Giving Kitchen grew out of a beyond-expectation response to the devastating, stage-four cancer diagnosis of Chef Ryan Hidinger in December 2012. Ryan was well-known in the Atlanta restaurant community for his work at Bacchanalia, Floataway Café and Muss & Turner’s. And he and his wife, Jen, were beloved for their supper club called Prelude to Staplehouse, which they hosted for several years as a precursor to opening their dream restaurant.
The response to Ryan’s diagnosis - initially from friends within the restaurant industry, and then quickly from an ever-expanding community across Atlanta - was truly heroic: an outpouring of love and financial support to help with his expenses not covered by insurance.
Jen said that this outpouring gave Ryan a peace of mind that she believes extended his life by at least six months. The community’s overwhelming response to the Hidingers' crisis set the intent, beliefs and values for Giving Kitchen.
To this day, thanks to the leadership and vision of the Hidinger family and our donors, partners, staff and board, Giving Kitchen has supported over 4,000 food service workers in crisis.