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Our Story

The Giving Kitchen’s mission is to provide crisis grants to members of Atlanta’s restaurant community facing unanticipated hardship.

As unique as its mission, TGK’s origin is a compelling testimony of the caring, generous nature of Atlanta’s restaurant community. TGK was inspired by the outpouring of support generated when Atlanta chef Ryan Hidinger was diagnosed with late stage cancer in December of 2012. Industry workers and others know Ryan through his restaurant work history including Bacchanalia, Floataway Café, Muss & Turner’s, and the Staplehouse supper club.

The undeniable generosity shown to care for him and meet his medical and other needs, which were well above and beyond his available insurance coverage, was a moving experience for all of those involved. Spearheaded by Local Three/Muss & Turner’s owners Chris Hall, Todd Mussman and Ryan Turner, the fundraising event dubbed Team Hidi and “round up” requests at restaurants throughout the region raised nearly $300,000 to help Ryan Hidinger fight his battle. The transformative impact of this unconditional love and selflessness inspired the formation of TGK to create a ripple effect by extending support to the entire Atlanta Restaurant Community that will continue to be felt for years to come.

As a one-of-a-kind platform for fulfilling the mission of TGK and creating a sustainable source for funding, we are proud to announce the opening of Staplehouse Restaurant, named in honor of Ryan and Jen Hidinger (current goal: first quarter of 2014). Ryan and his wife, Jen, along with his sister Kara and future brother-in-law Ryan Smith already begun “paying it forward” with countless unpaid hours of consulting and planning to assist in the development and success of Staplehouse. Combined with funds raised by TGK from charitable contributions, the profits of Staplehouse will help TGK fund grants to help pay excessive medical and other expenses for the people who anonymously and graciously nourish so many of us during our dining experiences and who may find themselves in a time of need. Grant application criteria and funding timelines will be established in the coming months.

As a natural extension of the industry’s “DNA,” TGK embraces the opportunity to support its own while continuing to demonstrate that hospitality well-served has the capacity to multiply joy and minimize sorrow. Welcome aboard.

Download the TGK Case Statement
AJC Article — Savoring the Now