Some very special chefs have invited children who have suffered the loss of a loved one to help create a dish that brings back memories of spending time with the person they lost. Read on to meet some of these kids, and get info on this Thursday evening's Chefs Extraordinaire.

One in 20 children will experience the death of a parent by the time they are 18. Other children will lose siblings, other relatives or close friends to tragedies.

Thankfully, there is a safe place in Manasquan that can help kids and teens with the support they need after a loss. It's a place where they can share their experiences with others who have also suffered as they all work through the grieving process. It's called Common Ground Grief Center.

Common Ground Grief Center invites you to Chefs Extraordinaire, a food and wine event that will help raise money so that these grieving children can attend Common Ground at no charge to the family.

Pictured above is Chef Mike of Chef Mike's ABG in Seaside Park, with Kristina. Her dad died in a tragic accident at work. She attends the Common Ground teen group. Chef Mike is a great guy with a huge heart and Kristina got to work with him in his kitchen on a dish that will be featured at Chef's Extraordinaire.

The second picture is of the Zimmerman girls -- Emily and Madison. Their older sister (you may remember from the news stories) was tragically killed by 2 taxis in NYC one year ago, just one month shy of graduating Boston College and on a job interviews in the city. Her name was Kelly Anne Gordon. So Chef Terry from Shipwreck Grill in Brielle was kind enough to work with these girls to create Kelly Anne's favorite dish for Chef's Extraordinaire.

(Chef Terry of Shipwreck Grill with Emily and Madison, photo courtesy of Common Ground Grief Center)

And in the final picture, meet River and Pearl. Their dad died in January of 2014. They are pictured here with Chef Maged Fattah of Local Urban Kitchen in Point Pleasant. They created a dish called "Eddie's Dynamite Soccer Beans" in honor of their dad. Their dish will also be served on Thursday night.

(Chef Maged Fattah of Local Urban Kitchen with River and Pearl, courtesy of Common Ground Grief Center)

Some of the other chefs that worked with grieving kids to create dishes for this big event include: Chef Roy of 709, Chef Mark of Black Trumpet, Chef Chris of Brandl, Chef Gerardo of Fratello's, Chef Doug of Jersey Shore BBQ, Chef Lenny of Joe Leone's, Chef Benny of Mossuto's, Chef Gerard of Prime 13, Chef Michael of Remington's, Chef Lou of The Blend, Chef Scott of The Poached Pear, and Chef John of Jersey Mike's.

Chefs Extraordinaire, a culinary and wine tasting, is this Thursday, April 23rd, from 6 pm - 10 pm at Spring Lake Manor on Rt. 71, hosted by Liz Jeressi. For advance tickets ($125 each or two for $200), call 732-606-7477. Or you can get them at the door that evening ($135 each).

Here is some of the expressive artwork that has been shared from kids and teens at Common Ground Grief Center.

(Courtesy of Common Ground Grief Center)

 

(Courtesy of Common Ground Grief Center)