Thursday, July 14, 2016

Be prepared to be dazzled by Chef Mavro's new Provence menu

Top island Chef Mavro wows with new Povence menu
Patti Covello Pietschmann

He's one of three(that include the talented Beverly Gannon and Peter Merriman) of my favorite chefs in Hawaii and one of the nicest people I know.  Chef Mavro has been treating visitors and locals to Oahu to his epic  epicurean talents for years first at hotels and since at his long standing eponymous restaurant that sits hidden-but not undiscovered-- just outside of Waikiki.  If you happen to be on Oahu starting tomorrow, July 15, make it a point to book at table as chef is creating some his favorites from Provence that evoke the magic , flavors and aromas  found there plus the sound of the old port of Marseilles, fish mongers, boats traffic, seagulls and especially in the back country "the song of the cicadas!"

Sainte Victoire, Route Cézanne

"I promise, when you enjoy my selection of classics from Provence, you are going to hear the song of the cicadas...," Mavro wrote in an email today. For a short time, the new Provence menu will replace our Hana Hou 4 course menu at the same price.
Persillade of Supions
The menu starts with a persillade of supions (baby squids)...this is a very popular dish that you can find on the menu of every single restaurant surrounding the old port of Marseilles.

Supions are baby squids also called souppions in Provence; spelled like that seems even more delicious. They are sautéed in extra virgin olive oil with shallots, garlic, one ton of parsley, served as soon they are cooked...divine!

With Jonathan our chef de cuisine we had a lot of fun working on these recipes that for once are not the fruit of our own culinary craziness. Anyway, this was going to be too simple so with decided to serve our souppions with a salted cod (morue) brandade...Now we are talking. This is difficult enough to make us happy...don't try the brandade at home...looks's not.

Want to DIY here's how, says Chef Mavro:
You must desalt the cod in running water all night. Then, remove the bones, cut into small pieces, cover with cold water bring to a first boil & strain. Place the cod into a sauce pan, add one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil & with a wooden spatula crush the fish into a paste. Add very progressively warm milk & olive oil...warm milk, olive oil...warm milk, olive...never stop stirring until you get a beautiful smooth white purée. Add some lemon juice, voila! You have one of the most delicious appetizers I know. Enjoy with country bread croutons.

Pêche Flambée

And for dessert...peach but of course...
"We flambé the peach with pernod (a wonderful anise flavored liquor from Marseilles also called pastis). Our pastry chef Jose Calpito serves the peaches with chiboust, again a grand classic custard-like recipe. The chiboust is bruléed & accompanied with crème fraiche. I guarantee that this dessert has a very strong Marseilles accent (like me)."

The peach concludes the Provence menu and the celebration of "la grande cuisne provençale." This is also the celebration of our culinary masters who deserve our love & respect. I hope that they are going to forgive me for my escapades with "molecular cuisine."
But don't take me wrong, after this promotion Jonathan, Jose & I are going to continue to surprise you. We have enough craziness in our minds to change the menu every day according to the season and the fresh ingredients from the local market!

If you can't get to Chef Mavro for this special offering don't worry he, Jonathan and Jose will continue to surprise and please with some of the best recipes and creations you can find in Hawaii and almost anywhere. "We have enough craziness in our minds to change the menu every day according to the season and the fresh ingredients from the local market," says Mavro.