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Lisa Cavanaugh


Gieves Anderson


Madison, Wisconsin

Orchard fruits, greens, squash, herbs, pumpkins, berries…the list of heirloom produce grown at Harvest Haven, the organic garden at Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove’s Madison, Wisconsin, headquarters, is endless.

Joel Chesebro, Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove head chef, is inspired by the season’s freshest ingredients picked straight from the garden. “My goal in cooking is for the recipe to serve the ingredients—not the other way around,” says Chesebro, who has been with Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove for 19 years. For cooking demonstrations held at Harvest Haven’s fully and beautifully equipped spacious white barn, the culinary team prepares scrumptious, creative dishes based on what is growing in the garden.

The Garden at Harvest Haven

The garden at Harvest Haven.

The value of fresh produce is immense and being able to grow it on site at Harvest Haven is a wonderful, amazing resource, says Chesebro. “We have a root cellar, we dehydrate vegetables, make preserves and pickles, and freeze food—which is a particularly important preservation technique. We strive to not waste an ingredient.”

Chef Joel Chesebro harvests fresh produce for almost every recipe he makes

Chef Joel Chesebro harvests fresh produce for almost every recipe he makes.

Heirloom produce—vegetables grown from seeds handed down from one generation to the next—does not have a long shelf life. However, Chesebro says that Sub-Zero’s dual refrigeration system, in which the refrigerator and freezer are separate units, is geared to preserve vegetables for longer periods of time. “When frozen dry air is taken from the freezer and utilized for refrigeration as it is in average refrigerator/freezer combination units, it’s very bad for leafy green vegetables. A lot of damage is created in temperature and humidity fluctuation,” says Chesebro.

In addition, Sub-Zero refrigerators are equipped with an air purification filter in the back of the unit that takes out the ethylene, a gas released by some fruits and vegetables that causes them to ripen faster. “When we store things in the refrigerator, we don’t want them to continue to ripen,” says Chesebro. “The filter really works to maintain the integrity of certain vegetables.”

Chesebro fly-fishes in his leisure time

Chesebro fly-fishes in his leisure time.

Along with utilizing garden fresh vegetables, Chesebro enjoys cooking carefully sourced fish in the warmer months of the year. To identify the freshest fish available for cooking, he recommends home chefs develop a relationship with their local fish market. “Tell them the way you want to cook fish—sauté, grill, or bake—and ask what fish looks best,” Chesebro says. Read on for delicious recipes for a meal featuring grilled fish, pesto, and caramelized vegetables.

Grilled Fish Tips

Grilled Fish Tips

  • Start with fresh fish.
  • Curing fish can add flavor.
  • Use high heat and don't move fish right away to let heat develop flavor.
  • Sear on one side over high heat and then turn down and finish over lower heat on second side.

Pretzel Rolls created by Chef Joel Chesebro using the Wolf Conection setting

The Heat is On: Cooking with convection

The convection setting on a Wolf oven provides the best way to prepare many foods. “Convection is an incredibly efficient mechanism for heat transfer; its primary value is to develop flavor and cook evenly,” says Chesebro, who recommends using the convection setting to cook most dishes from roasts to chocolate chip cookies, and everything in between. The only time it is not a good idea to use the convection setting on your oven is when cooking custards and quick breads. “Apart from those, convection cooking is engineered to be used for everything else,” says Chesebro, noting that when using the convection setting it is important to subtract 25 degrees from the temperature advised for cooking a dish in a standard oven, and convection will take 25 percent less time to bake than a standard oven.

Caramelized Veggies

Carmelized Veggies

Basic Vinaigrette

Basic Vinaigrette

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