More awards for Mavro, checks for Charley, too


POSTED: Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Award-winning chef and restaurateur George Mavrothalassitis, more easily known as Chef Mavro, has won yet another award.

The United Fresh Research & Education Foundation selected him as a winner of the 2009 Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards for innovative and influential use of fresh produce in the culinary arts.

“;We are the only one in the country in fine-dining”; to win, Mavro said.

Anyone who has seen “;Kitchen Nightmares”; has seen Michelin-starred chef Gordon Ramsay disgustedly throwing out rotting food from restaurant walk-in refrigerators.

Chef Mavro has no walk-in.

“;I don't want that,”; he said. “;We have a regular refrigerator”; and “;we buy all the fish and all the produce every single day. “;What we do, at Chef Mavro, it cannot be any fresher,”; he said.

The foundation is whisking Mavro to Las Vegas for its annual conference, where he will participate in panel discussions and other activities as well as the award ceremony from April 21 to 24.

He is unlikely to visit restaurants bearing the names of his countrymen while there.

“;If I want to (visit) Guy Savoy and Joel Robuchon, I'm going to Paris,”; he laughed.

Charley makes the grade

Former Star-Bulletin columnist Charles Memminger passed his criminal background check.

No, he did not reply to recent CIA advertising seeking clandestine operatives, though it could be fair to say that it wouldn't be a bad idea, since absolutely nobody would suspect him of being a spook for the U.S. Government.

Rather, he applied to become one of thousands of community-based freelance writers for Examiner.com, under Phillip Anschutz's Denver-based Clarity Media Group Inc.

He learned of the opportunity from a certain colleague around the time he took a voluntary layoff from the Star-Bulletin.

“;Unfortunately, a lot of people in the community think I retired,”; he said. “;I have to keep telling them I didn't retire, I took a layoff and am looking for work.”;

He pitched Examiner.com and he was accepted as the Honolulu Community Humor Examiner.

It is not traditional freelance work where the writer is paid per word, rather, he or she receives a small amount per 1,000 hits on his or her posts.

As regular readers of his Star-Bulletin column are aware, Memminger has a bit of a popover fixation and needs to maintain a stockpile of ingredients for when the mood strikes and the humidity is sufficiently low to bake them.

His first contribution, not yet posted as of this writing, is sort of an introduction and a warning — and it is vintage Memminger.

Yes, he mentions geckos.


Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Reach her by e-mail at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).