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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Staplehouse chef Ryan Hidinger passes away

Staplehouse chefs Ryan Hidinger (left) and Ryan Smith
  • Andrew Thomas Lee
  • Staplehouse chefs Ryan Hidinger (left) and Ryan Smith

Staplehouse chef Ryan Hidinger died of liver failure Thursday morning, bringing his year-long cancer battle to an end. He was 36 years old.

Hidinger and his wife Jennifer had been working to open Staplehouse, a brick-and-mortar restaurant born from the underground supper club they'd operated out of their home since 2009. But in January 2013, the Atlanta restaurant community was shocked to learn that Ryan had been diagnosed with stage four gallbladder cancer just one month prior.

Soon, the family found itself on the receiving end of an incredible outpouring of community support, which eventually led them to found The Giving Kitchen, a nonprofit that offers financial assistance to restaurant industry workers experiencing similar hardships.

The AJC's John Kessler penned a poignant tribute to the young chef Thursday afternoon. To support Staplehouse or The Giving Kitchen, donate directly or attend Team Hidi 2.0, a charity event benefitting The Giving Kitchen on Sunday, January 26 at King Plow Arts Center.

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