Krystal Keith was introduced to country music fans in 2004 when she recorded a duet of “Mockingbird” with her father, Toby Keith. The song appeared on Toby Keith’s “Greatest Hits Vol. 2” CD. Nine years later, Krystal Keith released “Whiskey and Lace,” her debut CD in 2013.
Although Krystal considers music her number one passion, she has been given the opportunity to share another talent that seems to run in her family: cooking. She has started a cooking series called “Plate By Plate” that can be viewed at GreatAmericanCountry.com and ulive. Com., In addition to “Plate By Plate,” Krystal has a column on GAC’s website. The Show Dog Nashville recording artist also has her own recipe blog which can be viewed at www.thebarnyardbirstro.com.
“I come from a whole family of cooks,” Krystal said. She recalls that she doesn’t ever remember learning how to cook. It is something that she’s always done, explaining that everyone pitches in and helps in the kitchen. “That’s just how my family functions,” she said.
Krystal had the opportunity to open shows on Toby’s Shut Up and Hold On tour last year. “I’m really lucky that I have his fan base,” she said, adding that her dad’s fans are incredibly loyal. Some of those fans knew he had a daughter and was just waiting for her to put out her own music, which some fans are just being introduced to her for the first time. She said her dad’s fans will likely follow her through her career.
The premise of “Plate By Plate” is taking the food that she has enjoyed as she traveled across the country and giving her fans a way to create those dishes in their own kitchens. One recipe featured in a recent episode of “Plate By Plate” is for Hawaiian Hot Dogs. The recipe takes a common food enjoyed by many Americans and gives it a definite flavor of the Hawaiian islands. With a run time of under five minutes, the short video teaches viewers how to make the relishes that go on top of the hot dogs in a quick and easy manner.
In the video, Krystal explains that the hot dog is served wrapped in paper in Hawaii, but she served it on a plate and ate it with a knife and fork.
Other short videos available online in the “Plate By Plate” series show viewers how to make Butternut Squash Tamales, Baked Goat Cheese Dip, Savory Mushroom Blueberry Tagliatelle and Cast Iron Baked Halibut. Some of the dishes features are popular in certain parts of the country and it can be difficult to find certain ingredients in some places. Krystal tries to bring recipes to viewers that can be re-created using ingredients available pretty much anywhere.
The episodes of “Plate By Plate” can be viewed online at http://www.greatamericancountry.com/living/food/plate-by-plate-recipes-videos.
As Krystal travels, she tries to find ways to re-create the dishes she eats. She said she’s not critical, but she is very analytical when it comes to food. “Every bite I take, I analyze,” Krystal said. She said she often takes notes in her phone how she might be able to re-create the taste she enjoys while dining out.
She tries to eat the dishes that are unique to the regions she visits. Since Toby has travelled so much while touring, she said they joke that he is the king of finding hole-in-the-wall restaurants. In fact, Krystal said she will sometimes call him when she’s in a certain town and ask him for ideas on where to eat and he often knows about a great restaurant.
Krystal said the hole-in-the-wall restaurants “almost always” have some of the best food.
Krystal said her blog has a mix of family recipes and her own recipes. She shares some recipes that have been passed down from her grandparents. She recalled one such recipe for pumpkin spice cake cupcakes with icing that her fans really enjoyed.
While her dad owns restaurants, Krystal said she doesn’t have any plans to open a restaurant. “I have aspirations of putting out a cookbook,” she said.
She enjoys sharing her love of food with others, but Krystal said music will always be number one. “I could never give music up,” she said.
Krystal said she has been working on her second album and she’s still writing on her own. She announced earlier this summer that she and her husband, Andrew Sandubrae, are expecting their first child this fall.
She will be taking time off for the baby, but said she will probably continue doing her blog and her column for GAC. She added she probably won’t be filming any “Plate by Plate” episodes during that time because those are produced in Nashville. Krystal currently resides in Oklahoma.
Krystal said her fans are able to connect with her on a more personal level because of social media. She said she is active on social media. In the past week alone, Krystal has tweeted about cooking and shared personal pictures with fans. Those pictures have included a picture of her “baby bump,” a picture of her as a baby, a picture of her great-great-great grandparents and a picture of her husband wearing St. Louis Cardinals attire.