The Giving Kitchen grew out of a beyond-expectation response to the devastating, stage-four cancer diagnosis of Atlanta 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 the supper club called Staplehouse that they had been running for several years, as a build-up to starting 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 an outpouring of love and financial support that would help with expenses not covered by insurance.
Jen has said that the outpouring gave Ryan a peace of mind that she believes extended his life by at least six months. The community’s beyond-expectation response to the Hidinger’s crisis moment set the intent, beliefs and values of The Giving Kitchen.