This Rare Périgord Truffle Chicken is Only Available at Chef Mavro Until March
The award-winning restaurant showcases black Périgord truffles with a rustic chicken dinner menu now through March.
Chicken served demi-deuil.
Photos: Catherine Toth Fox
Every winter, chef George Mavrothalassitis brings in fragrant black Périgord truffles from France, prized for their distinct flavor and pungent aroma.
And, every year, he crafts a thoughtful menu at Chef Mavro that showcases this precious ingredient.
But, this year, he’s changing that up.
Chef George Mavrothalassitis.
Instead of fussy, carefully plated dishes, Mavrothalassitis is going rustic, using one main protein—in this case, free-range chicken—in the two main entrées. He uses deboned thighs in a ballotine stuffed with black Périgord truffles surrounded by pickled fiddlehead ferns, maitake mushrooms and tasty pan-fried cakes made from chickpeas. The rest of the bird is served demi-deuil (literally meaning “half-mourning” in French and refers to the veil-like appearance of the slices of fresh black truffles tucked beneath the skin of the chicken). It’s carved tableside—often by Mavrothalassitis, himself—and comes with simple sides of garlic cream corn and olive-oil mashed potatoes.
Ballotine stuffed with black Périgord truffles.
He imagines creating future prix fixe menus that similarly feature a whole something, from duck to pig to lamb.
“We are doing something different,” says Mavrothalassitis, whose restaurant earned the prestigious AAA Five Diamond Award again this year. “We are testing the water. I’m fed up with presentation and plating. I’ve been doing that for 35 years.”
The four-course Périgord Truffled Chicken Dinner, which costs $380 for two, includes appetizers and dessert. It’s available until the truffles run out, which may be early March.
Black Périgord truffles from France.
This menu also heralds the return of Jeremy Shigekane as executive chef. He served as chef de cuisine at Chef Mavro for two years, before spending a year as executive sous chef at the Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort, last year. He returned just as Jonathan Mizukami left his post as chef de cuisine to open a restaurant on Maui.
The 38-year-old Shigekane tweaked some of the dishes—including the garlic-cream corn—to accommodate requests for vegan-friendly options. “I wanted to make dishes that everyone can eat,” he says.
Poached bite-size Forelle pear in Burgundy wine.
One dish on the menu that everyone should eat is dessert, created by talented pastry chef Jose Calpito. He poaches a bite-size Forelle pear in Burgundy wine—it pairs well with truffles, he says—with a truffle white-chocolate crémeux, brown-butter powder, walnut ice cream, candied nuts and fried sage leaves for a little crunch. My dinner date, HONOLULU editor Robbie Dingeman, put it best, as she raved between bites: “It’s beautiful, it’s different, it’s interesting, it’s unexpected.”
And it won’t be on the menu for long.
Périgord Truffled Chicken Dinner, now through March, $380 for two, Chef Mavro, 1969 S. King St., 944-4714, chefmavro.com.