I can honestly say that Chef Mike Jurusz, owner of Chef Mike's ABG in South Seaside Park is one of the most generous men I have encountered in my career.

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I first met Mike when I started at The Point 10 years ago. At the time, he was head chef for another restaurant. I had been working with the Ashley Lauren Foundation and met a family that had just lost their son to cancer. His name was Mark Levine, and he was a burger connoisseur. At such a young age, he had such passion and even a recipe for his own burger.

I reached out to Chef Mike and asked him if he would take this boy's burger and make it for his parents. Without hesitation, he said, "get me the recipe." Monica from Ashley Lauren Foundation invited Mark's parents to the restaurant to meet me. They had no idea that inside the menu was a restaurant special, their late son's burger.

Matt Ryan, Townsquare Media
Matt Ryan, Townsquare Media

It was at that time that Chef Mike came out with the special burgers, an extension of their son. In true 'Chef Mike' form, he wanted to put the "Mark The Shark" burger on the menu and donate proceeds. That wasn't enough. He had a special night where the burger debuted to the public. We ran out of beef and rolls. Again, more money to the amazing Ashley Lauren Foundation.

That's just the tip of the iceberg with Chef Mike. In his career, he has worked with over 70 charities, donated over a half a million dollars, just $70,000 last year alone.

I have never known Mike to take. He's a giver. A giver to the community, a giver of outstanding cuisine, and a giver of life. Spend five minutes with the guy, you'll know what I mean.

Chef Mike's ABG in South Seaside Park is remaining open under these difficult circumstances. Watch this video that Chef posted on Facebook. You have the chance to enjoy delicious meals. Watch until the end. You'll get a crystal clear idea of what kind of man Chef Mike really is.

I must have heard Chef Mike mention karma a hundred times. Please eat local, and support a community leader that would give the shirt off of his back in a heartbeat.

And I know that Mike would be upset if I didn't plead to everyone in Monmouth and Ocean counties to please visit other local restaurants as well. There are lots of talented people who are in a real tough spot.


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