Tandy already had plans to invite Ryan Smith from Empire State South in Atlanta up to cook for a future Sunday Supper. Ryan is an incredibly talented chef who has come to town before to help out with some of our local charities. Then a life-changing situation changed his professional plans dramatically.
Earlier this year, Atlanta discovered that another favorite Ryan, Hidiger in this case, had been diagnosed with a very serious form of cancer in an advanced stage. Hidiger and his wife Jen had been preparing for the opening of their own restaurant, which they intended to call Staplehouse. They grew the excitement for their venture by holding a series of "Prelude to Staplehouse" supper clubs. Hungry Atlantans were very excited about the prospects of a new restaurant when Hidiger's diagnosis of Stage IV gallbladder cancer seemed to stop the dream in its tracks.
But Ryan Smith and his fiancée Kara Hidiger (who happens to be the other Ryan's sister) were not willing to sit back and let the dream disappear. They have both made plans to leave their respective jobs at Empire State South and Abbatoir to join the Staplehouse team and make it a reality. Other members of the Atlanta restaurant community have responded by creating Team Hidi and planning fundraisers to support Hidiger as he undergoes treatments. Fortunately, initial test results have shown progress.
So Tandy and his team at City House decided that Team Hidi and The Giving Kitchen Initiative were the sort of causes that they really wanted to help support. The Giving Kitchen Initiative was created to help assist Hidiger, but ultimately they hope to create a reserve fund to assist other members of the culinary community in Atlanta who need aid.
On Sunday, Aug. 11, from 6 to 9 p.m., the staff of CIty House and some of the Staplehouse crew will combine their efforts to create some amazing food that I guarantee will be full of heart and soul. Having attended a few of these special dinners in the past, I can pretty much assure you won't go home hungry, and there are rumors of some after-dinner carousing opportunities being organized if you want to extend the evening.
Tickets are $150 per person including tax and gratuity and can be purchased by calling (615) 736-5838. Please consider taking part in what should be a wonderful and important evening. If you need more encouragement to go, check out this video that tells the whole Staplehouse story.