Steve Amaral grew up on a small farm in southern Massachusetts and following school, he trained at the CIA, graduated from Johnson & Wales and apprenticed in France. He joined the Kea Lani Hotel and Suites in Wailea, Maui, Hawaii in 1986, working his way up the kitchen ladder to executive chef. In the fall of 1995, the Great Chefs television crew showed up at the Kea Lani to tape Chef Amaral for their Great Chefs of Hawaii series (episodes #9 and #22).
Chef Amaral moved on to the Kula Lodge on Maui in 1997, then moved to Madrid, Spain in 1999 as a consultant, then back to the mainland in early 2001. In 2001, he started a catering company which he still runs today, and in 2012 he started the North Fork Chocolate Company with Ann Corley, on Long Island, New York, which is expanding its retail stores today in 2016.