Popular Photographer, Chef/Painter, & Author at Borghese Vineyard and Winery

(CUTCHOGUE, LONG ISLAND, NY June 4, 2021) On Saturday, June 19 from noon to 3:30p.m. EST, photographer Barbara Lassen and North Fork Chocolate Company chef, and painter, Steven Amaral will offer a joint show of their work at the beautiful Borghese Vineyard at 17150 Middle Road in Cutchogue. The afternoon will also feature a selection of food from the North Fork Chocolate Company, a full-service chocolatier and caterer. Based in Aquebogue, the North Fork Chocolate Company is owned by Chef Steven Amaral and Ann Corley. North Fork Chocolate has been producing custom chocolate bars for Borghese Vineyard for years.

Lassen and Amaral’s dear friend, Sag Harbor author Stacy Dermont, will also be on hand to sign copies of her best-selling cookbook, The Hamptons Kitchen (Norton). The book, co-written with Bridgehampton’s Hillary Davis, is now on sale in the Borghese Vineyard gift shop. The Hamptons Kitchen was released during the height of the pandemic and quickly became the top-selling regional cookbook in the mid-Atlantic states. Featuring a foreward by world renowned food critic Gael Greene and original photos by Lassen, the book has also garnered critical acclaim. Chef Eric Ripert said, “Hillary Davis and Stacy Dermont capture the spirit of cooking and eating simply, seasonally, and locally in the Hamptons.” The book offers a guide to what’s-in-season-when and over 100 original recipes, with a host of suggested East End wine pairings. “I did all the ‘heavy-lifting’ when it came to creating the wine pairings,” says Dermont. “And I’d gladly do it again!”

The trio—Amaral, Lassen, and Dermont—has worked together many times at various food events. This is the first time the three have built a food event around themselves, and paired it with wine. Jokingly dubbing it “The Hamptons Kitchen Road Show,” the moniker just might stick. The three are considering adding other food professionals, and additional venues, to the “road show” mix. No reservations are necessary to attend the June 19 the event, unless a party is larger than six guests.

Among the area wines featured in The Hamptons Kitchen are Borghese Barrel Fermented Chardonnay paired with Davis’s recipe for Peconic Bay Scallops with Riesling Cream; and Borghese’s Allegra Late Harvest Chardonnay paired with Dermont’s Warm White Chocolate Parsnip Pudding. Delicacies on offer at the June 19 event will include Chef Steve’s take on the Warm White Chocolate Parsnip Pudding, as well as a range of savory and sweet treats, all readily paired with Borghese’s delicious wines, available by the glass, or bottle. Of course, curbside pick-up is also available at the winery—simply call ahead to 631-734-5111.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to be featured in this gorgeous new book!,” says Giovanni Borghese, second-generation owner of Borghese. “This should be the norm—pairing great local foods with great local wines—we’re delighted to offer this fine example to our club members and other patrons.”

“We’re so excited to spend time together—and for the first time as ‘foodie road warriors’—at Long Island’s first vineyard!,” says Dermont. “Of course we pray for beautiful weather—but we can take things inside the lovely winery building if it rains.”

“Local is beautiful—and scrumptious!,” says Amaral. He and Dermont cook with local ingredients, sometimes together in Amaral’s professional kitchen, aka, the “Chocotorium,” and Lassen often documents the results. “It was only natural to ‘take the show on the road’ to share our combined love of everything local—and working together is always a celebration!,” says Lassen.

Lassen and Amaral currently have another joint show of photographs and paintings on view at the North Fork Chocolate Company, at 740 Main Road in Aquebogue, through Labor Day.

Long Island’s oldest vineyard, Hargrave Vineyard, was planted in 1973 by Alex and Louisa Hargrave. The East End’s microclimate is comparable to the Bordeaux region of France, ideal for growing French grape varietals. The Hargraves’ many award-winning wines proved this fact. They were pioneers of East End viticulture, paving the way for over 60 other vineyards and wineries that now comprise Long Island Wine Country.

In 1998, the late Ann Marie and Marco Borghese bought Hargrave Vineyard. In 1999 they renamed it Castello di Borghese, “Castle of the Borgheses,” in honor of their noble heritage, which dates back to medieval Italy. They too produced many vintages of award-winning wines from the vines. In 2014 their children Fernando, Giovanni, and Allegra took over the business.
Giovanni now runs the vineyard and calls it simply “Borghese Vineyard.” He proudly continues the legacy of producing outstanding, sophisticated wines.

Amaral paints every day—sometimes on artisanal chocolate and sometimes on large canvases. His work is often informed by his travels. In addition to both forks of Long Island, Amaral has lived and worked in Hawaii and California. “I don’t paint from photographs, I create from what I see in my head,” he says. “Sometimes it’s a dream I had the night before—abstract. I’m inspired by the people I meet and the rich farming culture of the North Fork every day.”

Hailing from Manorville, Lassen is best known for her gorgeous photography featured in The Hamptons Kitchen (Norton), a cookbook and guide to the East End. “I’m so excited by peoples’ reactions to the first book I shot! I get so many great questions and I’ve had so many requests for related images, I’ve had some of my work blown-up and printed on canvas and some food shots reproduced on notecards—so people can take it home,” says Lassen. “It’s thrilling to me knowing that people are looking at my work every day in their kitchens and living rooms.” Noted for her portraiture business, Barbara Lynne Photography, Lassen has served as the longtime photo editor for Dan’s Papers, so you’ll often see her—and her two cameras—at red-carpet events.

Dermont was raised on a farm at the “extreme other end” of New York State—where Appalachia overlaps with the Rust Belt. She learned to appreciate regional cooking that follows the seasons as soon as she could eat solid food. College took her off the land and graduate school brought her to Long Island, where she went on to edit Dan’s Papers, writing its popular “South of the Highway” and “Hamptons Epicure” columns for a decade. She’s at work on her second cookbook, but very distracted by tending to her Sag Harbor garden and by volunteering with local farmers including Marilee Foster in Sagaponack and Dale Haubrich and Bette Lacina (Dale & Bette’s Farm) in Sag Harbor.


Giovanni Borghese, owner Borghese Vineyard
Phone: 631-734-5111

Chef Steven Amaral, North Fork Chocolate
Phone: 631-258-5401