While Kevin Blalock loves to tease the natural flavors out of a fresh striped bass for the diners at Lookaway Golf Club, Keith Blalock is taking pub food from classic to au courant at the Penn Taproom. Different approaches? Yes. Same passion? Absolutely. The brothers’ lifelong love of food has taken them on a culinary journey where they sometimes cross paths and always leave customers hungry for more.
“I live, eat and breathe food,” says Kevin. “ My idea of retirement is to go back into a kitchen of my own and cook.” That, of course, depends on if his wife surrenders her place in the home kitchen where Kevin currently is not allowed.
Both brothers cut their culinary teeth at Sandy Run Country Club and the Cutaloosa Inn in Lumberville where Keith ran the kitchen for three years and Kevin stayed on for 17 years prior to moving to Lookaway Golf Club. Keith moved on to run Via Veneto in Horsham for 17 years. He was one of the first to reserve space in the reinvented Main Street “inside out” market with PA Soup and Seafood. When the opportunity came along to expand and develop the Penn Taproom, he and his business partner went for it.
Though Keith and Kevin appear alike on the outside, different experiences and influences cultivated two distinctive personalities. Kevin enjoys the elegance and formal atmosphere of the country club. Not a golfer, Kevin nevertheless keeps tee time hours, getting up at 5 am to get dibs on the best fish and produce. He sees Golf Clubs like Lookaway as the last bastion of formal living. “I love this community and the generosity of the membership towards so many causes.”
Keith prefers the “100 mile an hour” pace that, to him, is not a job, but a lifestyle, one that he chose based on the wisdom of his grandfather’s words. The restaurant business is job security, his grandfather reasoned. “People always have to eat.”
And eat they will at the Doylestown Food Market’s Annual Celebrity Chef Farm to Table Dinner, August 13, at Bucks County Audubon Society at Honey Hollow in New Hope. The Blalock brothers plan to take the kitchen by storm to promote the market’s mission of making local food accessible to everyone.
“We are all starting to understand more about where our food comes from,” says Kevin. “Being active in how you leave a footprint is important.”