Dan’s Taste 2021 Chefs Countdown: Steven Amaral, North Fork Chocolate Co.

Chef Steve Amaral of North Fork Chocolate Co.
Chef Steven Amaral of North Fork Chocolate Company Barbara Lassen
Barbara Lassen

A Dan’s Taste favorite if ever there was one, chef and chocolatier Steven Amaral of North Fork Chocolate Company has brought his indulgent chocolates to many of our events over the years, most recently the 2021 Dan’s Chefs of the North Fork, and he’s got even more treats in store for us this month! He’ll be bringing some sweet surprises to Dan’s Rosé Soirée on Saturday, July 24, so grab tickets while you still can!

For tickets and more information on all Dan’s Taste 2021 events, visit DansTaste.com.

First word (or words) that comes to mind when you hear “Taste of Summer?”

Salt, sea, sun, sand, surf, chocolate!

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Meditation and moments of madness.

You can invite three people, living or dead, to your dinner party. Who are they, and what would that meal be?

Nikola Tesla,Vavoo and an extraterrestrial. They would understand.

What’s your favorite dish to prepare, and do you enjoy eating it as much as preparing it?

Certainly, and at the moment, curry dishes from many countries and different techniques—working on figuring out a cacao fruit pulp curry—most importantly plant-based and organic.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

By my Sicilian grandmother Maria Josephina Borgia, “Whatta goze ona eena dees howsa, stay ina dezza howsa,” and “Wenna you cownta da cash, shudda da shades!”

Share your funniest, most unforgettable or oddest kitchen incident.

It was in Madrid, Spain. It was the the last week of my two-year consulting contract for a restaurant group based there; the research and development team decided to surprise me and take me to a bullfight to show me some tradition. I asked them, “Why did y’all wait until now to take me here?” They replied, “Because it is a special day; this is the day only rookie toreadors are featured, and we enjoy watching the bulls win.” I couldn’t agree more!

Who do you most admire in the food/wine world and why?

José Andrés—he is an unwavering example of how to connect people and resources on a global scale from a culinary, cross-cultural spectrum to aid disaster-stricken regions with food and positivity.

What is going to be the “next big thing” on the East End food scene?

Plant-based everything!

What are your hobbies, passions and interests outside the world of food, wine and work?

Art. Sculpting Stone—I’ve had a piece of marble for some time now, and I believe it will manifest into Pueo, the spirit messenger of the Hawaiian fire goddess Pele. At this point, the stone is winning!

What’s your comfort food and why?

Dark chocolate.

If you were not in the food or wine business, what would you be doing?

Painting on canvas and sculpting.

What is the most memorable thing you’ve ever tasted?

Durian. I couldn’t understand why my children asked me to keep it outside, and my mind couldn’t interpret the message my tastebuds were sending.

What recent travels have you taken that have inspired you?

My flight to California in January—people who travel during times of uncertainty, to connect with the world, much respect.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

At my age, standing up.

What’s a unique kitchen ritual you practice?

Show up with clothes on.

What has surprised you the most about working in the East End culinary scene?

People that plow snow love chocolate.

What is your go-to karaoke song?

I sing “Far Away” so no one can hear me.

It’s your last weekend on earth—what’s the menu?

Tequila and tequila.

We just handed you a glass of bubbly. Now please make a toast to summer on the East End.

“Freedom is nothing more than nothing left to lose.” —Janice Joplin

North Fork Chocolate Company is located at 740 Main Road, Aquebogue. To learn more, visit northforkchocolate.com.

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