from Eat with Aloha enewsletter
Oahu Visitors Bureau #VisitOahu
As Chef Shigekane describes it, “We are progressing the restaurant, not changing it.”
Can you describe the cooking philosophy and menu at Chef Mavro since you’ve taken over?
We share the same philosophy and view of food for the most part. Chef Mavrothalassitis likes a lot of flavor and we follow the French cooking techniques.
We continue to use local products and work with smaller farmers which is so personal. In fact, many of the farmers we source from have plots that are one acre or less. You build relationships with these farmers and our product just comes out better. For instance, they just started growing hearts of palm here on Oahu. We get it delivered the same day or the day after it’s harvested so it’s as fresh as possible. I like meat and fish, but I’m a vegetable-first chef as opposed to a protein-first chef.
What best describes the dining experience at Chef Mavro?
Chef Mavro is a luxury restaurant and an established brand. We provide an experience that’s not just about the food and the wine, it’s also about the service. We are a special occasion restaurant and offer the total experience that starts when you step through the door. It’s a memory that we are creating for you.
Have there been any changes?
We are really keeping the restaurant the same and just making small refinements. For instance, we now have fewer but larger tables and seat 40 instead of 70 guests which provides a more comfortable and spacious experience. And because so many people have changed the way they eat, we offer more vegetarian and vegan options including a completely Vegetarian Tasting Menu.
What would you say are the most popular or signature dishes at Chef Mavro?
The Salt Crusted Snapper (onaga) has been on the menu forever. The Peterson Farm Egg with Potato Mousseline that’s served with either Morels or Perigord Truffles – depending on the season – is always on the menu.
What and/or whom inspires your cooking?
Chef Mavrothalassitis’ use of bold flavors and French techniques have been a big influence, of course. In addition, I developed my passion for vegetables while working with Chef Brian Bistrong in both California and in New York.
Besides Chef Mavro, where would you suggest visitors eat to experience Oahu’s dynamic and diverse food and dining scene?
I think we are definitely growing on Oahu and across Hawaii as we offer different dining options. There are a lot of chefs that have gone out and come back and added to Oahu’s exciting dining scene like Chris Kajioka at Senia, Andrew Le at The Pig & The Lady, and Kevin Lee at PAI Honolulu.
Any final words?
It’s important to create menus designed for Hawaii that reflect a sense of place, Hawaii’s diversity, uniqueness, and our one-of-a-kind ingredients.
That’s what we do every day at Chef Mavro.
*Mahalo to #VisitOahu for this interview.
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