Rare whiskey to be auctioned for benefit of Atlanta’s The Giving Kitchen: 1980 vintage O.F.C. Bourbon from Buffalo Trace and the a complete set of Van Winkle Bourbon

The Giving Kitchen, the non-profit that serves Atlanta restaurant workers facing unexpected hardship, will be auctioning off several rare bourbons at its annual Team Hidi event on January 29 and, for the first time, will be taking bids in advance on select lots for those who can’t make it to the sold-out event. Bids on the two lots below will be accepted via email (whiskeygalATL@gmail.com) between Monday, January 23 at 9AM EST and Friday, January 27th at 5PM EST. While these bids allow a wider audience to participate in the auctions, they will serve as the opening bid for each lot, giving supporters in the room the opportunity to bid higher if they so choose.

The first lot of interest to bourbon enthusiasts is a bottle of 1980 vintage O.F.C. Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey, one of only 100 bottles produced by Buffalo Trace, exclusively offered to non-profit organizations at no charge to raise money for their causes. The hand-cut crystal bottle containing this precious whiskey is a replica of an O.F.C. decanter from the early 1900s found in the Buffalo Trace Distillery archives. It comes in a luxurious dark wood display box embossed in copper. According to Buffalo Trace, bottles of this rare collectible are expected to bring in upwards of $10,000 each for the charities they support. For the Team Hidi auction, the Giving Kitchen is pairing the rare 1980 O.F.C. with a multi-course whiskey-themed dinner for 12 people at Atlanta’s Empire State South, one of chef Hugh Acheson’s many lauded restaurants. More information on the O.F.C. limited release can be found at www.ofcvintages.com.

The second lot that will draw heavy interest from bourbon fans is titled, “Who’s Your Pappy,” and includes the entire range of Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey from the Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery – one bottle each of the 10 year Old Rip Van Winkle, 12 year old Van Winkle Special Reserve, 15 year Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve, 20 year Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve, and 23 year Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve. The opportunity to find the full Van Winkle bourbon line-up in one place is incredibly rare. For the Team Hidi auction, the Giving Kitchen is also including a private whiskey tasting and dinner for 20 prepared by the chefs of Atlanta’s Sweet Auburn BBQ at the home of the winning bidder (if in the Atlanta area).

While these are the only two auction lots that are open to outside bidders, the Team Hidi event will also include more than a dozen other impossible-to-replicate auction lots that celebrate Atlanta and the city’s thriving restaurant community.

The sold out Team Hidi event, featuring the live auction and tastes from more than 50 of Atlanta’s top restaurants and bars will take place Sunday, January 29, 2017, from 5-9PM. Bids for the two lots discussed will be accepted via email (whiskeygalATL@gmail.com) between Monday, January 23 at 9AM EST and Friday, January 27th at 5PM EST. All emails should include the specific lot the individual is bidding on, the single bid they are placing on that lot, and the bidder’s home address. At 5pm EST on January 27th, the Team Hidi auction staff will compile and review the submitted bids on the two lots. The highest submitted bidders on each lot will be contacted to ensure that their bid is legitimate, then their bid will serve as the opening bid for that lot in the live auction – so may or may not end up as the winning bid. The opening bidders will be notified immediately after the auction as to the results.

The Giving Kitchen (TGK) is a nonprofit based in Atlanta, inspired by an overwhelming expression of support from the hospitality industry when Atlanta chef Ryan Hidinger was diagnosed with last stage cancer in December 2012. From helping with the cost of living expenses to funeral arrangements, TGK provides emergency crisis assistance to members of the metro Atlanta restaurant community.

All proceeds from this event support TGK’s emergency assistance programs to members of Atlanta’s restaurant community facing crisis events.  Since inception, TGK has helped more than 600 restaurant workers find peace of mind during emergency situations, awarding over $1 MILLION in crisis grants as of Q4 2016. This growth continues as word of TGK spreads, as evidenced by the sharp increase in applications for assistance.   With over 235,000 workers in the Atlanta restaurant industry alone, TGK needs your help more than ever.  The Team Hidi event is our single largest fundraising event, and we rely on our patrons and auction bidders to fund our grant programs for the coming year.

As unique as its mission, TGK’s origin is a compelling testimony to the caring, generous nature of Atlanta’s culinary community. The transformative impact of the unconditional love and selflessness shown to Ryan Hidinger created a ripple effect and inspired the formation of TGK. What started as a community movement to help one family has grown to support an entire industry. Ryan lost his battle with cancer in early 2014, but in his last months, his community ensured that his greatest recipe—peace of mind—would live on.

As a one-of-a-kind platform for fulfilling the mission of TGK, Staplehouse Restaurant debuted in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward in 2015. Hidinger’s wife, Jen, along with his sister Kara and brother-in-law Chef Ryan Smith, comprise the devoted management firm that executes the development, establishment and success of Staplehouse. As if Staplehouse and TGK weren’t enough, Ryan Hidinger’s greatest legacy was that of a lighthouse, shining light upon the kindness and compassion of this remarkable community.

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 and hardship.

For more information, visit thegivingkitchen.org or staplehouse.com.

Photos of the O.F.C. Bourbon are available at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/szxh2h3f58eqv8w/AACTP-d330nZDxTTWP3BmJvSa?dl=0

Naomi Green

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