BEL AIR, Md. — Looking at one of Chef Mike Matassa's crab cakes, it may just look like a delicious meal, but him it looks like a 529 plan or a 401K plan.
"I have been making crab cakes for over 30 years," said Matassa. "Everytime I get my hands in that mix and I make it, it's for a better and higher purpose."
The man who ran Fusion Grill in Fallston, Alchemy in Baltimore, and now Bel Air has a new business -- raising his granddaughter.
His daughter overdosed twice. She is okay and seeking help, but he took over sole custody of his granddaughter a year ago. And in the world up peaks and valleys in the restaurant business, he needed more help.
So, Chef Matassa started selling his prized crab cakes on-line. This will support raising his granddaughter.
"I'm 56-years-old, you know I never expected to raise a child, but she has adapted really really well. She is part of our life, she will always be part of our life," Matassa said while holding back tears.
So now this little girl will watch the man she loves, create love through a crab cake.
"I grew up on the Chesapeake Bay with my grandfather. The whole focus now when I'm making any food in a restaurant, or anything, is just thinking about my past, my childhood growing up and giving her the same opportunities and giving her the same chances," said Matassa. "That is what has to happen. There is no other option here."
Since opening up about the struggles of drug abuse, other customers have shared similar stories. It’s amazing how a crab cake can bring a community together.
If you want to learn more or buy some of Matassa's crab cakes, click here.