K and I were invited to our friends Kevin and Christine's charming home near Watkins Mill State Park in Kearney this past Sunday. We recently asked Kevin to be in charge of the music for a party we are hosting later this week. Kevin is a Renaissance Man of the first order: not only is he our widely respected spa director at the hotel, but he is known for many other hats he wears as well. He's an ordained minister. He and Christine own a big food truck that he travels around with to compete in various barbecue contests (their barbecued beans are to DIE for). Kevin and friends (including Shawna, who would join us for brunch) also have a fire-performance troupe called Pyrosapiens and they put on an amazing fiery show. Clearly, Kevin is a way-busy guy, so when Keith suggested we ask him to DJ our party, I thought surely he would have too much going on. Instead, he replied that he would be happy to. Astoundingly, DJ-ing is one skill Kevin doesn't ply by trade, but by damn, he surely ought to.
I first became aware of Kevin's music taste when he provided the background tune-age for our first employee orientation. I thought the music was a stirring mix and made sure to compliment him on it. After Kevin agreed to handle our party music, he promptly brought me his iPod and told me to listen to the mix he created. It was indeed an perfectly eclectic mix and I knew Kevin would truly throw something marvelous together. Kevin then invited us to Sunday brunch to shore up those musical details.
Originally, I had planned to go on to work following the brunch to get a jump start on my week. Upon arriving at Kevin and Christine's idyllic home, I would soon realize the folly of my thought process. I was spun 'round almost immediately by the kickin' Bloody Mary bar that featured not only an assortment of fine hot sauces, but Kevin's signature barbecue rub lining the rim of the glass. Did I mention the pickled okra and stringbean garnishes? We also came expecting a fine breakfast while finalizing the music, but little did we know that we were about to embark on a six-course culinary odyssey prepared by...that's right, the Renaissance guy his-ownself.
First came the bright and flavorful tomato caprese salad with fresh tomato and basil, creamy goat cheese and a generous toss of pomegranate balsamic vinegar. Soon thereafter was a savory beef carpaccio with fresh ground pepper and capers. Next, yogurt with fresh fruit and granola. The fourth course threw my taste buds into a tizzy...a seriously wonderful tuna ceviche. From lightly delightful to richly decadent: the next course was a swoon-inducing stuffed French toast topped off with a root beer reduction. Finally, the last, masterful stroke...tender, rare beef tenderloin with made-to-order omelette and savory tabbouleh. Well, whaddya know...Kevin's a gourmet chef, too. Yeah, I was done for the day...one attempt at work and I might have done a face-plant in my pile of paperwork.
I did accomplish something, however. In between courses, Kevin sat me down at his Mac and unleashed on the nearly month of music that he has stored on hos iTunes. Its an amazing mix and I found endless gems on there. I not only chose a host of old-school tunes but found a lot of new-fangled croons to bang up against the tried and true. One of them is a new favorite; a song called Hot Cookin' by G Love that's featured in the YouTube video at the end of the post.
Hearty thanks to Kevin and Christine for the brilliant brunch and I seriously can't wait for the song mix.