro sommelier Todd Ashline on Cabernet Franc

May 20, 2009

Looking for Summer Wines? Check out Todd Ashline’s wine column on Cabernet Franc:

Summer Wine Recommendations by Chef Mavro Sommelier Todd Ashline

Summer Wine Recommendations by Chef Mavro Sommelier Todd Ashline


Fine Dining at Chef Mavro in Honolulu

April 30, 2009

Chef Mavo is Honolulu’s top-rated fine dining restaurant famous for innovative flavor combinations and food & wine pairings. AAA Five Diamond rated. George Mavrothalassitis, chef/proprietor, holds the prestigious James Beard Award, the “Oscars” of the culinary arts in America. He is a founding member of Hawaii Regional Cuisine.

Sommelier Todd Ashline, a Honolulu Advertiser wine columnist, contributes to the exceptional level of service and the wine program.

Kevin Chong, chef de cuisine, has a natural synergy with Mavro and is instrumental in the seasonal evolution of the restaurant. Farm to table is key as the restaurant consistently partners with local farmers to offer menus dedicated to regional products from baby greens and tomatoes to vanilla and lavender.

“Sometimes buying local means the cost is higher and sometimes it takes more time but the reward is huge. Local farmers succeed and my guests enjoy fresh, regional ingredients and a dining experience they could have only in Hawaii.”

The restaurant’s website includes a video of Chef Mavro preparing a signature recipe while standing in the waves of Waikiki! Open for dinner nightly. Reservations 6-9:30 p.m., closed Sundays and Mondays.