RYAN’S TABLE BY Ryan Tatsumoto
Spring is in the air . . . especially at Chef Mavro, the eponymous restaurant operated by Chef George Mavrothalassitis for the past 19 years. And, once again to welcome the arrival of spring, Chef Mavro recently hosted his biannual dinner for generous, regular supporters of Hawai‘i Public Radio. While I donate to HPR (and PBS Hawai‘i) every year, my annual contribution certainly doesn’t merit an invitation to these dinners. But having friends like Carol and Edmund Kellett, who donate the wines served at these dinners, does garner an invitation to these feasts.
Is Mavrothalassitis Really French?
Chef Mavro’s father was Greek and his mother was Italian. Both of them relocated to France early in their childhoods, however. Their son, George Mavrothalassitis, was born and raised in the southern France port city of Marseille, the capital of Provence. After training with the Troisgros brothers, Gerard Vie and Alain Senderens, Chef Mavro operated his own restaurants in Marseille and Cassis until moving to Hawai‘i nearly 30 years ago to work at La Mer in the Halekulani and, later, the Four Seasons Resorts. In Chef Mavro’s view, the port of Marseille and Hawai‘i shared many similarities. He recalls his first morning in Hawai‘i and inhaling the view from Waikïkï Beach to Diamond Head and saying to himself, “That’s it! I’m home!”