Spiro Karachopan, owner and executive chef of Spiro’s in Rocky Point, hails from Komotini in Greece and brings a unique Mediterranean flavor to the East End. Karachopan will be at Dan’s Rosé Soirée on Sunday, May 26 and at Taste of Two Forks on Saturday, July 20.
First word (or words) that comes to mind when you hear “Taste of Summer.”
Fun, food and drinks—it’s the best time in Hamptons.
You can invite three people, living or dead, to your dinner party. Who are they, and what would that meal be?
Definitely my mother and father. And the meal would be their favorite, lamb shank. I’d try to make it as good as my mom used to make when I was little.
What’s your favorite dish to prepare, and do you enjoy eating it as much as preparing it?
Black sea bass. It’s my all-time favorite. I think I can eat it every day.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
My father’s: “Don’t ever take anything that doesn’t belong to you.”
Share your funniest/most unforgettable/oddest kitchen incident.
A kid came out of culinary school, and I asked him if the deep fryer is hot enough. He stuck his finger in it. It still blows my mind.
Who do you most admire in the food/wine world and why?
That was my mother. She was the cook for my town weddings and that was the only world that I knew. I learned a lot from her and admire her the most.
What is going to be the “next big thing” on the East End food scene?
We’ll see more pop-up “famous chef” restaurants there and also we might see restaurants in wineries.
What are your hobbies/passions/Interests outside the world of food, wine and work?
Swimming and gardening, and now my grandson, Ryan.
What’s the ultimate cocktail?
To me, scotch on the rocks. Even though we serve over 100 cocktails at Spiro’s.
What talent would you most like to have?
Drawing. I always wanted to be an architect.
What’s your comfort food and why?
Bread, cheese and olives, because I’m Mediterranean and I grew up with them.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I came to the States with $34 in my pocket and worked hard for everything I have today. I raised two beautiful kids and recently became a grandfather. Wouldn’t change a thing.
What’s a unique kitchen ritual you practice?
I always get to my kitchen before everyone else, get my sauces, soups and stuffing ready, and always clean after myself. Never leave it to the next guy.
If you were not in the food or wine business, what would you be doing?
Architecture or engineering.
It’s your last weekend on earth—what’s the menu?
That would be simple—goat cheese and black olives with bread, stuffed Alaskan halibut, ice cream, a glass of Gold Label, cheers and goodbye.
We just handed you a glass of bubbly. Now please make a toast to summer on the East End.
First, cheers to all those will be working in hot days in hotter kitchens and to all who’ll be enjoying and appreciating those dishes coming out. Have a nice and memorable summer.