You've probably noticed that we don't talk restaurants much; we're not in the business of reviewing restaurants and chattering about chefs (plenty of other publications, including our good friends at Eater, have that beat covered, deliciously). But of course restaurants do have points of intersection with the life of the home cook, and we found one of those in the beautiful tearjerker of a story behind Bon Appetit's top new restaurant of the year, Staplehouse.
Guys, I'm not a crier, but this video got me good. Have you watched it?
In a nutshell, Staplehouse, the Atlanta restaurant at the top of Bon App's 2016 new restaurant list, is the labor of love created by the wife, sister, and friend of young chef Ryan Hidinger, who discovered he had a case of terminal cancer and passed away in 2014. He and his wife, Jen, had been hosting supper clubs at their home in Atlanta, and during his illness raised money to cover his medical bills and start a nonprofit for other food industry workers who fall on hard times.
After he passed away Jen, Ryan's sister, Kara, and chef Ryan Smith opened Staplehouse, an instant sensation that is still connected to Ryan's legacy: the restaurant gives all profits after taxes to The Giving Kitchen, the nonprofit.
The video story is a beautiful tribute to the in-it-together spirit of these three friends opening a restaurant, dealing with illness, finding a mission and a passion and some measure of grace in their loss.
Like I said, there are places that restaurants intersect with the life of the kitchen, and this story inspired me so much in the power of food and friendship to give purpose and life. Watch it! With a tissue.
Read the full story (and get a few Staplehouse recipes) at Bon Appetit: Staplehouse Is the Best New Restaurant in America