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Chef Eric Grutka Of Ian’s Tropical Grill Will Let The Highest Bidder Shave Off His Beard

One local chef is shaving off his beard for charity—and you could be the one to do it.

Chef Eric Grutka of Ian’s Tropical Grill in Stuart will part ways with his beard of two years Tuesday night, as long as he's able to raise a minimum of $1,500. All of the proceeds will go to the Humane Society of the Treasure Coast.

The highest donor earns the right to shave the chef's beard. As of Tuesday afternoon, the fundraiser was a little short of its $1,500 goal, according to Grutka, so patrons will still have the opportunity to make donations during the event this evening.

Once the beard comes off, Grutka expects it to feel pretty shocking.

“It’s been two years that I haven’t seen my face,” he said.

Guests hoping to watch the beard-shaving (or be the beard-shaver) can start showing up when the restaurant opens at 5:30 p.m. The event will continue with an "aftershave party," featuring half-priced appetizers and drinks.

Most people coming into Ian’s Tropical Grill recognize Grutka because of his beard, according to the chef.

“Some people like it, some people don’t,” he said.

Grutka was thinking it might be time to shave it off soon when he came up with the charity fundraising idea. 

“I decided, well, maybe we can raise a little money rather than doing it on my own,” he said.

In addition to being able to shave off Grutka’s beard, the winner will receive a $100 gift certificate to Ian’s Tropical Grill and another $100 to MAXx’s Shaving Room, where the chef usually has his beard trimmed.

Joanna Bereda, owner of MAXx’s Shaving Room, will be bringing all the shaving supplies to Ian’s Tropical Grill Tuesday evening. The winner will use clippers to shave off Grutka’s beard, and Bereda will clean him up afterward.

“I’m not trusting anyone with a razor,” Grutka said.

It’s not guaranteed that the beard will be coming off, however. Grutka said that friends at Max’s Harvest have told him they want to pool together money to make him shave his beard at their Delray Beach restaurant during a chef's competition instead.

Grutka has been involved in the weekly Chef vs. Chef competition at Max’s Harvest. He made it to the second round of the bracket-style competition and is set to compete against chef John Thomas of Tryst Restaurant on Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Ian's Tropical Grill;  2875 SE Ocean Blvd., Stuart