While tropical Honolulu seems worlds away from the port of Marseilles in southern France, chef George Mavrothalassitis pursues the same passions today as he did before he departed his European home some 25 years ago.
Chef Mavro, as he is known, continues to showcase his talent for sharing sumptuous cuisine. His award-winning style is rooted in his training with numerous masters of contemporary French fare and in owning restaurants in Marseilles and the seaside village of Cassis. As the chef and proprietor of Chef Mavro restaurant in Honolulu and a founding member of Hawaii Regional Cuisine, this culinary wiz holds the prestigious James Beard Foundation award as the Best Chef in Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest.
Admittedly, owning his own eatery and serving as its head chef leaves him with little time to relax. To offset the mandatory workaholic lifestyle his profession demands, Chef Mavro manages to carve out personal time so he can stay in shape.
“Yoga provides the balance for a very intense job like mine,” he said. “My wife, Donna, suggested yoga to help with the stress. It allows me to meditate and relax.”
Chef Mavro is also high on hitting the road.
“I’ve been running for over 15 years now and continue to measure the progress,” he said. “I run more regularly than in the past and am getting faster. I usually train around the Punchbowl neighborhood, which is close to where I live.”
Chef Mavro also counts on the ocean for physical activity just as deeply as he does for his catch-of-the-day offerings.
“I used to snorkel at La Perouse Bay near Makena when I lived on Maui, and I snorkeled at Captain Cook and right off the City of Refuge on the Big Island,” he said.
For Oahu underwater adventures, he picks Shark’s Cove near Waimea Bay at Pupukea.
When it comes to swimming, the chef goes to San Souci Beach across from Kapiolani Park. On the neighbor islands, he selects the Big Island’s Hapuna Beach because the water is calm.
“There’s a cove at Mauna Lani Point Beach Club in Mauna Lani Resort where you can snorkel in a fishpond,” he said.
What Chef Mavro looks forward to most is enjoying these special activities with his wife.
“She doesn’t run with me, but we do most other recreational things together,” he said.
And no doubt they share a gourmet meal now and then as well.