The Living Kitchen- Issue 3

Page 1

Tim Willoughby Tim Willoughby Elizabeth LaDuca Kjeld Mahoney Lindsay Hackney Jamie Mercurio

The most stylish way to celebrate outdoors.

Sperry Tents are the world’s most elegant rental tents.


Welcome to Issue Three!

We are very excited to welcome you to our third issue of The Living Kitchen. As a father-daughter team here at Sub-Zero’s very own publication, we are always happy to share stories of warm and wonderful homes and family-focused businesses, as well as new and intriguing design innovations. Our team has put together exclusive content just for you—Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove customers— that we hope will enhance your enjoyment of our products and inspire you to try something new in cooking, travel, or home design.

For this issue, we were so lucky to be invited into the amazing home and kitchen of Buddy Valastro, the “Cake Boss.” Buddy and his family were incredibly gracious, and he even gave us insider tips on how to frost cakes like a pro. His incredible Picnic Basket Cake really blew us away! Also in these pages, our own Chef Alex Diaz in Miami shares his fondness for his grandparents’ farm, his love of gardening with his daughter, and his delight in preparing delicious dishes using locally caught fish.

We visited with a talented home and garden design team in upstate New York, and we take you on a virtual tour of the stunning Blackberry Farm Inn in Tennessee. We also met a young entrepreneur in Southern California who is curating chic beach picnics that are simply enchanting.

So, as the weather grows warmer, and you head out on your own adventures in the great outdoors, or as you relax at home, we hope you are savoring the very best in food, fun, and family time.



General Counsel


Vice President of Finance




Vice President / Publisher


Creative Director


Managing Editor


Publishing Specialist


Copy Editor


Corporate Head Demonstration Chef


Production Support



Marni Elyse Katz, Amanda Lauren, Danna Lorch, Lannan O’Brien, Janice Randall Rohlf


Ben Aquino, Marla Berg, Dave Burk, Julia Cumes, Clementine Cusack, Dan Cutrona, Carrie Evans, Joe Schmelzer, Lauren Volo

Advertising Sales:

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All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in whole or in part without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher disclaims all responsibility for omissions, errors, and unsolicited materials. Printed in the USA. Published by Tide Street Group

42 Calm, Cool, and Collected Professional organizer Ashley Stewart shows how to streamline your kitchen.

46 A Handmade Aesthetic

London-based Textile Designer Ellen Merchant crafts her bright floral wallpapers and fabrics with personal style. FOOD

50 Cooking with Passion

Miami’s Chef Alex Diaz draws from his childhood spent on his grandparents’ farm to prepare food with love and intention.

56 Baking It Big Time

New Jersey native Buddy Valastro, television's Cake Boss, has always had family by his side as he built his baking empire.

6 THE LIVING KITCHEN | ISSUE 3 CONTENTS 4 Welcome Letter 8 Bespoke Finds We’ve chosen the ideal items for a perfectly posh picnic. 9 Scene + Society Sub-Zero's Kitchen Design Contest was a celebration of creativity and teamwork. EXPERT ADVICE 12 Kitchens with Elegance and Ease Insight and inspiration from award-winning kitchen designer Mick De Giulio. NEW PRODUCTS 16 Anywhere Refrigeration Discover the luxury and ease of Sub-Zero’s Designer Series 15” Undercounter Beverage Center and Wine Storage. TECHNOLOGY 22 Convenience at Your Fingertips Reordering appliance supplies is simple with the Sub-Zero Connected App. DESIGN 24 Beyond The Kitchen Everyone’s favorite drinks are on hand in stunningly designed interiors. 30 Intentionally Chic A multi-generational family gets an elegant and functional kitchen from KDC finalist Brooke Voss. 36 Desert Hues
colors of the Arizona landscape are reflected in this spacious Prescott Valley home and adjacent casita, designed
by Drake/Anderson.
46 50


56 74 80

62 Effortless and Elegant Sub-Zero’s Chef Joel Chesebro shows us a simple, elegant and delicious recipe for puff pastry.

64 Healthy Snacks

Make and take nutritious nibbles with you on your next picnic, outdoor party or family barbecue.


68 A Mountain Haven Blackberry Farm offers luxurious redesigned accommodations, culinary magic, and an array of engaging activities in the Tennessee countryside.

74 In Hot Water

Sink into luxury at these exclusive resorts around the world, each with natural mineral hot springs and distinctive water therapies.


80 Pop-Up Parties

The Southern Californiabased Beach Picnic Company serves up bohemian coastal tablescapes for every kind of outdoor celebration.

86 Beachy Beverage

This cool coconut cocktail is perfect for sunset on the sand.

88 Curated Nature

The duo behind Hort and Pott is turning their love of horticulture and pottery into a unique home and garden design experience in Upstate New York.


94 Wearable Wellness

A round-up of stylish and effective fitness technology that you can wear wherever you go.

96 Dehydration Station

It’s easy to make tasty take-along treats with Wolf’s Dehydration Mode.


98 Mechanically Minded Sub-Zero design engineer Anderson Bortoletto is bringing technology to life through collaboration and imagination.


102 Showroom Directory


104 The Sub-Zero Refrigerator through the Decades



Everything you need for a perfectly posh picnic - by the beach or in your own backyard.

4. This four-piece

paddle and

is the ultimate fun accessory for the beach, the backyard, and beyond. Made with luxurious Canadian maple wood and designed in Australia.

5. Designed in Australia to suit a coastal lifestyle, this luxe picnic basket from The Beach People is outfitted with a fully insulated interior and a wooden cheeseboard lid.

6. Don't be fooled by how adorable the Beolit 20 is. This portable Bluetooth speaker from Bang and Olufsen is mighty powerful and equipped with built-in Qi wireless charging.

DESIGN | Trends
1. Seen here in Lollypop Orange, the stylish and comfy wool outdoor picnic blanket from Heating & Plumbing London is made in Britain and has waterproof backing and a handy leather strap. 2. Enjoy fresh oysters on the half shell with this exquisite, artisanally designed oyster platter with an iridescent pearl finish. Made in Maine. 3. An engraved lobster and an iconic quote from Julia Child adorn this clever folding picnic table, perfect for an al fresco lunch. Handcrafted in the United States for Weston Table, the table transforms into a perfect wine carrier. wooden ball set 1. 6. 2. & 3. 5. 4.



Last October, immensely talented designers from across the country and the globe gathered in Nashville, for Sub-Zero's biennial Kitchen Design Contest (KDC). The Summit & Gala event is a four-day celebration of innovative design in which KDC Finalists are recognized by their peers and Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove corporate staff for their stunning and unique design work.



The KDC fun kicked off at the Welcome Reception, a warm and casual meet-and-greet for all finalists, guests, and Sub-Zero team members. It was a great opportunity to say hello to old friends and network with new acquaintances as the exciting award weekend got underway.

Samantha Bakke-Annen, Stacey Rogers, Susan Bakke, Scott Rogers, Jim Bakke Jeff Sweet, Andy Garcia, Lisa Smith, David Smith Kelly Dobbins, Jillian Bader


The chance for everyone to shine in their finest and for contest winners to be honored, the Gala Dinner is the Summit & Gala awards ceremony. The event starts with a Pre-Gala cocktail reception, followed by an elegant sit-down dinner culminating in the Global Awards Ceremony, where the top prize winners in several categories in kitchen design are awarded. The evening ends with another reception after the awards ceremony for attendees to congratulate winners and continue the celebration.

Carolina & Cesar Chavez Mikal & Lisa Otten Clare Lundy, Polly Smith, John Bornas, Kathy Manzella, Ann MacLean, Jonathan Spicer, Celeste Robbins, Trevor Wallace, Mick de Giulio, Stéphane Rasselet, Kim Bouton, Kristine Anderson, Barbara Foley, Carl Olson, Steve Karp, Joe Paetzel, Andrea Swan Martin de Sousa, Steve Karp, Sandra Agurto Simona Castagna, Anne MacLean



As the celebration weekend winds down, guests gather one last time for the Farewell Reception. This final evening includes dinner and cocktails, more opportunities for networking with colleagues and friends, and a chance to say goodbye and plan ahead for the next KDC!

Scan here for a complete list of 2019-2021 KDC winners and links to photos of their stunning kitchens.

Bruce Kading, Craig Hoffman Kate Esteller and Jeff Sweet John Cooper and Jack Stoffer Judy & Doug Durbin Jack Creasy, Martin & Mel Holliday, Jonathan Spicer, Linnea Lions, Martin de Sousa


Ilike to think about kitchens in motion. And in time. I always begin by listening to my clients to learn how they work and then imagine myself taking those same steps and movements. Beyond visualizing how a kitchen can perform best ergonomically, I picture how my clients want to feel in their space during every stage and variety of use.

I’ve always been a strong advocate for the craft of kitchen design and often customize spaces with unanticipated detail. Aesthetically, kitchens can be heavy, so I want to add lightness where it’s least expected. My creative process is ultimately about finding new ways to bring more lightness and ease of use to the hardworking rooms my client’s desire.

In a vignette in our design studio, for example, I added a narrow band of German silver across the underside of a counter. This is not a gratuitous flourish. That slice of gleam is necessary to lift the visual weight of the stone and make the large slab counter appear to float. Every detail needs to support the clarity of how I envision my client and how they want to live in their home.

White kitchens, to me, are incredibly successful in achieving that end result. I won’t tire of designing white

Highly polished metals on de Giulio’s new collection for Tech Lighting aim to dissolve in the air, while raw black hot-rolled steel etageres and tractor wood stools ground with timeless notes of craft. Photo by Ben Aquino

kitchens any more than a Michelin-star chef would tire of white plates. White space is a counterpoint to emphasis. It allows breathing room for balancing texture and color. The white plankboard walls in my studio appear simple. Take a closer look, however, and you’ll see that they change direction. The planks run vertically on the open range wall to accentuate its height, then turn horizontally to give a sense of expanse near the windows. I like how that graphic shift ever so subtly energizes something that’s otherwise quiet and informal.

The cabinetry in this vignette is also white but manifested by two entirely different materials. Drawer fronts on a side wall and behind the island are in a velvety matte finish reminiscent of low-sheen lacquer, while the island’s front and a tall cabinet are clad in a cross-cut oak that we had milled and whitewashed just lightly enough to allow its wood grains to peek through. It takes time and money to mill and finish wood this way, and not all clients want to invest in details this nuanced at first. But when they do, they ultimately appreciate how much they add

to the beauty of the room. Photo by Dave Burk

The exhaust hood is another artisanal piece. Its lean shape and low pitch are inspired by a piece displayed at a forging shop in Japan. I love the form’s marriage of elegance and utility and how it offers a broad sweep for catching air without bulking up in height. The hood’s finish is a rarely seen patchwork of hand-cut German silver. I like how this metal’s warmer color and texture add a quiet counterpoint to the cool, machined steel of the appliances. A slim bead of silicon bronze at the hood’s bottom edge adds a subtle echo of the silver’s gleam. Our metal glassfront doors, while suggestive of industrial design, are similarly clad in German silver and thinly piped with bronze to add warmth.

Kitchens need to have staying power, especially considering the monetary investment behind them. But beyond longevity, I want to create a kitchen where my clients can deepen their connection to the space as much as they connect within it. Adaptability is key. Here, I used two sliding backsplash panels of framed tinted glass, one concealing countertop appliances and the other fronting a display of everyday dishes.

Above: A custom-fired terracotta mural in ethereal blues, handmade in Italy, backs the interior of a de Giulio designed china cabinet.
Photos by Dave Burk

Versatility can be built into something even as immutable as a stone backsplash. We hid a rail behind the charcoal-hued limestone on the range wall to hang utensils, as if in midair and outfitted the same rail with LED lighting to veil the source of the wall’s ambient glow. My own lighting collection explores highly-polished metals and minimalist rectangles for the very same reason—I want them to “melt” into a space, their own beauty or ingenuity seemingly an afterthought.

Moving and/or hidden design elements are playful, but I’d never overload a kitchen with “cool” things. Any engineering on my part, is about eliminating distractions and making every design choice more intentional. Even artisanal pieces as rare and lovely as the ancient-looking pounded terracotta mural lining a china cabinet’s interior need to feel inextricably linked to the room’s identity.

Craft is merely my language, not my goal. I never want to impose my taste on a client’s own aesthetic leanings. Instead, I aim to elevate my work to meet my client’s every expectation for a space. I prefer to design for simplicity and let the details reveal themselves over time and through the client’s enjoyment of their kitchen.


Anywhere Refrigeration

With Sub-Zero’s 15-inch Beverage and Wine Storage units, you can enjoy the luxury of refrigeration wherever you need—or want—it most.

Refreshment storage can be stunningly integrated into the style and function of any room through Sub-Zero's refrigeration that is modular in design and perfect for every home aesthetic.

Precision and Elegance

Precisely preserving both food and beverages, the 15” Designer Series Undercounter Beverage Center holds beer, wine, soda, and cold snacks with beautiful ease. With either solid or UV-resistant glass doors, the beverage centers include three adjustable nano-coated glass shelves, soft-on LED lighting, or adjustable LED accent lighting.

Featuring an integrated hinge and toe kick, a consistent 1/8-inch reveal, and fully customizable and adjustable panel-ready doors, Sub-Zero’s Undercounter Refrigeration delivers a seamless, elegant look that ensures the ideal fit in any room.

Ease and Convenience

Redesigned to match Sub-Zero’s full-size Designer Series, the ergonomic touch control panel integrates seamlessly for superior access. Wi-Fi-enabled features, such as temperature control, door-ajar notifications, and remote service diagnostics, can all be accessed from your mobile device through the mobile app providing the ultimate convenience.

16 THE
NEW PRODUCTS Undercounter Refrigeration

Twice as Cool

Need more refrigeration? You can pair our Designer Series Undercounter Beverage Center models side by side with a Dual Installation Kit, creating a custom refrigeration array that suits your needs.

Wipe Away

Accidents happen. But, cleanup is simple thanks to Sub-Zero’s nanocoated, spill-proof shelves that trap liquids in place.

Nano-coated glass shelves make cleaning up spills a breeze.

NEW PRODUCTS Undercounter Refrigeration

Bottle Service

Exceptional care for your wines is what Sub-Zero’s Designer Undercounter Wine Storage offers, providing more enjoyment in each glass of your favorite vintage. A 24-bottle capacity, six full-extension wine racks, adjustable LED accent lighting, and UV-resistant glass are all incorporated into a seamless, flexible wine storage solution.

The Sub-Zero Promise

Elegant, fully customizable, and Wi-Fi enabled for remote temperature control, Sub-Zero’s Designer Series delivers refrigeration that doesn’t look like refrigeration.

Scan here to learn more about the features and design options for Sub-Zero Undercounter Beverage Centers and Wine Storage Units.


Hibiscus Lemonade

Hibiscus flower syrup adds a lovely tropical flavor to a perennial summer favorite.

MAKES: 4 servings



1 cup hibiscus syrup (recipe below)

1 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice, strained of pulp

2 cups cold water

1 cup ice

Hibiscus Syrup

3 tablespoons dried hibiscus flowers

1 cup white sugar

1 cup water

1 teaspoon ground ginger

Zest of one lemon

Mint leaves and fresh lemon or lime slices for garnish


First, make the hibiscus syrup:

1. Combine dried hibiscus flowers, sugar, ginger, and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved.

2. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest.

3. Let the mixture steep for 1 hour before straining syrup through a sieve lined with cheesecloth.

4. Allow to cool completely and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

For the lemonade:

1. Combine hibiscus syrup, lemon juice, and cold water in a large pitcher.

2. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

3. Add ice to each glass before pouring.

4. Garnish individual glasses with fresh mint leaves and/ or lemon slices.




Linking your Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove appliances to the Connected Appliance App is an amazing timesaver that every customer with compatible products should do, says Ryan Kools, senior project engineer. “The app has a great capability to streamline everyday tasks, like reordering detergent for your Cove dishwasher or replacement air purifiers and water filters for your Sub-Zero refrigerator.” Kools explains that the app automatically sends a signal to Amazon to ship a new filter or dishwashing

detergent pods to you as soon as you are running low, and Amazon handles the notification to the customer’s account. “It takes the guesswork out of it for the customer,” he says. Auto-replenishment for refrigeration is a new feature that Sub-Zero is offering, and it is just one way in which the technology continues to improve the customer experience. “Customers don’t need to replace those yearly, so letting the app do the behind-the-scenes work is a great benefit.”

Sub-Zero refrigerator's Air Purification Cartridge alerts keep you aware of when they need replacing.


unparalleled performance service has not changed, technology has.

For Cove dishwashers, the app tracks the appliance’s usage and replenishes it accordingly. “If you use your dishwasher five times, the app will take five of those little pods out of your account inventory,” says Kools, “and once the inventory is low enough, it sends the new ones automatically.”

Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove connected appliances, you convenience, peace of mind, knowledge in your palm. ultimately ensures your appliances always perform their very best.

What Owners Can Expect

What Owners Can Expect


Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove have recently launched a new and improved version of the app that further increases its overall reliability and stability. “We’re focused on it being easy to connect and use for our customers, with lots of new features and functionality,” says Kools.


Simplify your technology and life—our connected appliances pair with Amazon’s Alexa or the Google Assistant, offering you one seamless home management system and voice-activated control. Also pairs with Amazon Dash Replenishment Services to automatically reorder detergent pods and rinse aid.

Simplify your technology and life—our connected appliances pair with Amazon’s Alexa or the Google Assistant, offering you one seamless home management system and voice-activated control. Also pairs with Amazon Dash Replenishment Services to automatically reorder detergent pods and rinse aid.

“This is just such a great convenience, so I hope everyone will take advantage of it,” he says. “If you have one of our Wi-Fisupported products, you really should plan to connect your appliance and make your life easier.”



Assistance is only a call away. The Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove Customer Care team is standing by to answer your questions at 1-800-222-7820

Assistance is only a call away. The Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove Customer Care team is standing by to answer your questions at 1-800-222-7820



Get step-by-step instructions on how to connect, view a complete list of Wi-Fi enabled appliances, and download a quick start guide at

Get step-by-step instructions on how to connect, view complete list of Wi-Fi enabled appliances, and download a quick start guide at



Gain first-hand experience, view product demonstrations, and consult with product experts at one of our official showrooms. Visit to schedule an appointment.

Gain first-hand experience, view product demonstrations, and consult with product experts at one of our official showrooms. Visit to schedule an appointment.

Compatible Devices and

Compatible Devices and Requirements


Compatible devices include: iPhone 6 or higher running iOS Google Play for Android users. You will also need a Sub-Zero, appliance, a wireless router, and internet connection with your

Compatible devices include: iPhone 6 or higher running Google Play for Android users. You will also need a Sub-Zero, appliance, a wireless router, and internet connection with

Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, and iPad are trademarks of Apple and other countries and regions. App Store is a service mark of Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google

Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, and iPad are trademarks of Apple Inc., and other countries and regions. App Store is a service mark of Apple Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google LLC.

unparalleled performance service has not changed, the technology has.
Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove connected appliances, you convenience, peace of mind, knowledge in your palm. ultimately ensures your appliances always perform their very best.






Cozy Kids

This charming children’s library room features a pint-sized table and matching chairs, a glowing fireplace, tons of shelf space for books, and perfect spots for snuggling up with a favorite stuffed animal. Also near at hand is the new Sub-Zero ADA height compliant dual beverage center and refrigerator, ready to be filled with juice and water!

Juicy Details

“This juice bar was created to help bridge the gap between the interior kitchen and the outdoor BBQ porch area,” says Lynette Sandgren, Director of Design at Renaissance Homes in Lake Oswego, Oregon. “I wanted to create a unique space that would be a convenient place to come make morning smoothies and juices.”

Sandgren’s initial vision for the juice bar came from the 30-inch SubZero glass-front refrigerator filled with fresh fruit, vegetables, and herbs. “What an inspiration to eat healthily!“ she says. “I felt like this space could be a perfect way to showcase that particular unit.” Also incorporating a dual zone Sub-Zero undercounter beverage center and Cove dishwasher, this attractive and functional juice bar, which was a finalist in the 2019-2021 Sub-Zero Kitchen Design Contest, adds to the overall sense of ease and wellness in the home.



Drink It In

Part of a luxurious urban penthouse pied-à-terre, this Sub-Zero Kitchen Design Contest’s Best Use Outside of Kitchen award-winning wine room was designed by Steve Karp. “The clients told us they wanted something spectacular, something unexpected,” says Karp, who, with his wife Stephanie, runs Bentwood Kitchens, a design firm in Chicago. Two industrial-chic steel doors with custom glass lead you into the intimate yet versatile room, outfitted with a zinc-wrapped bar and custom brass shelving. “You feel like you’ve been invited into a very special space,” says Karp. Elegant custom cabinetry houses double 30-inch Sub-Zero wine columns, ideal for housing the clients’ extensive collection. “It really is a little jewel box of a room, elevated and sophisticated and personalized for the owners’ lifestyle.”




Brooke Voss is enthusiasm personified. A conversation with the Twin Cities-based interior designer is upbeat and punctuated with laughter. “Don’t get me wrong,” she says, “I take my work very seriously. But if we can’t have fun doing it, then it’s not worth it.”

Voss takes this approach with every project she undertakes. In the 12 years she’s owned her business, Brooke Voss Design, and the decade before that, learning from “truly amazing mentors,” she has amassed a portfolio that acknowledges the wide variety of her clients and their unique personalities. “What keeps my job so interesting is that no two projects are alike,” she says. “I think it’s such a thrill to make a client’s project the very best version of who they are, not who I am.”

In the case of this elegant suburban-Twin Cities house designed by James McNeal Architects and Designers, Voss’ clients were a multi-generational family originally from Abu Dhabi who own a food business. Sophisticated and well-traveled, the husband, wife, their four children, and the wife’s mother and sister all live comfortably under one roof, a common arrangement in their culture. The spacious house was designed to graciously accommodate each member of the family, with areas for both private retreats and public gatherings.

Voss explains that “having a Mediterranean-style home was really important to them, but they didn’t want a traditional home; they wanted a much cleaner, modern spin on that.” And while the exterior boasts authentic accents like a red clay roof, baroque balcony, and roof finial, much more liberty was taken with designing the interior spaces, which are spacious, sleek, and modern. Voss sourced unique pieces at both local showrooms and companies in Europe, with an eye to respecting the wife’s chic style, worldly sensibilities, and thoughtfulness about the provenance of each piece.

While the second level is dedicated to the children’s bedrooms and bathrooms, the lower level is the grandmother’s domain, an extensive suite just for her. In between, on the main level, the kitchen is where the family heads when they want to be together and prepare food from scratch using recipes passed down through generations.

“Cooking is key in this home,” says Voss. “So many of

For this elegant and expansive suburban home, designed by James McNeal Architects and Designers, Voss’ designed a sophisticated interior, well suited to the lives of a multi-generational family.

One entire dining room wall opens to the stone patio and pool deck.

their family traditions revolve around food and preparation.” Accordingly, her kitchen design process started with the appliance selection. A 60-inch Wolf range allows room for two full-size Wolf ovens below, one for precision cooking and the other for precision baking. “We also needed a lot of work space so two people could be doing kitchen tasks at the same time and not get in each other’s way,” says Voss. “The big sink underneath the window has two taps so two people can be cleaning, rinsing, prepping. There is a pair of dishwashers as well.” The grandmother does a considerable amount of cooking in her own wing of the house, where, in addition to a bedroom, bathroom, and laundry, there is a second kitchen, fully equipped with Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances.

Voss shares that while sometimes her clients tend to be design-driven about a kitchen and care less about its actual function, for this family, the opposite was true. “We had to ensure they got exactly what they needed in order for the kitchen to perform optimally.” Only then did the designer

start thinking about the aesthetic essence of the room.

“We didn’t want just a white kitchen, but we also knew that we didn’t want a lot of adornment,” says Voss. For example, the designer explored how to “add a shadow line, a little bit of interest, without tipping the home into the realm of traditional. When you’re looking to have a home lean a little more modern, details really matter.”

Details such as what countertop material to use. The client wanted marble for its appearance, yet the natural stone’s likeliness to stain and chip was not a good fit for this workhorse of a kitchen, where oils and spices are used with abandon. In the end, the client’s persistence to find a marble that performed like a quartz led Voss to Azerocare, a treatment for natural stone that not only made the marble stain- and etch-resistant but also water- and oil-repellent. Eight full slabs of marble were used in the kitchen, a portion of it for the statement architectural hood wrap.

The full-size Sub-Zero refrigeration and freezer that

Sub-Zero refrigeration and freezer units are seamlessly integrated into the design.

bookmark the kitchen take up a significant portion of the room, so the decision was made to panelize them to make them “recede a little bit in terms of size and scale,” says Voss. A large dish cabinet in the kitchen to display and organize the client’s beautiful china and other tableware was intentionally designed to have the same size and depth as the Sub-Zero refrigeration. Equally careful thought was given to lining the cabinet with handsome wood to make it as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside.

A jewel box of a pantry for storing dry goods is entirely clad in white oak paneling. Says Voss, “It’s meant to be a beautiful moment when you move from the big, open kitchen with tall ceilings and large windows into the lower-ceilinged pantry, which is smaller and more intimate.” Here, there are black marble countertops, a coffee and tea station, and a Wolf Convection Steam Over tucked in and out of the way from the main kitchen, where the client didn’t want any wall appliances.

The kitchen opens to the dining room, where a pair of large bifold doors open up the entire wall of the dining room to a beautiful stone patio, the pool, and the pool house. Eliminating the separation between inside and outside is dramatic. Here as elsewhere in the house, “We used the landscape as art,” says Voss. “Simplicity was key.”

“So many of this family’s traditions revolve around food and preparation,” says Voss, who used beautiful yet functional materials in the kitchen.




Photos by Joe Schmelzer

“The remarkable thing about this kitchen is the number of materials we used,” says designer Jamie Drake about the luxurious but functional kitchen of this Paradise Valley, Arizona home. He lists them off: stone, walnut, lacquer, leather, porcelain, stainless steel. There’s color in there, too, in the form of a dramatic orange fridge. “The complexity is a visual delight; the more you look, the more you discover,” he adds.

Drake and his design partner, Caleb Anderson, used these materials and a palette of both hot and cool colors throughout the entirety of this newly constructed contemporary home, for which he specified every finish, fixture, and furnishing. “The scale and style are very different from the clients’ last home, which was more transitional, so we started from scratch,” he says.

Speaking of scale, the dramatic stone for the fireplace wall in the double-height living room—four slabs of book-matched Southern Cross onyx that soars 18 feet high—launched the design scheme. “The clients responded to very active slabs when we visited stone yards together,” Drake recalls. “There’s something spiritual about how the veining leads into the central portion of the expanse.”

The tones found in the exterior landscape coalesced in the stone and inspired the overall color palette. “The grayedout blue-green is the color of the scrub,” Drake explains. “We energized it with upbeat oranges and the vibrant orange-reds of Indian paintbrush, a native flower.”

Drake repeats the soft celadon shades often, using them as a foil for explosions of fervent color—the hot colors of the desert landscape. There are many circular motifs reminiscent

The dramatic stone for the 18-foot fireplace wall in the doubleheight living room is Southern Cross onyx.

Terracotta tones continue on the outdoor patio and pool area, reflecting the glorious desert landscape.

of the moon and sun. For instance, a ceramic chandelier by Barnaby Barford is a fiery orb over the seating area, while graygreen circles formed by shifting, lava-like clouds float through the rug. The celestial energy bounces to the dining room, where an abstract painting by Dan Christensen holds an entire wall. “The painting’s circle is the blazing sun or the rising moon, depending on how you wish to see it,” Drake says.

Drake brings fire into the kitchen by wrapping the door of the Sub-Zero Designer Series Refrigerator in orange leather. (Sub-Zero Designer Series Freezer Drawers are tucked in the hidden pantry accessed through the glass door to the left of the fridge.) “The color pulls the eye across the island, and the black metal cabinetry recalls the exterior windows,” Drake says, noting that ebony metal chairs in the dining room do the same.

Like the colors in the fireplace slab, the mix of colors in


Cool tones of celadon mingle with bright accents of vibrant orange seen in textiles and artwork.


the African River marble of the island reiterates the local landscape. Drake bisected the enormous stone block with a swathe of walnut edged in stainless steel. The polished metal trim ties to the two Wolf M Series Contemporary Stainless Ovens and the E Series Transitional Convection Steam Oven across from it.

The cooking zone is the kitchen’s secondary focal point. A large hood finished in celadon enamel hovers over a fiveburner Wolf Contemporary Gas Cooktop set into a niche lined with sand-colored quartzite. Although the hood and the drawers below it are metal, the celadon cabinetry to the left is lacquered wood. “The eye always needs a place to rest, so we used white quartz and smooth cabinets in the corner,” Drake says.

Drinks are served at the wet bar, where a wall of channeltufted faux suede sets off a crisp length of walnut cantilevered over an embossed leather base. An 86-bottle Sub-Zero Designer Series Wine Storage unit and ice maker encased in sleek, white lacquered wood cabinets stand to one side, and Apparatus double teardrop pendants flirt overhead. The palette is spare, and the effect is sexy and serene.

Terracotta tones spill outdoors and travel up to the loft, where a triptych by Robert Kushner bursts with exuberant florals, beckoning those looking for a place to escape. On one end of the space, blackened steel doors open to an upper terrace. Beside it, an office with an orange and ivory desk doubles as a guest room thanks to a pair of coral-colored daybeds. Furnishings in desert hues make their way into the other second-floor guest suites too.

Back on the main level, the primary suite leans into green, with hints of purple in the artwork and pillows that echo colors in the triptych in the loft. Materials repeat, too, from the lacquered nightstands to the metal bench to the turquoise leather-wrapped desk. In the bath, Drake celebrates the owners' love of highly figured stone with a statement slab of onyx that resembles desert sand.

Under the pergola on the owners’ private patio, a freestanding shower pipe sprouts in front of a desert vista made of glass mosaic tiles. “We commissioned a mural of the glorious Arizona landscape as if the wall wasn’t there,” Drake says. “In a town named Paradise Valley, the lure of the desert is irresistible.”




They say the kitchen is the heart of the home. And as “heart” implies in another sense, we love our kitchens for the gathering and entertaining spaces they have become over the years. However, whether you live in a condo with a small kitchen or a larger home with a generous open-concept design, keeping this room neat and organized is a challenge. Fortunately, Arizona-based professional organizer Ashley Stewart, founder of OCD (Organize. Create. Design.), has solutions to many of the kitchen-organization conundrums that frustrate us the most.

A naturally gifted organizer, Stewart fell into this profession in a unique way. Prior to her current career, she ran a wedding and event planning company in Scottsdale, Arizona. Like many in the industry, she began to experience burnout and wanted a change, but she didn't quite know how to make it. One day, while organizing a friend’s closet as a favor, she discovered her new passion.

The Living Kitchen recently spoke with Stewart about her best tips, tricks, and ideas for organizing the most important areas of the kitchen.

Photographed on location at the Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove Showroom in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Sub-Zero's adjustable shelves and crisper drawers help organize your food items and keep them fresher, longer.


Keeping the refrigerator in order is essential to an organized kitchen. Not only does it make cooking easier and less stressful, but it also helps prevent food waste. Compared to cabinets, pantries, and drawers, refrigerators are more likely to be messy and contain expired food.

Stewart’s approach is to start by letting the refrigerator’s design guide you. While this might seem obvious, we’ve all had a bag of carrots or a package of sliced turkey somehow end up on the top shelf adjacent to the orange juice.

Put the veggies and fruit in crisper drawers and the cheese and meat in their designated spaces for easy access. This will also help food stay fresher, and your meals

taste better. The unique Split Climate™ system in SubZero refrigerators is ideal for achieving this high level of freshness and preservation.

From there, Stewart suggests establishing where specific items should go. Not sure where to start? Stewart keeps all of her kids’ food on one side of a shelf and leftovers and prepared foods on the other side. This facilitates a faster grab-and-go process, saving everyone time.

With Sub-Zero’s adjustable shelves, it’s simple to design the interior of your refrigerator to meet your family’s specific needs and make your favorite food items easy to find and convenient to access.


Decanting improves your refrigerator’s aesthetic and makes beverage refills a snap.


Once you’ve established “a place for everything, and everything in its place” it’s time to choose the proper containers, or, to “decant.” Decanting improves your refrigerator’s aesthetic, and it also helps you stay organized since there’s already a designated spot for an item when it’s time to replace or refill it. “There's not just things thrown on the shelf,” Stewart explains. “That way, when you have groceries to put away, everything has a place to be unloaded.”

One type of container she strongly suggests for every home is an egg organizer. “It’s life-changing,” she says. ”You can pull out the drawer of eggs and take as many as you need instead of removing the whole container from the fridge. And it's stackable, so you can even put things on top of it.”

You can also decant items such as snacks and dry foods, like pasta, on shelves and in pantries. This not only gives your kitchen a stylish and professional-looking edge, but Stewart also likes doing this because it gives you a good picture of your food inventory. “You can see what you need and when you need it,” she says. “It also prevents over-buying and allows you to fit more on a shelf than the bulky containers that food items generally come in.”

You don’t need to decant absolutely everything, however. For example, while decanting liquids like milk into an attractive container or pitcher looks beautiful, Stewart does not do this in her own home. Her family drinks so much milk that it would be impractical.



Organizing deep cabinets is a challenge because it’s hard to see what’s behind all those boxes of rice, vitamins, and extra condiments. But leave it to Stewart to have the perfect solution: “When we organize cabinets, we like to put the most frequently used items on the bottom shelves and work our way up,” she says. Visually, it looks better to organize small to large, left to right. Using turntables, especially in upper cabinets for spices, oils, and vinegars, is the best way to see what you have while maximizing your vertical space.”

Overall, while it takes some planning and effort, the time spent on organizing your kitchen will make your experience there— prepping, cooking, and eating—a pleasure. With the right systems in place, you can create an efficient culinary environment that matches your very own unique lifestyle.

A naturally gifted organizer, Stewart strives to create systems that work for each client's lifestyle.

If walls could talk, the ones adorned with Ellen Merchant’s bold prints would have stories to tell about hand-crafted artistry. The first chapter would be an idea inspired by a flash of color or a glimpse of nature, followed by a tale of a meticulous technique. By the end of the narrative, it would be clear that the process wasn’t rushed, and the piece celebrates the creator’s touch. And that’s exactly Merchant’s intention.

“I want you to be able to see the maker’s hand and tell that it’s been done by a human being,” she says. The London-based decorative artist, designer, and printmaker discovered her passion for pattern and print while studying illustration at Camberwell College of Arts, inspired by a technician whose wife was a print designer. “I didn’t know that was actually a job, that you could create patterns,” Merchant says. “And then [your art] becomes a part of somebody’s home. I think it’s the greatest compliment when somebody wants to have something in their home that you created.”

The realization that she could create art that was reproduced and used in practical ways changed the course of her studies. After college, Merchant worked

as a print designer for a fashion brand for a few years, churning out four to five designs per week. Then, after starting her master’s program at the Royal College of Art—and doing her own freelance projects on the side—a pandemic lockdown forced her to rethink her creative process, using only the material available in her apartment. “All I had was lino and some carving tools. It really changed everything I did,” Merchant says.

She learned she could spend days on one task, like a linocut—a printmaking process that involves carving a design into a sheet of linoleum—and she liked the challenge of designing within a tiny rectangular space. “That’s another thing I enjoy about traditional processes: they’re all limited. On a computer, you can manipulate anything any way you want.”

Printmaking by hand plays an integral role in Merchant’s bold, botanical designs. Whether displayed on the fabric of a couch cushion, an art print, or the wallpaper of a home bathroom, her patterns speak for themselves. Paired with eye-catching color combinations (think emerald and mustard, deep red and soft blues), the “maker’s marks” she chooses not to edit out have become signatures of her style. Variations

Photo by Clementine Cusack

in the ink and so-called imperfections in the pattern contribute to a handmade aesthetic, as well as to a worn quality that could even be confused as antique. “I’m really drawn to things that look hand done,” she says. “When you have a design that has little variations, I don’t think of them as imperfections. I think of them as character.”

This kind of character doesn’t happen overnight. Initially, she hand-prints her designs. For wallpaper, she uses a printing press from the 1950s that she “tweaked” to print rolls of wallpaper, a process that takes about two days per roll.

“People are so keen to do things that are quick, and there’s so much emphasis on quick results and printing easily and cheaply,” notes Merchant. Her method of printing is the most time-consuming— and it definitely doesn’t involve Photoshop. Once a design is physically printed and developed, she outsources it locally for production. “I like to meet the people and see where things are being made,” she says.

Above: Merchant hand-inks her patterns for her fabrics and wallpapers. The Nomad Ottoman can be handmade to order by her in-house upholstery department. Photos by Clementine Cusack
Photo by Ellen Merchant

Bluebells wallpaper in Butter. "I have always loved bluebells; they are such modest yet vibrant flowers."

As painstaking as it is, Merchant’s dedication to handcrafted design has helped establish her brand. She recently collaborated with the London-based company Daydress on an original block print design called Chintz Trail, which was featured on dresses in their Spring 2022 collection. When Gabby Deeming, the founder of Daydress, reached out to her, Merchant says, “It was one of those moments where you’re like, ‘Is this real?’”

However, Merchant’s heart will always belong to interior design. She and her fiancé, Carl Batchelor, upholster furniture with custom hand-printed fabric through their side project, Peacock & Pigeon. “We love finding antique furniture and doing it up,” she says, adding that the project is “more for fun.”

What’s on the horizon for her textiles collection? Merchant will be releasing three new wallpapers soon, as well as a “funky” new colorway of her Nomad design called Bazaar. In addition, she is launching a homewares line with Anthropologie in the US. "It is a dream collaboration!"

The artist returned to the Royal College of Art to finish her master's in textiles and is set to graduate this summer. In the meantime, she enjoys watching her business—and her designs—continue to grow. “I’m just adding slowly over time,” she says. “It’s exciting to create more of a collection.”

Hand-printed cushions in poppy linen. Photos by Ellen Merchant

cooking with


The way Chef Alex Diaz sees it, the path his life has taken has landed him exactly where he should be. “I believe I was meant to move away from New Jersey, where I was born, and to live with my grandparents on their farm in Puerto Rico,” says Diaz, who is a corporate chef with the Sub-Zero Group in Miami, Florida. “My grandfather always said you never say no to an extra pair of hands, and I learned so much from that experience.”

As a young man living in Puerto Rico, Diaz did not immediately see himself as either a farmer or a chef. “I wasn't really fond of waking up at four in the morning to work on the farm,” he says with a laugh. He studied computer programming and accounting before a local friend suggested he try culinary school. “One of the first things they taught was basic menu costing, and because I had that background in accounting and computer programming, it was a very easy start for me in a sense. That's when I realized, well, the more I can learn, the better prepared I'll be to make the most of my career.”

Diaz started his culinary career by working in several restaurants in Puerto Rico before receiving a job offer from Hilton and Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts. “I was with them for five years,” he says. “Then a chef from the same property offered me a position in a private restaurant in Miami.” Eventually, Diaz says, he wanted to set out on his own and put into practice everything he had learned so far about the restaurant business. “I joined the Zuma Restaurant Group and worked in several of their restaurants before joining Sub-Zero in 2018.”


At the Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove Miami Showroom, Diaz facilitates product demonstrations, use and care tutorials, and events. His position entails travel throughout Florida and the Caribbean, where his ability to communicate in six languages comes in handy. “I can go to Martinique and use my French. It’s a lot of fun!” says Diaz.

His multilingual talents reflect his aptitude for a variety of cuisines. “I was never one to dedicate myself to just one style of cooking,” says Diaz. “For me, it has been more about learning techniques overall.” He says he began with traditional European cuisines, predominantly French and Italian, and then branched off into exploring Spanish, Mexican, and Japanese styles of cooking.

“I even learned the art of smoking meats in the Carolinas and Texas, “ he says. “So, it's always about knowledge and passion, and I try to stay very versatile in the kitchen.”

As a Sub-Zero Corporate Chef, Diaz is able to share this versatility with customers. “I love making connections with them,” he says. “I believe the memory behind a dish is so important, so I stress that in my demonstrations. I tell people that I'm sure there's a dish that they had when they were kids, and they want to bring that flavor back into their cooking.” Diaz especially appreciates when customers feel moved and comfortable enough to share their own culinary journeys with him.

“Sometimes when we are done with the demonstration, people will say, ‘Oh, if you’re ever in our area, let us know so that you can come over to our house, and we'll cook for you.’ It's a great feeling to have people trust me enough after a meal or a dinner presentation to invite me. I

Diaz relishes the chance to grow and harvest fresh produce at his Miami home.

cook for people, which is the same values my grandparents and my mother instilled in me growing up.”

Diaz will often send customers home with a personalized spice rub sample, a practice that stemmed from his initial job interview. “When I did my first tasting for Sub-Zero, I brought my own personal seasonings, which I used for the second course, and Chef Joel loved it so much that I gave it to him as a gift, says Diaz, referring to Joel Chesebro, the Head Demonstration Chef for Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove. Diaz’s current prep kitchen has an extensive spice collection, and it has become a staple of his cooking demonstrations to give out curated spices. “We give the customers a little Mason jar with a spice rub to take home, and I'll give them pointers on how they can use it for different types of proteins,” he says. “I’m happy to make the recommendations to match any kind of cooking style.”

In both his professional and personal life, Diaz embraces much of the locally available foods of his home base of Miami. He often uses fresh fish in his menus and considers fishing an enjoyable, meditative hobby. Floridian

waters offer a bounty of options, such as snapper, grouper, snook, and flounder, which Diaz loves to catch and prepare. “I’m a big, big fan of working with fish,” he says.

Diaz also considers himself lucky to have his own urban garden to draw from for his culinary endeavors. “I’ve been working on it for two years, and we now have our whole side yard dedicated to herbs, vegetables, fruits, and flowers,” he says. “I have a greenhouse, a pergola, raised beds, and a hydroponic system, even a small sanctuary for swallowtail butterflies, the biggest butterfly in the U.S.” The only thing that is lacking, he says, are chickens. “I really miss fresh farm eggs, so I’m hoping to eventually convince my wife that a few laying hens would be nice and quiet and well-behaved.”

Diaz loves using fresh, local ingredients in his cooking, such as Florida seafood.


has inspired

Diaz shares this Miami home with his wife and four children and truly loves being a dad. “It has made me who I am today,” he says. “I have extended family still in New Jersey, in the Caribbean, and all over the U.S., and honestly, I feel like Sub-Zero is my family as well. I feel like I'm working with people I've known my whole life.”

He often is joined in the garden by his youngest daughter, who, at four years old, is already learning to love the tactile experience of growing food. “All my kids love the outdoors, but she and I have this farming connection,” he says. “We love picking flowers together, and she wants to help me dig, plant, and harvest. It reminds me of my grandfather teaching me on his farm all those years ago.

“I love what I do with a passion, and I believe it was meant for me to go to a sustainable farm as a teenager, then on to computer programming and accounting, and then somehow, incredibly, bring the experience of those three things to the restaurant and hospitality industry,” continues Diaz. “We never see things when we're kids growing up, but I now understand that every single thing that has happened to me, thankfully, had a purpose.”

Grilled Red Mullet with Parsnip Puree and Sundried Tomato Tapenade


4 fresh red mullets

6 parsnips

3 cups whole milk

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

5 sprigs of lemon thyme

½ cup cherry or grape tomatoes

Olive oil

1 orange (Cara Cara is perfect)

1 bunch of parsley

Zest of one lemon

Zest of one lime

1 ounce sundried tomatoes

2 teaspoons capers

1 ounce kalamata or castelvetrano olives

1 clove fresh garlic



1. Roughly chop the sundried tomatoes, capers, olives, and parsley.

2. Mix well, adding enough olive oil to cover the mixture.

3. Mince garlic and add to the tapenade, along with the lemon and lime zest.

4. Finish with salt and pepper to taste.

5. Mix well to combine all the flavors. Set aside.


1. Peel and cut the parsnips into same-size pieces (this will help with evenness in cooking) and place in a large saucepan.

2. Add 2 ½ cups of milk and the butter to the pan. Cook on medium heat until the parsnips are tender.

3. Remove parsnips and place them in a blender along with the remaining 1/2 cup of milk. Puree until smooth.


1. Preheat grill for approximately 20 minutes.

2. Make three small cuts on the each side of each mullet.

3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Tie up the thyme sprigs with butcher's twine to make a brush.

5. Using thyme brush, brush some olive oil onto the fish.

6. Cut the orange in half. Squeeze one half over the fish.

7. Slice the other half and add slices to hot grill, cooking until lightly browned.

8. Place mullets on a hot, preheated grill for three minutes on each side.


1. Spread the parsnip puree onto a serving dish and place grilled mullets on top.

2. Spoon the tapenade on top of the fish.

3. Cut the tomatoes in half and toss with two tablespoons of olive oil and whole parsley leaves, add to the side of the fish along with grilled orange slices.


Working on his grandparents' farm in Puerto Rico Diaz on his culinary journey.
“ This dish pairs perfectly with a beautiful dry rosé or any European mediumbodied white wine.”
– Chef Alex Diaz

When the Valastros renovated their kitchen, they filled it with Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove appliances. “There is history there and a great partnership with the company.”

FOOD | Cover Story

BakingBigit Time


he life Buddy Valastro has crafted for himself is much like one of his delectable dessert creations—satisfying, multi-layered, and overflowing with flavor. Busy in his sleek and spacious home kitchen in northeastern New Jersey, Valastro, the owner of Carlo’s Bakery and popular star of TLC and Discovery Family’s Cake Boss, appears to have the same demeanor and passion as the earnest, hard-working young man who was compelled to take over the family business after the untimely death of his father.

“My parents were born in Italy but met here in the U.S.,” says Valastro. “My father worked at the original Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken and bought it in 1963 from Mr. Carlo himself.” Valastro was 11 when he started at the bakery and was decorating cakes a few years later. “Every Saturday and Sunday, my dad and I would go to the bakery at six a.m., set the store up, and then do all the birthday cakes,” he says. “I was always artistic and ahead of my years.”

Valastro will never forget that it was on his seventeenth birthday when the family learned his father had stage three cancer. “We all decided I would drop out of high school to help until he got a little better. But he died three weeks later.”

Although he says he didn’t feel ready to take over the business, Valastro forged ahead. “I had veteran bakers who had been baking for 30 years, so I had to earn their respect, not just as my dad’s son,” he says. “I was determined to be the first to arrive in the morning and the last to leave at night.”


After a few years, Valastro felt he had a good handle on the business and began to take a broader look at the bakery landscape. “The supermarket bakeries were getting better, and they were putting bakeries like mine out of business,” he says. “I knew I couldn’t compete on price with items they could mass produce.” Valastro knew he needed a point of difference, and he found it with fondant.

“I started teaching myself how to work with it”, says Valastro, whose cakes had usually been covered with buttercream frosting or royal icing. Now, he realized that one towering fondant-covered cake was as lucrative as many dozens of pastries. “I could put a three-tiered cake out front and get a thousand dollars for it. I thought to myself, how many donuts do we have to make to get that amount of money? There was our new business model right there.”

With his mother’s encouragement, Valastro started to focus on elaborate wedding cakes. “We had this beautiful window that faced the street, so I would come up with themes and design these gorgeous cakes and put them in the window to showcase.” As luck would have it, one appreciative passerby worked at Modern Bride magazine. “She said, ‘We’d love to feature you,’ and it was like a dream come true!” says Valastro.

The chance stroll-by led to an explosion of celebrity. Valastro immediately made friends with the editors. “They loved me and loved my cakes.” His work then began appearing in all the major wedding publications. “At that time, in the 1990s, brides-to-be were getting all their ideas from magazines,” says Valastro, who became the creative inspiration for thousands of wedding-day dreams.

As one of the premier wedding cake designers in the tristate area, Valastro was happy to give his customers what they wanted. “I’m a very good listener, and I was very receptive to what customers, art designers, and magazine editors asked of me. “You want me to write on the cake? You want me to put flowers on it or have a log cabin on the top? If I could do it, they were happy with it, it was no problem.”

Along with multiple magazine shoots and the busy bakery business, Valastro started doing cake consulting appointments on weekends, every half-hour from eight in the morning until six at night. “There was a two-month wait to get an appointment with me.”

Somehow, he found the time and passion to make his own wedding cake when he married his wife, Lisa, in 2001. “I spent three weeks making little sugar flowers for our cake,” says Valastro, “and then I went in the morning of my wedding to finish and make it perfect.”

While starting his family with Lisa (which now includes four children, Sofia, 20, Buddy Jr., 18, Marco, 16, and Carlo, 12), Valastro was contacted by the Food Network. “They were hosting baking competitions,” he says. “So I went on the show, and the third round was wedding cakes.” Surprisingly, Valastro didn’t win (“I should have definitely won,” he laughs), but while packing up, one of the camera operators approached him. “He said I had a great personality for television and should have a show.”

The idea began percolating in Valastro’s mind, and he went home and pitched it to his wife: a hundred-year-old bakery, a crazy big Italian family, and lots of cakes. “I thought she was going to tell me I was out of my mind, but instead, she told me she had never met a more determined person, and anything I set my mind to, I always figured out.” Food Network was not as receptive and told Valastro they preferred he stay part of their baking challenges, so he put his TV plans on the back burner.

Flash forward to 2008. “I’m upstairs at the bakery, making cakes when my sister Mary says TLC is on the phone. I’m like, who, the band? Do they need a cake?” It turned out that The Learning Channel was thinking of doing a baking show, and they wanted Valastro to star in it.

The resulting show, Cake Boss, proved to be one of TLC’s most-watched lifestyle programs, with over 300 episodes seen in 220 countries around the world and several spin-off specials. The assertive moniker was the network’s idea. Valastro thinks of himself more as an artist and collaborator than a

FOOD | Cover Story
A young Valastro and his father working together at Carlo’s Bakery.

“I’m all about the functionality and layout of the kitchen,” Valastro says, “while Lisa has the creative vision and great eye for colors and finishes.”

typical boss type, even though Carlo’s Bakery has turned into a large-scale operation with dozens of locations across the U.S. and a 100,000-square-foot factory in Jersey City. “I’m not really an arrogant guy,” says Valastro,” but I’m passionate and emotional. What you see is what you get.”

At this point in his life, it would be understandable if Valastro wanted to take a step back, but that is not how he was raised. Most mornings find him heading to the factory, his TV production company, or one of his bakeries to envision new dessert ideas.

For most of his life, creativity has come easily to the celebrity baker, who says he gets “design inspiration from the drape of a fabric or taking walks with my wife and

looking at nature.” But he also has worked incredibly hard to emulate his father’s example ever since he took the reins of Carlo’s at a tender age. “I think back to that kid who had to stand on a bucket to ice the top of a wedding cake, and I could never have imagined that I would have come this far.”

Above all else, he is dedicated to his family, and his children enjoy coming to the bakeries to decorate cakes with him. They are each poised to follow in his footsteps in varying ways and Valastro welcomes the continued family closeness that Carlo’s Bakery first engendered decades ago. “If my dad could see all this, he would be amazed,” he says. “He would be incredibly proud too.”

“I think back to that kid who had to stand on a bucket to ice the top of a wedding cake, and I could never have imagined that I would have come this far.”
FOOD | Cover Story
Carlo’s Bakery is still going strong more than 100 years after it first opened.

Frost Like A Boss

Tips from Buddy Valastro for icing the perfect cake:

1. First things first: Never try to ice a warm cake because your frosting is going to melt. So, after you bake your cake, put it in the refrigerator to cool.

2. If you have store-bought icing, be sure to reconstitute it with some air before you put it on the cake. Empty canned frosting into a large mixing bowl. Whip the frosting using an electric mixer (either hand mixer or stand mixer) for 2 to 3 minutes until fluffy.

3. If you make your own buttercream frosting, make enough so that the paddle of your mixer is completely submerged. You want it to double in size. This will give you the nice airy texture you need.

4. Get and use a cake turntable, so you can slowly spin your cake while you frost and decorate.

5. Fake it till you make it. If you mess up a bit, use sprinkles or fresh flowers or berries to cover up the mistakes.

6. Use your imagination and be inspired by what you see. Dream big and decorate!

Decorator Buttercream Frosting

Want to make your own Buddy-approved buttercream icing right at home? Here's his favorite recipe for a perfect frosting.

MAKES: About 6 cups


7½ cups powdered sugar

2¼ cups vegetable shortening

6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter

1½ tablespoons pure vanilla extract

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons cold water


1. Put the sugar, shortening, butter, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix at lowmedium speed until the frosting is smooth, with no lumps (approximately 3 minutes).

2. With the motor running, add water in a thin stream.

3. Continue to mix with the paddle until water is absorbed (approximately 3 minutes).


To color your buttercream icing, mix in food coloring with a rubber spatula until the icing is uniformly colored. The amount may vary, based on the brand of food coloring and how light or dark you want your icing to be.

Buddy recommends food-coloring gel because it is less watery and easier to work with than liquid. Start with a few drops and add more as you mix. If you are making a dark color, like black, the cream can become loose or watery, in which case you should mix in extra powdered sugar until the texture is as desired.


Effortless and Elegant

Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove’s Head Demonstration Chef Joel Chesebro shares how to make a simple and delicious puff pastry shell using the Wolf Convection Steam Oven.

This is the perfect base for a beautiful and sophisticated dessert, using seasonal fresh fruit from your local farmers market and Chef Joel’s delightfully sweet and tart lemon pastry cream.

Lemon Pastry Cream


3 cups heavy cream, divided

5 egg yolks

¾ cup cornstarch

1 ½ cups sugar

½ cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon vanilla


1. Whisk together 1 cup heavy cream, egg yolks, and cornstarch in a bowl. Set aside.

2. Combine the remaining 2 cups of heavy cream, sugar, and lemon juice in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Whisk to dissolve sugar. Bring to a gentle boil; boil until mixture begins to thicken, about 10 minutes. Add egg yolk mixture slowly, whisking constantly until it thickens, about 5 minutes, then add the salt and vanilla and whisk to combine. Pour into a glass bowl. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the mixture to prevent skin from forming. Let cool completely at room temperature.

3. Pour the cooled mixture into a mixing bowl. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer fitted with a wire whip until thick and creamy.

Blitz Puff Pastry


3 cups flour

24 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 cup cold water


1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the salt and flour.

2. Cut butter into ¼-inch cubes.

3. Gently rub the butter into the flour until crumbly and there are large and small chunks.

4. Add the water and gently knead until well incorporated.

5. Flatten the dough into a rectangle, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

6. Fold dough into thirds and roll flat.

7. Turn the dough 90 degrees and fold in thirds again.

8. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

9. Remove dough from refrigerator and fold into thirds one last time, making a total of 3 turns.

10. Roll out the dough to about 1⁄8-inch thick.

11. Lay filling on the middle third of the dough rectangle, fold one side over the middle, brush with egg wash, and fold the next side.

12. Place the dough onto the solid pan lined with parchment paper.

13. Preheat oven to 375° on Convection and bake pastry until browned, approximately 12 to 15 minutes, depending on size.



Warm days and late sunsets are approaching, so it's a perfect time to start planning for a season’s worth of picnics and backyard barbecues. After all, summertime is all about family fun and good food!

Eating outdoors is a great opportunity to enjoy healthy food choices like fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as some easy-to-prepare take-along dishes. Here are two nutritious and delicious picnicperfect recipes that you can make ahead of time using your Wolf appliances:



“Go Anywhere” Granola Bars


¼ cup flax seeds

½ cup slivered almonds

½ cup walnuts

¼ cup sunflower seeds

¾ cup quick-cooking oats

¼ cup shredded coconut

½ cup dried cranberries

½ cup dried cherries

½ cup almond butter

¼ cup honey

½ teaspoon almond extract


1. Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

2. Add flax seeds, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, oats, and coconut to the blender in the order listed.

3. Select manual/speed 5 and pulse until mixture is finely chopped, 8-10 times.

4. Add cranberries and cherries and pulse an additional five times.

5. In a microwave-safe container, combine almond butter and honey. Heat the mixture until the almond butter is softened.

6. Stir in almond extract and mix well.

7. Add almond butter mixture to the blender. Pulse 8-10 times, using the tamper as needed, to fully combine wet and dry ingredients.

8. Transfer mixture to prepared pan. Press down firmly and into corners to create a flat, even surface.

9. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

10. Remove the bars from the pan onto a cutting board by lifting the edges of the parchment paper and cut them into squares.

11. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator.


Roasted Sweet Corn Salsa


6 ears of sweet corn

2 poblano peppers

1 jalapeno pepper

1 medium red or white onion, cut into ½-inch rings

2 cloves garlic

½ cup cilantro, chopped

¼ cup scallions, thinly sliced

Juice of 2 limes

Salt to taste

Fresh ground black pepper to taste


1. Set the broiler of your Wolf Convection oven to 1, with the rack in position 6 or the top position. Place corn, poblanos, jalapeno, onion, and garlic on a baking sheet tray. When the broiler is hot, place the tray in the oven.

2. Rotate the corn as it becomes nicely browned, almost charred, so that all sides are evenly colored. Allow the peppers to blister and char, rotating on all sides. Once peppers are fully blistered, put them in a container with a tight-fitting lid for 5 minutes to steam. This process helps to separate the skin from the flesh of the pepper. Allow onions and garlic to take on a deep roast until they are almost charred.

3. Have a large mixing bowl ready. Cut kernels from ears of corn and add to bowl. Roughly mince onion and add to bowl. Smash garlic into a paste using the side of your knife, and in a scraping motion, press it into and across the surface of the cutting board. Scrape garlic paste off the board and add to bowl.

4. Skin peppers, remove seeds, and rinse peppers under cold water to wash away stubborn seeds and skin if necessary. (Try to be tidy while skinning and seeding so as not to “wash away” any flavor.)

5. Chop peppers into small dice-sized pieces and add to bowl.

6. Add the chopped cilantro, sliced scallions, lime juice, salt, and pepper, and stir until everything is well incorporated.

7. Taste. Adjust seasoning with more herbs, lime juice, salt, and pepper, if needed.


a mountain HAVEN


Photos courtesy of Blackberry Farm
Director of Design, Jason Bell, used Blackberry Farm’s incredible views and natural location as inspiration for redesigning the guest rooms, suites and cottages.

Guests journey from all corners of the world to experience a stay at Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee. Nestled on 4,200 acres of gardens and fields in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, the intimate luxury hotel is an ideal year-round retreat for gathering with friends and family to enjoy farm-to-table feasts, the ever-changing outdoors and true southern hospitality.

The farm, which underwent an interior renovation in 2022, has remained in the Beall family for generations. Proprietor Mary Celeste Beall says, “Blackberry Farm has evolved out of a love for family, adventure, food, and enjoying the company of those around us. We’ve never been a place that someone would consider trendy.”

In fact, the best thing about Blackberry Farm is how nature is constantly changing around the classic property. It feels so comfortable and welcoming there that it’s easy to forget you’re visiting a hotel and not a friend’s charming home.

Jason Bell, Director of Design, thinks of the landscape as “living art.” He says, “There’s nothing better in the spring than to sit on the patio for a meal and take the view down in the valley, with Blackberry Mountain in the distance. Everything is lush and bright.”

Bell and his team took these views as inspiration for the redesign of the guest rooms, suites, and cottages—spaces that are continually updated and renovated as needed. The addition of floral textiles, contemporary paintings, and new light fixtures updated the accommodations, while the antiques and favorite furniture returning guests know and love were left in place.

The original bar at The Dogwood, the restaurant located in the Main House, was previously too narrow to linger around comfortably. Remedied by a comprehensive redesign, it is now a coveted spot at Blackberry to sit and enjoy an inventive cocktail after an afternoon outdoor adventure. Meanwhile, The Dogwood dining room took on a palette of local stone, dusty sapphire, and topaz—splashes of color that Bell attributes to Beall’s influence.

Cassidee Dabney, Executive Chef of one of the other restaurants at Blackberry Farm, The Barn Restaurant, curates bespoke seasonal menus based on what is ripe for the picking on the farm.

Proprietor Mary Celeste Beall (right) says that Blackberry Farm evolved from a love of family, food, and adventure. Below: The newly redesigned bar at The Dogwood.
Above: The Barn at Blackberry Farm combines rustic elegance with a refined dining experience. Right: Seasonal menus use fresh ingredients grown at the Blackberry Farmstead.

“In the spring, the menus are a welcome change from the heartier foods of winter,” says Dabney. “Foraging for greens and mushrooms to incorporate into the meal really connects us to our food.”

Ripe tomatoes yield such a bountiful summer harvest that Dabney and her team make large jars of tomato paste to last the rest of the year. “The Wolf induction burner is the perfect tool for making the tomato paste,” she says. “The constant heat helps maintain a precise temperature for reducing the tomatoes.”

Down at the Farmstead, the working farm on the property, Director Dustin Busby says it’s this time of year when the ewes eat the lush spring grass and produce the protein-rich milk needed to prepare their signature Singing Brook Cheese, which ages for up to a year before it is plated.

Beall knows it’s finally spring when the Lenten rose, a pink-dappled flower, begins to bloom. Next, daffodils and clover shoot up with wild abandon, and baby lambs are born right around Easter weekend, a time when Blackberry Farm is bustling with guests who come for the special menus and activities.

The options for enjoying Blackberry Farm beyond the Main House are constantly expanding. Guests can take a guided tour of the Farmstead gardens and heritage livestock pasture, flyfish, go for a mountain biking expedition, or horseback ride along miles of trails. Afterward, it’s possible to truly relax with a massage at the Wellhouse spa or simply pause in quiet wonder, taking in the view as the mist rolls in from the mountains.

“YOU FEEL THAT southern hospitality THE MOMENT YOU ARRIVE.”

For younger guests, there are wide-ranging regularly scheduled children’s activities and Family Time events. There is also Camp Blackberry, where campers experience time away from their families to enjoy tailor-made adventures, such as culinary, fine arts, and outdoor adventure, and Blackberry Youth Discovery, an opportunity for youth ages ten and older to delve into more in-depth learning in areas such as painting, ceramics, and farmstead activities.

In summer, when the garden is at its lushest, guests can pick native wild blackberries, dip their toes in the creek, and take in the majesty of lightning bugs and clear starfilled skies at night. It’s hard to think of a more classic way to celebrate the Fourth of July than at Blackberry Farm.

“It’s such a big event here,” says Jason Bell. “We have a big barbeque, fireworks, and flags and banners are everywhere. You feel that southern hospitality the moment you arrive.”

Whatever the season, when you visit Blackberry Farm, it’s impossible not to unplug from the worries of modern life and become besotted with the living, natural beauty of the moment.

Learn more at

Regardless of the season, Blackberry Farm offers countless activities and adventures for the whole family.

Geothermal spas around the globe offer luxe experiences meant to restore and rejuvenate, inside and out.



For over 40 years, Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano has put on quite a show. Although dormant since 2010, this conical wonder still rises close enough to the Earth’s surface to heat the groundwater and warm the bubbling hot springs. The area is replete with resorts touting opportunities to soak in the mineral-rich waters. Nayara Springs is an intimate luxury oasis.

Located in Arenal Volcano National Park, two-anda-half to three hours from the international airports, Nayara Springs has 35 dreamy villas surrounded by lush rainforest foliage; some have volcano views. Each structure has high bamboo ceilings and a four-poster, mosquito netting-draped bed. Sliders open to a covered deck with a colorful hammock, a carved wood daybed, and an integrated plunge pool fed by natural mineral hot springs.

Venture beyond your private paradise (and open-air spa) for eco-adventures—zip-lining, rappelling, white water rafting, and hiking—along with colorful wildlife such as toucans and tree frogs.

Photos courtesy of Nayara Resorts


In 1885, lured by the natural hot springs, which indicated a mineral-rich environment, gold and silver miners settled on the banks of the West Dolores River, 8,600 feet high in the Colorado Rockies. The site proved too isolated; within 35 years, it was abandoned. Fast forward to 2001, when the ghost town-turned-dude ranch was reimagined as Dunton Hot Springs, an all-inclusive resort.

Here in the San Juan Mountains, 14 restored mining-era log cabins, each with distinctive Americana décor, encircle a chef-driven saloon where Butch Cassidy once stopped after robbing a bank in Telluride. Guests can soak in calcium bicarbonate-rich geothermal water in a rustic 19th-century bathhouse, an outdoor clay-rimmed pool, at the source itself (slip in under the stars), and in other spots with meadow and mountain views.

Between soaks and alpine-inspired spa treatments, there’s snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, fly fishing, horseback riding, mountain biking, and more. This is wilderness country, so be on the lookout for bears, cougars, and bald eagles.

Photos courtesy of Dunton Destinations


Formerly known as The Banff Springs Hotel, the Fairmont Banff Springs, is one of many majestic hotels that William Cornelius Van Horne, president of Canadian Pacific Railway, constructed to attract tourists to Canada. The impetus? Railway employees discovered natural hot springs at the base of Sulphur Mountain.

The iconic resort in Banff National Park has undergone much expansion and renovation since opening in 1888; still, therapeutic waters are key. The 40,000-square-foot spa features three waterfall pools of varying temperatures, an outdoor whirlpool, indoor hot tubs, a eucalyptus steam room, and a grand indoor mineral pool enriched with salts sourced from a lake in South Africa. (Water was piped directly from the hot springs to the hotel until the 1930s, when natural resource protections were enacted).

To experience the rejuvenating water straight from Sulphur Mountain, there’s Banff Upper Hot Springs, a first-come, first-serve hot spring-fed pool that’s about 10 minutes away by taxi. Walk 10 minutes south of there to ride the Banff Gondola for sweeping views of six mountain ranges.

Photos courtesy of Fairmont Banff Springs


In Iceland, warm soaks are a way of life. Blue Lagoon, perhaps the country’s most well-known geothermal spa, was discovered unintentionally. In 1976, runoff from a geothermal power plant formed a milky blue reservoir when the ground made of porous volcanic rock ground failed to absorb the water.

Today, the Blue Lagoon sits on a field of black lava 45 minutes from Reykjavik. Many visitors stop on the way to or from the airport to experience the healing waters, whose primary elements are silica, algae, and minerals. Entrance includes a silica mud mask and drinks from the in-water bar, or you can reserve a five-hour spa pass and luxuriate in the grotto-like steam room and sauna.

Better yet, make Blue Lagoon a home base. There are two hotels on the property: the Nordic-style Silica Hotel and the luxurious and intimate Retreat at Blue Lagoon. The latter offers modern and sophisticated suites with unlimited access to the spa and a more secluded and enchanting lagoon.

Photos courtesy of Blue Lagoon


Japan is a mountainous country with numerous active volcanoes and thousands of hot spring sources. Bathing culture reaches back thousands of years here, and onsen (establishments with mineralized hot springs baths) are commonly used as health retreats. Amanemu infuses absolute luxury into that tradition.

Nestled into the forested hills of Ise-Shima National Park, Amanemu draws inspiration from ryokan, traditional Japanese inns with communal baths. The resort’s guest quarters—28 freestanding blackened wood structures with pale wood interiors—are contemporary odes to ryokan architecture. Each suite and villa features its own mineral-rich private onsen and lavish verandas for indoor/outdoor living.

The property’s spa delights with a large outdoor thermal spring in a modern garden setting. The facility has two private onsen bathing pavilions and offers treatments combining restorative waters with Kampo therapy, an herb-based healing practice that combines local and seasonal ingredients such as pearl powder and seaweed. There is also an infinity pool overlooking Ago Bay.

Photos by Aman

Smetana launched her Beach Picnic Company after creating a special outdoor date for her boyfriend.



Deep in the midst of 2020’s pandemic social distancing restrictions, model Madison Smetana decided to throw a little outdoor picnic for her boyfriend, Riley Cronin, in their coastal Southern California town of Laguna Beach. “We couldn't really go into any restaurants because of COVID, so I set up a cute date night for us on the beach,” says Smetana, who says she has always loved setting up tablescapes and hosting gatherings for friends and family. Cronin posted some photos of the charming sandy setup on Instagram, and soon his buddies were clamoring to hire Smetana to set up date nights for them and their girlfriends.

“Riley was the one who told me I should turn it into a business,” says Smetana. “At first, I hesitated, because my career was in modeling and film and television production, but I actually ended up really liking the idea.” Now, three years into running The Beach Picnic Company, Smetana and her rapidly expanding team are doing 300 professional picnics a year. “I think people really love the idea of a unique outdoor entertaining experience,” she says. While most of her clients book date nights, proposals, bridesmaids ‘ lunches, and engagement parties on the beach, Smetana will curate any kind of outdoor event in a variety of locations.

“Anywhere you can feasibly set up a picnic, we will go,” she says. “We have set up in parks and other venues, and we've even done some right in people's backyards, which makes for a really fun, intimate experience.”

The Beach Picnic Company will host parties at parks, special venues, and even customers' backyards.

Producing every project in the open air presents certain challenges. Using public beaches is allowed, but parks and special venues often require permitting. While Southern California has a reliably dry climate, The Beach Picnic Company has contingencies in place for weather. “Winter, especially, can be very unpredictable, and wind and tides can be hazardous, so we carefully monitor the weather conditions, and occasionally we have to reschedule,” says Smetana. “I grew up here on the beach, so I'm very familiar with how it works around here.”

Depending on the size and theme of the party, it can take between an hour to a half-day to set up the picnic. “We did a party of 70 for Google one time, and that took about five hours to set up beforehand.” The Beach Picnic Company provides the entire tablescape experience; all the glassware, tableware, cushions, umbrellas, etc. “We also make all of our flower arrangements in-house,” Smetana says. And while catering was offered originally, she now leaves that to culinary professionals. “We have a few great catering partners in the area that we can recommend to our clients.”

After the scene is set, Smetana or one of her colleagues will then greet the client, let them know they will be available for several minutes within the general area, and then provide them with a contact number if they need anything during their two-hour experience. “Once they're done with their event, we come right back for cleanup.”

To achieve her signature boho-beach aesthetic, Smetana has turned to her own stockpile of vintage glassware and linens. “A lot of what we use is from my own thrifted collection because I love thrifting!” she says. “It’s just something I always did as a hobby, and now that I have the business, I'm able to incorporate all of those pieces I've collected into my tablescapes. So, a lot of the items are pre-loved and have a story to them.”

Much of her inspiration for the tablescapes came from growing up in California. “I love that classic beach and surf culture, so our styling is very elaborate and colorful but still laid-back and relaxing.” Customers will also come to her with their own favorite styles and special requests for a custom-

ized picnic. “They will ask me ‘Can you incorporate this type of flower because my girlfriend loves them?’ or ‘This is my boyfriend's favorite color can you do this?’ We collaborate on all those ideas, so people get a really personalized experience.”

The delightfully casual-chic picnics get a lot of attention from passers-by. “We get a good amount of business from other beachgoers because everybody walks up and is so curious,” says Smetana. “We bring our business cards to the beach, and usually, we run out of them by the end of the day.”

The Beach Picnic Company has recently launched some logo merchandise, such as beach totes and ball caps, and Smetana says she would love to expand from storage units and have a storefront one day. “Hopefully, we can keep growing,” she says. And why not? Everybody loves a beach picnic.

Using her own collection of vintage treasures, Smetana designs charming outdoor tablescapes for her clients.
“I love that classic beach and surf culture, so our styling is very elaborate and colorful but still laid-back and relaxing.”

A Beachy Beverage

Author and cocktail enthusiast Brian Bartels has discovered, tasted, and compiled a collection of delectable craft cocktails from each state in America (and Washington D.C.) for his book The United States of Cocktails. For this issue of TLK, Bartels offers up a refreshing selection from “The First State,” Delaware, which has more than 380 miles of coastline along rivers, Delaware Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean.

The Analog Coconut Cooler was invented by the talented team at Dogfish Head Distilling Co. out of Milton, Delaware. Dogfish Head Brewing, known for its craft beers, opened in 1995 and began distilling spirits in 2002. “This summer-friendly riff on a vodka gimlet gets a little extra love from another summer refreshment, coconut water,” says Bartels. “I am a fan of coconut water in cocktails, but it’s not as easy to mix with other ingredients as one might think—and this drink uses it to perfection.”

Perfect for taking along on a picnic, the Analog Coconut Cooler is a fairly simple drink to create, leaving you plenty of time to toss your Frisbee on a sunny beach with a portable speaker playing your favorite tunes in the background.




2 ounces Analog vodka from Dogfish Head

2 ounces coconut water

1-ounce fresh lime juice

½ ounce simple syrup (1:1 sugar to water)

8-10 whole fresh cilantro leaves

Fresh cilantro sprigs or coconut shavings for garnish


Combine all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake with ice. Strain and pour over fresh ice in a chilled highball glass. Sprinkle the glass with a garnish of fresh cilantro or coconut.

Recipe courtesy of Brian Bartels and The United States of Cocktails (Abrams Books) Photo courtesy of Dogfish Distilling

Curated Nature

A new concept for a botanical-driven experience in upstate New York showcases handcrafted goods and natural designs.

Photography by Julia Cumes

A“fter several years of running an innovative floral and interior design shop, Hort and Pott, in the charming upstate New York town of Oak Hill, partners Carter Harrington and Todd Carr decided to branch out. “Our shop was a venue to create immersive displays of fresh arrangements and new objects that we made or collected. It was this changing interior that people would make a point to come and see,” says Harrington. “But we got to where we needed more space to grow, so we decided to buy an old dairy farm nearby.”

The couple is working hard to renovate both a shop building and a "great old house” on their property in Freehold, New York, including adding a new Wolf range to their rustic-themed kitchen. Meanwhile, they

are hosting open weekends for their fans and followers to attend. “We were inspired to create events that are a combination of art exhibition and experiential commerce,” says Harrington. “Visitors will get to be part of what we are creating in the moment,” he says. “We hope to cultivate something a little more special than our traditional shop.”

Hort and Pott (shortened versions of horticulture and pottery) are what Harrington refers to as a “constantly evolving, botanically driven design practice.” He admits that he and Carr have essentially taken on eponymous nicknames. “Todd has the garden design background, and I’ve recently learned how to craft concrete pots, so yes, I guess we have become Hort and Pott!” he says.

Photo courtesy of Hort and Pott

Before they adopted a rural lifestyle in upstate New York, the couple led busy urban lives in New York City, where they initially met. Carr was a master gardener for over a decade and the senior garden editor at Martha Stewart Living magazine. Harrington studied interior design at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and worked in both design and fabrication. “I’m quite good at construction, and Todd doesn't use hammers or measuring tapes,” he says. “So I kind of joke that the way it works is I build the stage, and Todd sets it.”

Harrington also makes many of the pots and containers they use for displays. “I’ve translated my love

of cast concrete architecture into a new obsession for domestic-scale exterior garden design objects,” he says. Carr photographs all of the unique interior tableaus and handcrafted wreaths, sprays, and other natural adornments for their Instagram feed and website. This is where many of these items and a curated selection of vintage finds are available for sale in limited seasonal collections.

Harrington’s and Carr’s goal is for Hort and Pott to become a sought-after bespoke garden product company. “We have these wonderful containers that we sell,” says Harrington, “and water fountains, sculptures, and all

After mastering the art of working with cast concrete, Harrington now creates domestic-scale exterior garden design objects. Hort and Pott create seasonal displays for their regular open houses. Photo courtesy of Hort and Pott

sorts of intriguing objects that we come across.” Each season brings a different mood to their work. “Spring is all about bulbs and flowers and that moment of bringing greenery back after the winter,” says Harrington. “Summer is really about our love for tropical plants, water features, and outdoor living, and then fall and the holidays are about the home and harvest.”

Between creating seasonal crafts, discovering distinctive objects, running an e-commerce business on their website,

hosting immersive weekends, and completing renovations, Harrington and Carr are rarely idle. “It’s a great problem to have,” says Harrington. He says they are both excited to see how the business grows and evolves. And as they continue to offer their singular botanical experiences and objects for in-person and online customers, Harrington already knows what his next task is: “I’m working on an ad for an assistant!” he says with a laugh.


Carr has a horticultural background that he draws from for his unique floral displays and natural wreaths.


High-tech fitness trackers might seem like another wellness craze, but today’s newest models provide incredible biometric data, sharing insights into everything from sleep to heart rate, body temperature, and even the female menstrual cycle. This information is great for motivating yourself and knowing when it's time to rest. Tracker design can also be as important as function. Several current options resemble stylish, high-end jewelry.



The choice of athletes and biohackers alike, Whoop is one of the most popular on the market. In addition to offering extremely accurate data, there’s flexibility in where to strap on your Whoop. You can wear it on your wrist, like a smartwatch, and it can be placed on the arm, torso, waist, or leg, so it won’t cramp your style, even if you’re dressed for a formal occasion.

The Whoop 4.0, the brand’s most recent launch, offers blood oxygen, skin temperature, and heart rate tracking. It’s also waterproof up to 10 meters, making it an excellent choice for swimmers or in the shower. Whoop addressed the usual battery life pain point with a range of four to five days and wireless charging.


The Oura Ring is one of the most stylish and discreet trackers available. It has an exceptionally sleek design that integrates seamlessly with whatever you’re wearing, whether you’re taking a Pilates class or heading out to dinner. Aesthetically, it’s nearly indistinguishable from a piece of fine jewelry, and you can choose from silver, black, stealth, gold, and rose gold finishes.

The Gen 3 ring is available in two shapes: Heritage, the brand’s signature shape, with a plateau top, and Horizon, which resembles a classic wedding band.

In terms of data, Oura offers it all, including daily scores and suggestions, an easy-to-understand sleep analysis, steps, calories burned, live heart rate monitoring, and skin temperature readings. For women who want to use natural family-planning methods, Oura’s data can sync with the Natural Cycles app.



In addition to offering distinctly feminine styles, Bellabeat’s algorithm is specifically calibrated for women's bodies. The brand’s latest offering is called the Ivy. This bracelet tracker comes in several colors, including blush with rose gold and black.

Bellabeat’s focus is on maintaining overall wellness, so it tracks and correlates the data with the phases of the hormonal cycle. There’s even an option to track your mood. This gives women a better understanding of their bodies and how they can work with their cycles to maximize the benefits of wearing a Bellabeat.


Most smartwatches are expensive, but the iTouch offers an accessibly priced alternative at well under $100. The newest model is the iTouch Air 3. It has a sporty look that is ideal for runners and other athletes. Choose from a silicone or metal strap in colors that include pink, red, black, and rose gold.

Compatible with both Apple and Android phones, the Air 3 continuously monitors heart rate, reminds the wearer to hydrate, and, when appropriate, even suggests breathing exercises. Turn on the workout mode when you’re at the gym or hiking or the multi-sports mode for activities such as basketball, football, and soccer.

In addition to syncing with an app, the smartwatch has a full-color touch screen, making it extra user-friendly. Best of all, it has a power-saving mode and a long-lasting battery.


Not everyone wants to have all their incoming data available 24/7 or be regularly distracted by notifications on a bright screen on their wrist. That’s one of the things that makes the Nowatch so remarkable. In place of a screen, the device features ethically sourced ancient gem faces, including lapis lazuli, rose quartz, and white agate. These discs are swappable, so Nowatch also doubles as a fashion accessory.

Nowatch measures several important biometrics that other smart devices do not, including emotional outputs, cognitive state, and overall mood, and even can predict stress up to an hour in advance. These measurements can indicate how extreme stress relates to habits, and that information can be extremely useful for those who want to integrate mindfulness or other stress reduction techniques into their lifestyles.


Mixed Berry Apple Fruit Leather

MAKES: 4 servings


½ green apple, peeled

1 cup blueberries

1 cup strawberries

1 cup raspberries


1. Puree fruit in a blender until smooth, adding a small amount of water if needed to achieve a smooth texture.

2. Strain fruit mixture through a fine sieve to remove seeds.

3. Line a cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat and pour strained fruit onto it, spreading to a thickness of about 1/8 inch. Take care to make sure the center of the fruit leather is slightly thinner than the edges, if possible.

4. Set oven to 140 degrees on dehydrate mode and dry fruit mixture for 6 to 10 hours, depending on thickness and moisture content. Leather is ready when it pulls away from the mat easily.

Strawberry Banana Fruit Leather

MAKES: 4 servings


1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries

½ ripe banana

1 teaspoon lemon juice


1. Puree strawberries, banana, and lemon juice in a blender until smooth.

2. Strain the fruit mixture through a fine sieve to remove the seeds.

3. Line a cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat and pour strained fruit onto it, spreading to a thickness of about 1/8 inch. Take care to make sure the center of the fruit leather is slightly thinner than the edges, if possible.

4. Set oven to 140 degrees on dehydrate mode and dry fruit mixture for 6 to 10 hours, depending on thickness and moisture content. Leather is ready when it pulls away from the mat easily.




Warms cushions to 265°F. To use, place cushions the floor of the oven.

Warms cushions to 265°F. To use, place cushions in an the floor of the oven.





Gently warms towels and other

Gently warms towels and

Dehydration Station

Dehydrated foods retain their nutritional value and can be healthy snack options or used as tasty additions to salads, cereals, and smoothies. Lightweight and packed with nutrients, dehydrated fruits, lowfat vegetable chips, or homemade soup mixes are ideal for hiking, camping, and family road trips.


Dehydration mode is available on all Wolf electric ovens made after 2004.

Our suggestions for dehydration times and temperatures:

• Herbs 95°F 2-4 hours

• Vegetables 125°F 4-10 hours

• Fruits 140°F 6-16 hours

Use an ascorbic acid dip (1 tbsp acid to 1 qt water) to preserve fruits and vegetables prone to discoloration.

Blanch or steam vegetables that generally require longer cooking times prior to dehydrating.

Slice product uniformly to ensure even drying – often 1/4” to 1/2” thick.

Store dehydrated foods in vacuum bags or sealed jars. The addition of silica gel packs can help protect against moisture.

We recommend further researching how to dehydrate the items you would like to preserve, and there are some really great books on the topic.


Mechanically mindED

Anderson Bortoletto wants customers to know that behind the stunning exterior of a Sub-Zero refrigerator are thousands of engineering hours, many dozens of talented people, and lots of creativity. “I think if the consumer knew the amount of technology and effort we have put into the design of those products, they would be amazed,” says Bortoletto, who is a principal engineer with Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove. “It’s nothing short of what goes into a premiere race car. Basically, they have a Ferrari in their kitchen.”

Trained as a mechanical engineer, the Brazilian-born Bortoletto, traveled to Sweden to earn a graduate degree in heat transfer and sustainable energy engineering before moving to the United States for work. “I was with another appliance corporation before I joined Sub-Zero in 2009,” says Bortoletto. “I am still so impressed by the faith and confidence Sub-Zero had in me,” he adds, noting his hiring took place during a time of national financial uncertainty. “Bringing on someone with my kind of expertise at that time demonstrated the company’s commitment to invest in the future. My work focused on planning for the right products with the right technologies, so we would be ready when the high-end appliance market returned strongly.”

Bortoletto’s work with the Advanced Product Development group requires him to discover and transfer new technologies that will enable new products and new features for the future. “We bring new technological capabilities to the organizational process that will support or enhance the design development process.”

A principal engineer at Sub-Zero enjoys being part of the expert team behind every impeccable appliance.
“Behind every Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove appliance are hundreds of talented engineers utilizing cutting-edge technology,” says Bortoletto.

Some examples of those capabilities might include new sensors, range burners, or an amazing refrigeration material, and it is Bortoletto’s job to help discover the most streamlined way to achieve the new features. He says that “recently, I have been working on developing the ‘Simulation Engineering Council,’ which is intended to speed up the product development process by bringing simulation into the picture.” His team can see in a simulation what will work and won’t work before actually starting to build something, and that simulation opens the door to exercise their creativity. “Creativity is present not only on the end-user side, such as a kitchen designer expressing her or his creativity by bringing the appliances into a client’s kitchen but also on the engineering side.”

This designing optimization process has the ultimate goal of introducing products faster to the marketplace. “We work on syncing both sides of the organization to develop products quickly and effectively,” says Bortoletto, who is also involved with steering research at partner universities, such as the University of Illinois. He says they are on the cusp of launching partnerships with universities in Brazil, which would visit his home country.

“We do have vendors in Brazil, and we go there once a year, and they always ask me to come along, probably to help with translating!” he says with a laugh. “I still have family there, so it is very nice to see them when I’m traveling for work. I usually take a vacation there first and then join the business meetings after.”


Back home in Wisconsin, Bortoletto finds he enjoys bicycling as a way to take a break from engineering. “I like to go out and explore all the roads nearby,” he says. “It is time for myself when I’m not thinking about work, but incredibly, there are moments when I come up with new inspiration while biking, and something pops into my mind. It is funny the way our brains and imaginations work. If you just pull yourself away for a minute, the ideas sneak in.”

“This is the good thing about Sub-Zero and the whole culture of the company,” says Bortoletto. “They really foster a life-work balance for their employees. The result is that you are happy, you are coming in to work with new ideas and the productivity increases, and we generate value for the customer.” He says that communication within the company

is particularly productive. “The proximity we have to upper leadership is incredible. You can talk to the vice president and pass some ideas along. It is great how there is so much interaction amongst both peers and leadership.”

This collaborative aspect of his work is a huge part of his job satisfaction.

“Overall, it is very exciting because we challenge each other, but at the same time, it is a very friendly atmosphere.” Ultimately, he says, the result is trust among peers as each contributes their expertise in their specific area of work, and together, they design, develop, and build impeccable products.

“When a customer opens their Sub-Zero refrigerator, they have hundreds of very talented engineers using cutting-edge technology right in front of them,” says Bortoletto. “But of course, they don’t need to think about that— they just have to enjoy the benefits.”

Collaboration between colleagues is an important part of the Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove culture. Bortoletto is an avid cyclist who often gets great ideas while out on his bike.



Clarke South Norwalk

64 S Main St

S. Norwalk, CT 06854

(800) 842-5275


Clarke Boston

7 Tide St

Boston, MA 02210

(800) 842-5275

Clarke Milford

393 Fortune Blvd

Milford, MA 01757

(800) 842-5275


Columbia Showroom

9204 Berger Road Ste H

Columbia, MD 21046

(443) 276-2490


Pine Brook Showroom

25 Riverside Drive

Pine Brook, NJ 07058

(888) 671-9376


MKS Industries Buffalo

1680 Walden Ave

Cheektowaga, NY 14225

(716) 895-2900

MKS Industries Syracuse

5801 Court Street Rd

Syracuse, NY 13206 (315) 437-1511

Manhattan Showroom

150 E 58th Street

5th Floor

Manhattan, NY 10155

(800) 691-6122

Roslyn Heights Showroom

170 Mineola Avenue

Roslyn Heights, NY 11577

(888) 859-9376


Philadelphia Showroom

4050 South 26th St

Philadelphia Navy Yard

Philadelphia, PA 19112

(215) 671-8300



Atlanta Showroom

3280 Peachtree Rd NE

Suite 200

Atlanta, GA 30305

(404) 973-0660


Miami Showroom

3711 NE 2nd Ave Ste 200

Miami, FL 33137

(786) 431-3907


Charlotte Showroom

127 W Worthington Avenue Suite 180

Charlotte, NC 28203

(704) 375-6025


E. A. Holsten Inc Richmond

1400 Overbrook Rd

Richmond, VA 23220

(804) 359-3511



Chicago Showroom 222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza

Suite 134

Chicago, IL 60654

(312) 428-3160

Glendale Heights Showroom

196 Exchange Blvd

Glendale Heights, IL 60139 (630) 872-5100


Trevarrow Inc. Auburn Hills

1295 N Opdyke Rd

Auburn Hills, MI 48326

(800) 482-1948


Roth Living Minneapolis

11300 W. 47th Street

Minnetonka, MN 55343

(952) 933-4428


Roth Living Kansas City 601 W 47th Street

Kansas City, MO 64112

(816) 556-3322

Roth Living St. Louis

7800 Clayton Rd

Richmond Heights, MO 63117

(314) 991-0900



Tisdel Distributing Cincinnati

5901 E Galbraith Rd

Cincinnati, OH 45236

(513) 339-0990

Trevarrow Inc. Parma

12610 Corporate Dr

Parma, OH 44130

(800) 362-2807



Scottsdale Showroom

15570 N 83rd Way

Scottsdale, AZ 85260

(480) 921-0900


Dallas Showroom

3707 Lemmon Avenue

Dallas, TX 75219

(972) 699-5202

Houston Showroom

2800 Sage Rd Suite B

Houston, TX 77056

(713) 599-0053



Costa Mesa Showroom

655 Anton Blvd

Costa Mesa, CA 92626

(657) 269-5874

Riggs Distributing Inc.

101 Henry Adams Street Suite 144

San Francisco, CA 94103

(415) 582-6717


Roth Living Denver 742 S Broadway

Denver, CO 80209

(303) 373-9090


Roth Living Salt Lake City

1400 S Foothill Dr Ste 212

Salt Lake City, UT 84108

(801) 582-5552


Bradlee Distributors Seattle

1400 Elliott Ave W

Seattle, WA 98119

(206) 284-8400


Riggs Distributing Inc

2038 South King St

Honolulu, HI 96826

(808) 484-2511


Bradlee Distributors


13780 Bridgeport Rd

Richmond, BC V6V 1V3

(604) 244-1744

Bradlee Distributors Calgary

1245 – 73rd Avenue SE

Calgary, AB T2H 2X1

(403) 297-1000

Maroline Distributing

Montreal Showroom

1011 Rue Wellington

Montreal, QC, H3C 1V3 (855) 914-4489

Maroline Distributing

Toronto Showroom

280 King Street East

Toronto, ON, M5A 1K7 (855) 914-4488


SZ&W, Ltd.

United Kingdom

Unit 9 The Street Industrial Estate

Heybridge Street

Heybridge, Maldon, Essex CM9 4XB



SZ&W Ltd. Europe

135 Rue D’Antibes

06400 Cannes, France

Tel: 011.33.493.999.888

Fax: 011.33.493.999.880

SZ&W, Ltd. – Showroom


251 Brompton Road


London SW3 2EP

United Kingdom


Galileo 8, 2do. piso

Col. Polanco


Ciudad de México, Distrito

Federal +52 55 5280 9648

Carretera Monterrey Saltillo


Fracc. Bosques del Poniente

Santa Catarina, N.L. 66350

+52 81 8389 4372


Sub-Zero Group Australia Bank House

11-19 Bank Place

Melbourne, Victoria


Tel: +61.3.9600.2218

Tel: +44 (0) 845 2500010

Fax: +44 (0) 20 7858 3488

Scan below to make a showroom appointment



Company Founder Westye Bakke’s initial chest freezer prototype in the 1940s kindled decades of kitchen advances.



Prepackaged in elegant cabinets, these units slipped easily into open kitchen spaces and plugged into AC outlets with no carpentry or electrical skills required.




Next-generation built-ins offered greater diversity of colors and panels, plus innovative staycrisp vegetable drawers.



In addition to dramatically cutting energy usage in some models, these ultra-large-capacity refrigerators came complete with improved meat preservation features.

Eliminating external fasteners, enlarging handles, and adding a new grille produced a seamless, modern look, buoyed by in-door icemakers and brighter lighting.

1990s 2000s Today


New integrated refrigerators provided kitchen designers with opportunities to incorporate Sub-Zero units in any kitchen aesthetic.

In addition to the unit’s customizable front panels and noncorrosive aluminum interior, new microprocessors conserved energy and adapted defrost cycles to usage patterns.


Today, Sub-Zero’s three lines—Classic, Designer, and PRO—ensure a perfect fit for any home. All boast some of the most advanced preservation capabilities available on the market.

Produced in partnership with History Factory.