Andora’s head chef Matthew Goebert celebrates history of former Cross Keys
Matthew Goebert has admired the Cross Keys building along Dorseyville Road since he worked at the restaurant about a decade ago.
He returned this winter to the historic building as the head chef at Andora, the Indiana Township eatery serving American fare and offering outdoor seating overlooking a wooded backdrop.
“It is the best experience I ever had,” Goebert said. “It’s a beautiful building.”
Built in 1850 as a hotel and stagecoach stop, the building was a common layover for people making their way from Pittsburgh to New Kensington.
In addition to the setting where he gets to work, Goebert also enjoys having input into what is served.
The main menu is created by the executive chef at Andora Sewickley but Goebert has voiced his desire for wild game, quail and other choices reminiscent of the old Cross Key menu he believes diners would enjoy.
Wine dinners also are in the works, he said, and he’s also pushing a tapas menu. On special occasions, there will be small plates with appetizer-sized portions.
Light eating means people take their time, sip a beverage and enjoy the experience, Goebert said.
At 32, the chef already has a smorgasbord of work experiences. He began at the back of the house, industry lingo for in the kitchen, when he was 16.
One year later, he was a morning kitchen manager. He worked in a variety of places including the Parkway Tavern and the Cross Keys, where Goebert said his passion for food was ignited.
“If you don’t have the passion, it just isn’t going to work,” he said.
Goebert didn’t want to take a hiatus to attend culinary school and instead learned from other chefs who mentored him.
“I needed to be in the action and see it,” he said. “I learn better that way.”
His motto is to keep it simple.
“I don’t follow trends. I like classic French and simple classic cooking,” Goebert said.
For more, visit andorarestaurant.com.