Cape Gazette
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The Business of Eating

Solve your dinnertime dilemmas with magic

By Bob Yesbek | Jan 17, 2012
Photo by: Dave Koster photo Chef Kris uses her powers for the good of man - (and woman) kind.

Along with a cool wave of the hand, Abracadabra! has long been a favorite of stage magicians applying trickery to create something from nothing. (I’m sure we’ll be hearing it a lot in the upcoming election year.)

It’s believed that the word first appeared in the second century AD, bringing with it the power to summon spirits that combat sickness and bad luck. Back then, ghosts and spells served as comforting alternatives to yet-to-be-discovered scientific facts, but today we have more effective tools for treating physical misfortune.

Technology has enlightened us to all sorts of ways to ward off disease, not the least of which is the consistent practice of good nutrition. But that isn’t always easy. Many of the healthiest ingredients are perishable and have to be freshly prepared - not very practical in the busy day-to-day scheme of things. Abracadabra! can’t summon a regular diet of fresh produce and properly prepared proteins, but here in the Rehoboth area, Abra-ca-Dinner! definitely can. (Cool wave of the hand not required.)

No shadowy spirits will appear (at least we hope not), but through the magic of telephone or email you can conjure up your own personal chef and certified nutrition educator in the very real form of Chef Kris Etze (pronounced “eats”). Without trickery or sleight of hand, Kris will plan, prepare, package and instruct you how to serve healthy meals for any length of time. In the case of medically mandated diets for allergies or convalescence, she will tailor a nutritionist’s instructions to the client’s lifestyle, preferences and intolerances.

But you don’t have to wait until your doctor writes you a prescription. Kris will come to your home just for the heck of it and whip up a meal for you, a significant other and even your guests. Now here’s the rub: Not only can you and a close friend unwind in your bunny slippers while Kris works her kitchen sorcery, but you can also treat yourselves to a professional massage while you wait for the goodies to come out of the oven.

Chef Etze’s brainchild, Dinner ‘N’ Massage, combines the soothing intimacy of a couples massage followed by a mouthwatering dinner when you’re relaxed and ready to be pampered. And it’s quite a production! The chef arrives (watch for her “CookFrU” license plate), along with two massage therapists, specially designed tables, groceries, towels, pots, candles, pans, oils (massage and cooking - don’t get ‘em mixed up!), special utensils and even music.

Clients have enjoyed their massages out on a deck overlooking the ocean, or as the sun sets, or even in front of a roaring fire. Not only can you choose the method of massage, but you can pick from an extensive selection of pork, beef, seafood, poultry, pasta, casserole and crockpot entrees. Additional courses include a long list of salads, sides, quiches and desserts.

Kris’ “eureka moment” came after she and her high-school sweetheart husband moved here to the beach. She had spent time as a court reporter, a medical transcriber and even a Baltimore County schoolteacher, but her boredom always ended with fantasies of being a personal chef. “Teaching was still in my blood,” she adds, so she holds regularly scheduled cooking classes. The syllabus is rife with all sorts of tasty topics like “Thai it Up,” “Gluten Free for Me,” “VaVa Vegetarian,” and, of course, “What a Crock” (bring your pot and eat it too).

It’s no easy task to prepare a full meal in an unfamiliar kitchen, but Chef Kris loves the challenge. “I inherited my grandmother’s extensive collection of recipes, and I can recognize a good dish just from the ingredients. I start from there.” After taking a look at the multi-page list of meals at www.abracadinner.com, it looks like grandma’s recipes are being put to very good use.

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