HONOLULU (KHON2) – Hawaii’s cuisine is a fusion of influences from east and west.
Cruising eastward along the Mediterranean, past the Italian Riviera, the opulent harbors of Monte Carlo, Nice, and Cannes, is a geologic wonder created 5 million years ago.
The Calanques de Cassis.
A Calanque is a narrow valley formed by Pleistocene glaciers, then partially submerged when Mediterranean levels rose.
This stunning coastline is home to former Hawaii resident Michel Mavrothalassitis.
If the name is familiar, it’s because his famous dad shares the same love for the preparation and presentation of seafood.
“In Cassis, there’s a lot of fish because of the Mediterranean sea. I think it’s the best fish because of the natural salt, a lot of tomatoes, olive oil, we can do a dish from French Riviera,” said Michel Mavrothalassitis of Restaurant La Presqu’ile
The name of Michel’s restaurant is a nod to the history of the Calanques: Restaurant La Presqu’ile, almost an island. Its location near Marseille guarantees a fusion of flavors.
“Marseille is a big harbor so a lot of different people. You can bring your own culture to the other cultures,” he said.
His time in the islands gave him an appreciation for Pacific cuisine.
“I love the Japanese way of cooking, I used to go to a lot of restaurants, where I like to eat with my father. Really precise way of cooking, not a lot of things inside, this is the way I like to eat also.”