SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Culinary students, professors and alumni at Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) held a memorial brunch Sunday to honor one of their own: 2010 graduate Adrianus Kusuma, better known to his friends and colleagues as Mike.
Mike's friends said he was an immigrant from Indonesia who fell in love with cooking. After graduating from SMCC's culinary program, he worked in several popular restaurants in the Greater Portland Area before moving to Spring, Texas, just outside of Houston, in 2013.
That's where Mike fulfilled his dream of opening a restaurant, Sunny Side of the Street. Last month, police said Mike was shot and killed during a home invasion. Sunday morning's memorial brunch featured several of the dishes Mike served at his restaurant, and friends and former classmates remembered the person and chef Mike was.
"He was the last person that you would ever think this would happen to," said event organizer Brett Cary, one of Mike's fellow alumni. "His presence, his joy of life just touched everybody … it was contagious, so to speak."
"Breakfast was his favorite," said Lindsay Bradeen, who helped organize the brunch with Brett and was also a classmate of Mike's. "So, [what's] more suiting than doing what he loved to do?"
Students collected donations for Mike's family. His restaurant, Sunny Side of the Street, which he opened with his uncle and brother, had to close after Mike was killed.