The Giving Kitchen

     The Giving Kitchen tasting event hosted by Cabin Rentals of Georgia, May 2013

One man’s battle became everyone’s fight when beloved Atlanta Chef Ryan Hidinger was diagnosed with stage-four cancer in December 2012. The devastating diagnosis stunned members of the local restaurant community and spurred them to come together in support. Soon, “Team Hidi” was formed, and the group put together a fundraising event to help Ryan deal with mounting medical bills. When they managed to raise close to $300,000, the outpouring of love and support inspired Ryan and his wife, Jen, to create a fund that could do the same for other members of the restaurant community in times of need. The result was The Giving Kitchen.

A non-profit charity, The Giving Kitchen offers crisis grants to members of the Atlanta restaurant community who are facing sudden hardships. Since it was founded in 2013, The Giving Kitchen has been, as they call it, “serving up peace of mind” to those who find themselves dealing with unexpected adversities. While the grant cannot cover medical expenses, each one averages around $2,000—typically enough money to cover two months of rent and utilities. The organization hosts events such as auctions and tastings to raise funds as a way to help ease financial stress so recipients can focus on healing.

Sadly, Ryan lost his battle with cancer in early 2014. His selfless spirit lives on in The Giving Kitchen, an incredible cause that is near and dear to our hearts here at Cabin Rentals of Georgia. Just weeks before his passing, the Hidinger family got everyone together to spend the holiday season at one of our cabins. Urban Retreat became the backdrop for their precious memories of their last Christmas with Ryan. We are honored to be a part of those memories, just as we were honored to host two tasting events for The Giving Kitchen as our special way of paying tribute to such an inspiring man.

Ryan’s memory will also live on through Staplehouse, the restaurant he and Jen were in the process of creating at the time of his diagnosis. Jen is following through with opening the restaurant, which will give all after-tax profits to The Giving Kitchen. To find out more about The Giving Kitchen, visit or watch the 2013 video below to hear Ryan share his touching story and vision. We’re sure you’ll find him to be an inspiration, too..