Atlanta Chef Ryan Hidinger passed away on January 9, at the age of 36, after a year-long battle with with metastatic cancer. The young chef whose liver finally gave out, inspired the Atlanta hospitality industry to provide better care for its own. Hidinger was a dear friend to many in the restaurant industry, and through his cancer diagnosis one year ago, he became an advocate for it.
Hidinger was working as the chef at Muss & Turner’s in Smyrna when he was diagnosed just before Christmas 2012 with stage 4 gallbladder cancer. He and his wife Jennifer were also running a weekend supper club from their home to raise money to open their own restaurant.
Last year, LEON's Full Service, along with other restaurants all over town, rallied to raise money for Ryan and show support for his treatment. The Restaurants encouraged guests to "round up" their bill to donate to the cause. The fundraising event, dubbed Team Hidi, raised nearly $300,000 to help in his battle. Ryan decided to continue this generosity through the formation of a non-profit called The Giving Kitchen which aims to provide financial support for members of the restaurant community in a time of need.
Ryan's wish was that his life be celebrated, not mourned. His passing was a reminder to cherish the time with loved ones and to give back where you can.
Please see The Giving Kitchen website here for more information on the cause or to make a donation.