Chefs and mixologists from more than 50 local restaurants and bars will gather on January 25 at the Georgia Railroad Freight Depot for Team Hidi 3.0. Proceeds will go toward the Giving Kitchen, an organization that provides help to restaurant workers in need.
The first Team Hidi event raised nearly $300,000 to support Ryan Hidinger, the late Muss & Turner’s chef who succumbed to gall bladder cancer last year. That sparked the idea for the Giving Kitchen, and Team Hidi 2.0 garnered nearly $325,000. This year, founder Jen Hidinger hopes to surpass—or at least match—that amount.
Participating restaurants include Muss & Turners, 4th & Swift, the Luminary, Local Three, Kimball House, the Optimist, Empire State South, and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. Miles Macquarrie, Greg Best, Paul Calvert, and Eric Simpkins, among others, will be on cocktail duty.
“We don’t ask the chefs what they’ll be making because it’s usually a one-biter and there are so many for people to try,” Hidinger says. “But this year we have a new creative element. We asked the chefs to provide snack recipes for home use. We’re putting them on paper canvas or foam core and will have them hanging from the rafters like a chandelier. Afterward, people can purchase the individual recipes.”
In addition to a live auction, Team Hidi 3.0 will have a “Buy It Now” wall with a variety of items and experiences priced at $1,000. Offerings include chef’s knives, spa days, artwork, photographs, and chef’s nights. (Hidinger says she plans to keep the specifics a mystery for now.)
Also making its premier at the event is SweetWater Second Helping 2015. Before he passed, Ryan Hidinger helped create this beer with the brewmasters at SweetWater, and the proceeds benefit the Giving Kitchen. The second edition of the beer will showcase the story of Carlin Guite, a Ruth’s Chris server whom the Giving Kitchen helped after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Jen says she hopes to be able to provide an update on Staplehouse, her and Ryan’s dream restaurant, at the event. “We’re just waiting on one last approval and then we can start construction and build-out,” she says.
The Giving Kitchen helped more than 100 people this year with an average grant of $2,000. “Our goal this year is to let people know we’re doing what we set out to do, and we want to continue to help people,” she says. “Now is the time to donate.”
Team Hidi 3.0 will be held from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets cost $150 and are available at thegivingkitchen.org.