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Like Father, Like Son | By Nathan Walls

Imagine a man who buys the groceries, cooks the food and then cleans up the kitchen when he’s done. Yes, he is married, but his culinary services can be yours whether you share his love of cooking or not. From event parties to cooking classes, Keith Kurzeja, the owner of The Invisible Chef, will bring out the foodie in you. Since 2005 Kurzeja has gone into clients’ homes with cooking supplies and utensils and sat down with his clients to create their personalized menu plans, often stashing a week or two of prepared meals in their kitchen as part of the service he provides. “I work around the client’s health needs or dietary concerns, accommodating gluten allergies, diabetics, and other nuances that they need,” Kurzeja said. “People are looking for quick and healthy foods that they can bring to the table. Low-cal, low fat, tasty…I do a delicious fish dish that is a traditional

French dish that clients rave about,” Kurzeja said. After shopping for menu ingredients, Kurzeja prepares the meals for the client and stores them with simple serving directions. Generally he prepares meals for clients throughout the week and is booked with dinner parties or catering events on weekends. For those more interested in adventure than simple convenience, Kurzeja offers “Iron Chef” dinner parties. The chef hats, aprons, a secret ingredient, and the necessary meat and produce items are provided for the parties. The group then divides into teams and works together in the hosts’ kitchen to prepare their entrees. “They’ve been a lot of fun and are doing well,” said Kurzeja of the parties. “Often times mixing friends, fun and too much wine leads to some interesting concoctions”.

You’ll be seeing Kurzeja’s name around even more as he was recently selected for the catering contract at Cape Fear Botanical Gardens, by Executive Director Jennifer Sullivan, a previous Invisible Chef client. Kurzeja said he is excited about the endeavor and is no stranger to catering large scale events. “When I plate number 500, it will look like plate number 1,” he said. “I can do volume beautifully and I’ve been in award winning hotels in numerous cities.”

In October Kurzeja catered the High Point furniture market and is now in full swing planning spring and summer wedding menus for clients, he said he is passionate about helping people pair up tastes he and knows what crowds like. Steering clients in the right direction and making recommendations for combining flavors is what makes his business thrive. So much so that he recently launched his own store front location on Hope Mills Road in a building that used to house a German restaurant. Kurzeja will finally have storage for his cooking gear and plans to use the space for small centered social events and parties, such as Hail and Farewell parties for military folks or gatherings for other special occasions.