Turntable Kitchen pairs indie vinyl and coffees to match your mood.
BY KATRINA YENTCH
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Photos courtesy of Kasey Fleisher Hickey
Where is your favorite place to listen to music? For Matthew and Kasey Hickey, it’s easily in the kitchen. This husband-and-wife team created Turntable Kitchen in 2010, a website that connects food and music through written content, recipes, travel, and music reviews. In addition to blogging, they also offer three different subscription services that combine all of these elements.
The idea came through separate passions that Kasey and Matthew pursued while they were dating and living in San Francisco. Kasey found an interest in food while working in tech, and suggested Matthew contribute music content for her culinary blog. “Back then, if you’d asked us what we would choose if we could do anything for work, she would have said she wanted to cook and I wanted to run a record label,” Matthew told Observer in 2017. “Both things seemed impractical by themselves, but the idea of a pairing box where I’d include a 7” record and she’d include three recipes worked.”
The operation behind the subscription services is extremely DIY-friendly. The first pairings box comes with a vinyl and three recipes, along with a digital mixtape and one to two ingredients for each recipe. Turntable Kitchen generates these recipes themselves, and hand-presses the vinyl through Pirates Press in San Francisco—much of which is hard to find elsewhere. For example, they’ve pressed exclusive releases like entire album covers by indie artists and singles from emerging musicians. The vinyl is meant to be listened to while you cook each recipe, and Kasey and Matthew handpick every selection intentionally with mood in mind. Expect to hear a wide variety of music with Turntable Kitchen; they’ve released genres ranging from indie rock to metal, folk, and electronica. “Broadly speaking though, I’d say that indie pop is our bread and butter,” says Kasey.
The recipes are equally eclectic; one month’s subscription box included Scandinavian-inspired menu items (paired to music by the duo Cathedrals), and another combined a fancy pizza party with sounds by Local Natives. Recipes can be anything, whether it’s vegetarian ramen, persimmon prosciutto, or reinvented versions of childhood favorites like chicken tenders and macaroni and cheese. “We’re inspired by the world around us—local restaurants, farmers markets, travel, and our own garden. Of course, we’re also inspired by food writers and bloggers,” says Kasey.
In 2014, Turntable Kitchen added a coffee and vinyl subscription to the mix. Similar to the pairings box, the coffee box includes the same vinyl from the food pairings box. This is usually by an emerging musician with one 12-ounce bag of coffee to pair with it. While the box initially came with coffee exclusively roasted by Slate Coffee, they’ve recently begun introducing new roasters from around the United States every month, including Lady Falcon Coffee Club and Second State Coffee. An information sheet provided explains both elements of the box, along with a digital mixtape of songs curated by Kasey and Matthew. The songs that come with this box are typically upbeat, so that your coffee-vinyl subscription can function as a morning wake-up call or an afternoon pick-me-up.
While the team started out as coffee consumer enthusiasts, their time spent on this box has certainly boosted their knowledge since starting it in 2014. “Since launching the Coffee and Vinyl Pairings, we’ve learned so much about coffee production, roasting methods, and preparation techniques. If we were coffee nerds before, we’re even bigger coffee nerds now!” explains Kasey. Check out their blog for product reviews, brewing guides, and even food recipes that use coffee.
Turntable Kitchen is a unique experience that has made a long-term place for itself in the coffee subscription world, thanks to its foodie beginnings. You can grab a vinyl-exclusive subscription via Sounds Delicious and visit the website to satiate your hungry ears.