Atlanta Magazine reports that Empire State South Executive Chef Ryan Smith is leaving to join the Staplehouse team. You may remember that Staplehouse is the brainchild of Chef Ryan Hidinger and his wife Jen, and Ryan is currently battling stage IV gall bladder cancer. The Hidinger's were just about to make their dream of opening Staplehouse a reality when Ryan received his diagnosis. When I heard that awful news I had feared that they wouldn't be able to open their restaurant after working on it for years, so I am thrilled that they're moving forward!
Smith will share kitchen duties with Ryan Hidinger, and they will be joined as partners by Smith's fiancee, Abattoir's Kara Hidinger, who also happens to be Ryan Hidinger's sister.
Word is the restaurant will be in O4W/Inman Park and more details will be announced Monday.