By Mariana Vaca
Our favorite recipes are passed down and enrooted in our family members, who use them during summer cookouts or during birthday celebrations. Through these experiences, food is not only a nutrient for our bodies but for our souls as well.
Harold Zahlman Greenwood III – better known as Chef Z at the Deerpath Golf Course’s Sandwedge Grill -- recalls the love for food in his family. Chef Z was born in Springfield but his family moved to Evanston when he was three. He is grateful for being raised in a loving family that shared a devotion to food with two parents who were great cooks.
“The moment I complete a dish, it feels good knowing that I had something to do with this thing that will hopefully brighten someone's day,” says Chef Z. “When we got together with anyone, food was usually the focal point,” he said. Chef Z states that he was always fascinated by food and restaurants of all types. He says he has fond memories of “having that excited participation of the meal arriving at the table.”
Chef Z’s excitement now comes from serving others. His childhood love led him to his current position of chef at the Deerpath Golf Course, where he has served residents, golfers and his staff since 2006. What most excites Chef Z about his career is the constant gratification of finishing a dish. “The moment I complete a dish -- a burger, foie gras, lobster, whatever it is -- it feels good knowing that I had something to do with this thing that will hopefully brighten someone's day,” he said.
Chef Z aspired to become a chef because he “envisioned owning and operating” his own restaurant like chefs on television such as Julia Childs, Justin Wilson, and Martin Yan. Even as a child, he recalls making meals for his classmates. “I loved the the ability to take something from its simplest form and evolve it into something else entirely, all in the name of bringing joy to the senses of others,” said Chef Z, whose favorite dish to make is Armagnac-braised duck with sweet and sour cabbage.
As a Chef, Z states that being tasked with leading a team will always be the greatest challenge. “Leading, in its purest form, is ever-evolving and never mastered,” he said. Whether big or small, Chef Z’s responsibility of “maintaining a healthy and just work environment for a team” can be cumbersome. Through his experience in hospitality in his job, Chef Z remembers to show up, listen, watch, be available, and most importantly, serve others. Stop by the Sandwedge Grill at Deerpath Golf Course to enjoy Chef Z’s dishes! The Grill is open seven days a week, with space for 50 diners and more on the Kiely Patio. Golfers and non-golfers are welcome!