• Keystone Kitchen

    Purchase the CD here


    In July of 2021, just as the world returned to normal for a brief month, we began a week of recording our first album Sweet Appalachia on the campus of Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Several days into the sessions, while walking back from a coffee break, we started discussing what would come next. Having just eaten lunch and now enjoying some coffee, we realized that aside from playing the tuba and euphonium, food was one of our favorite things. This sparked the idea of commissioning new works that "sound like" certain dishes.


    We enlisted the help of some of our closest friends who could write: Jim Self, Zach Collins, Jakobe Henry, Jonathan Boudreaux, Kevin Kato, and Joe Ricard. Quartet members Logan Carnes and Zack Grass also contributed to this album. We approached this project like a potluck meal, asking each composer to bring something to the disc—whether an appetizer, palate cleanser, main course, cocktail, etc. As the compositions started to come in, we were left with an eclectic assortment of foods: Chesapeake crab soup, Pittsburgh salad, lava cake, a mojito, and a cup of coffee.


    Where on earth could you find all of these offerings? The image of a diner came to mind. As with our first album, we reflected on our lived experiences and the places we had been. This menu resembled something out of a diner we might find on the New Jersey or Pennsylvania Turnpike. Thus, the concept of the magical diner known as the Keystone Kitchen was born. We hope you enjoy your visit and come back anytime.


    As you listen to this album, allow us to take you on a culinary adventure. Chef Joe Ricard kicks things off with his Chesapeake Crab Soup, which features a tomato base and some added spice (especially Old Bay). Next comes the salad made by Chef Zack Grass. This salad isn't like most salads; it is a Pittsburgh salad, meaning it has some French fries sprinkled on top with a fat slice of cheese pizza added for garnish.


    Chef Kevin Kato is next with bruschetta, a crunchy toasted sourdough loaf covered in a nice balsamic vinaigrette, tomato salad, and a healthy coating of parmesan cheese. Before the main course arrives, we offer you the orange sherbet prepared by Chef Logan Carnes. This simple, cold, citrusy treat is the perfect palate cleanser to prepare you for the main course of the meal.


    Chef Jonathan Boudreaux provides the main course for this meal, starting with his homestyle mac and cheese for the ultimate comfort. Alongside the homestyle mac and cheese, there is a loaded baked potato filled with sour cream, chives, cheese, and bacon bits. Then comes the protein of the main course, a porterhouse steak that is cooked Pittsburgh rare. This style of cooking a steak originated in the steel mills, where the steel workers would quite literally slap their cuts of steak on the blast furnace, which charred the outside of the meat to a crisp and left the inside a rare purple color.


    Next, you might think a nap would be in order, but here at the Keystone Kitchen, we have nowhere for you to sleep, so have a cup of coffee brewed by coffee connoisseur Zach Collins. The beans he has selected come from El Salvador and feature a nice milk chocolate flavor, which will, of course, give you that extra boost of energy following that heavy main course. Next comes the dessert, a molten lava cake which has been prepared by Chef Jakobe Henry. That first bite will give you a blast of endorphins as you slowly carve up this voluptuous cake. Finally, it is time for a nightcap. Our bartender Jim Self has prepared a mojito that he calls a Samba Mojito. One sip of this cocktail, and you will feel the urge to dance the night away. That's the way things are at Keystone Kitchen. We hope you enjoy your visit and come back anytime.

    broken image