Merry Christmas From Chef Mavro in Hawaii

My dear friend, Chef Mavro and his sweet wife Donna spread holiday cheer with a heart warming email filled with Aloha–and the Dining Diva had to share with  all of you.

Chef Mavro creates culinary wonders from the heart, dishes filled with loved and creativity, at this eponymous restaurant on Oahu, Hawaii, where your DD dined last month and is still swooning over the amazing courses Chef prepared and spoiled us with.  He is really amazing.

We had this beet soup (at left), it zinged my heart with a blast of flavor.

The dessert below also made our hearts sing…

Anyway if you’re heading to Hawaii soon his holiday menus begin on Sunday, December 19.  ~~~Enjoying a meal at Chef Mavro is an orgasmic experience….

 Direct from the chef’s mouth to you  is an excerpt from today’s email he sent out:

Truffled Egg – a peak experience About truffles, I have a good news and… good news. First, 2010/2011 is an exceptional season for truffles (like wines there is good vintage and bad vintage). The other good news; they are not crazy expensive, maybe the international financial situation? Who cares the reason!

Let’s take advantage of it. I will bring fresh truffles from France until the end of the season sometime in March. The cooking technique of our truffle recipe is inspired from a dish I used to make in Provence during the truffle season. Place the fresh truffles in a jar with half a dozen of beautiful eggs in the shell and seal the jar. After 4 days you can remove the eggs and make a delicious truffled omelette (or scrambled eggs) without using any truffles.

The osmosis process infuses the eggs and your dish gets the most intense truffle flavor. Since we receive our fresh truffles once a week we store them in a large container with uncooked rice (I will let you know what we do with the rice; but this is a different story) and very fresh local eggs from Peterson’s upland farm here on Oahu. When the eggs are infused we crack them and wrap them tight in plastic film and poach them to order. This has the advantage of keeping intact the truffle flavor. I can hear you! You’re saying “this seems very good but…show me the truffles!” Let me finish…The poached egg “osmose” is served with a ethereal potato mousseline with chopped truffle foamed with compressed air. (This is a technique from molecular cuisine that I like to use. I cannot qualify our style as “Molecular” because we are using only natural ingredients and reject any chemicals.

The other reason is; I am a chef from the Nouvelle Cuisine era and I already did my part of BS and I am not going to start again). There’s more to the truffle dish…it’s surrounded with ribbons of Serrano ham, pickled shallot, chervil and finished with a slice of truffle on top of the egg. Not again the best dish in the world… yes! For the wine pairing I expected a Viognier and I voted in the blind tasting for the Alsace Pinot Blanc from Zind Hunbrecht, almost every body did. This was a kind of surprise for a wine from Alsace. It is dry and crisp with apricot and citrus overtones. As we always say at the wine committee, “if you don’t try you don’t know.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Unbelievable quality of ahi for our holiday menu ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Marinated Bigeye Ahi Tapenade Talking about la «crème de la crème» as far as products are concerned what about Bigeye Ahi caught in Hawaiian close waters. You may know that ahi are traveling around the Pacific Rim. So if you tag a fish in California you might find him swimming in Alaska or in Tonga. So why does the Ahi from Hawaii tastes better than the other one if it is the same? I am not sure…maybe because the maturity of the fish? what fish eat? the temperature of the water? how deep the fish swim in Hawaii? the talent of our fishermen? maybe all the above. But when I go to the fish auction and when I see the price that Japanese are ready to pay for local Ahi this confirms my theory. And here is the dish, Marinated Bigeye Ahi, Picholine Olive Tapenade, Quail Egg-Sauce Verte, Espelette. The ahi is seared, topped with a purée of green olive, fried quail egg on fine herb emulsion and a garlic sauce flavored with the Basque Country espelette.

Since we discovered the espelette (chili powder tastes between cayenne and paprika) we want to use it on every menu.

This is not the case with the 2009 L’Hermitage, an elegant wine, a perfect match for the dish especially with the espelette garlic sauce. The winery is moving toward producing very soon a totally organic wine. When you know the challenge for wines to be organic and the effect on the volume of the production; this shows the efforts for the maker to offer a high quality wine. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ New Kurobuta Pork (shown here) and New Colorado Lamb ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Kurobuta Pork, Bacon Wrapped Shank, mustard cabbage, black garlic sauce I’m showing you a photo of our new Kurobuta Pork recipe but I want to tell you a story about our new Colorado Lamb – my new favorite. Colorado Lamb “Djerba,” Brick crusted Moussaka, braised Baby Turnips, Harissa Lamb Jus. One more story; my father’s family left the island of Symi in Greece when he was 5 years old. They were sponge divers like so many in Symi but eventually that wiped out all the sponges. So they joined the Greek sponge diver community on the Island of Djerba in Tunisia which at the time was a French protectorate. My Dad moved to Marseille when he was 15 years old. He was an outstanding home cook and brought with him lots of Tunisian flavors. Among these flavors and ingredients were the harissa and the brick dough. I would like to dedicate this Greek-Tunisian recipe to my late father. The lamb loin is roasted and dusted with a cepe powder. The lamb jus is seasoned with harissa. Of course we make the harissa from scratch. The harissa in tube you find in the market is a very poor quality. If you are from a big city you might find harissa in jar which is much better. If not contact me and I will send you the recipe. The “moussaka” is not a traditional one, just layer sautéed eggplant and tomato wrapped in brick dough (kind of one layer phyllo dough) and crisped in olive oil. We garnish the dish with braised baby turnips from Ma’o Farm in Waianae, Oahu. This is an atomic bomb of flavors and I was concerned about the pairing. Wrong worry! We pick up a Cotes du Rhone Septentrionales the Domaine du Grapillon d’Or Gigondas “Cuvée 1806.” The lamb instantly fell in love with the wine. This is a classic pairing and it works so beautifully and it makes me think that I am going to drink Gigondas with Lamb for the rest of my life! We look forward to cooking for you seven nights a week through the Holidays – including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. To feasts & friends, George Mavro, chef/owner ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Quick Links… ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Reservations confirmed 24/7, www.chefatchefmavro.com , Chef Mavro is located at 1969 S. King St. in Honoluluwww.chefmavro.com

A Day in the Life of A Diva On The Go

She rises late, like 8 ish, stretches out on a mat in her home  office, does some body toning work with weights and resistance bands and heads out for a hike up Runyan Canyon–a popular spot for local denizens, celebs, industry-types and dog lovers.  Back home, quick laps in the pool before breakfast of fresh melon and raspberries topped with almonds.

Off to her see her hair stylist, Tammy Kranzo, owner/operator of  three6Nine,pattiandtammy2 a charming Valley salon–with a Big Sur meets Provence ambiance– where the super talented Tammy Kranzo works mane magic on clients from far and near.   She’s  been snipping, coloring and doing her hair for more than a decade and is hands down  one of the best stylist in Los Angeles. tammyandric2 Which is why a loyal coterie drive over the hill from Beverly Hills, take the freeways from Palm Springs and  even fly in  from New York to have her do their hair.  Her allure is an eagle eye  for creating personalized hair styles that fit each customers’ personality. The charming shop has none of that Beverly Hills attitude or for that matter prices and what’s more, each styling comes with a heavening shampoo and head and neck massage.

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Three6Nine, 21132 Costanso St., Woodland Hills, CA, 818-347-1900, fax: 818-347-2182

Coiffed and feeling fine the Diva does the usual grocery shopping with a sidetrip to the mall and ends up at her favorite jewelers, Valley Discount Jewelers, a family-owned business and neighborhood favorite where ordinary people, celebrities and movie set directors head when they need  bling cleaned, repaired, or specially created for themselves or film and TV sets.  A jeweler you can really trust,  Greg Kalajian, creates exquisite pieces out of anything. I  brought him two  diamond rings and a broken diamond pendant which he transformed IMG_0444 into two exquisite necklace pieces for me. He extracted  the diamonds from my rings and made this beautiful pendant….IMG_0445He has also restrung  my pearls, repaired broken rings, bracelets and earrings for me,  and is my main squeeze for watch batteries. I have lots of watches and he charges the least of anyone in town, $4.50.  They also carry a large assortment of jewelry, clocks and collectibles. GreginshopGreg behind the window where he designs, creates and repairs bling.

Mrs. GregAnd his pretty wife.

Valley Discount Jewelers, 12119 Magnolia Blvd.m Studio City, 818-761-8832. 

The Diva was happy with her new bro0ches. Then a little more shopping and home to feed Elmo, the cat, work on my blogs,  do laps in the pool, join hubby for cocktail hour, followed by a cozy  dinner (he made) and TV. It’s all good.