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Rachel Frieson, Helen S. Carlos, Paul Goggin and Morria Goggin at the 2022 event.
Rachel Frieson, Helen S. Carlos, Paul Goggin and Morria Goggin at the 2022 event.

It’s no secret that many of the best parties end up in the kitchen. Open Hand Atlanta’s 20th annual Party in the Kitchen on Sept. 28 will stay true to that vibe with its 1980s warehouse-themed event in the rustic but elegant Stave Room at American Spirit Works.

Since 1988, Open Hand has provided 34 million meals to Atlantans who are home bound or living with a chronic disease, as well as at-risk teens and families.

Raising funds has become especially urgent this year because the average cost of ingredients needed to cook nutritious meals has increased 28% over the past two years. In 2022, the organization’s average monthly grocery bill was more than $327,000.

Christina Nail, the organization’s community events manager, described the work they’ve been doing for 35 years as more than just food. “We deliver love, dignity and nutrition by providing delicious, medically tailored meals and nutrition education to thousands of Georgians,” she says.

This year’s cocktail-style tasting event will honor Chef Gerry Klaskala, a long-time supporter of Open Hand and long-time chef co-chair of Party in the Kitchen. This year, chef co-chairs Peter Kaiser and Kevin Rathbun have curated a list of notable Atlanta chefs who will cook up a variety of cuisines. More than 20 Atlanta area restaurants will be represented, along with two mixologists creating signature cocktails.

Event co-chairs Marlene Alexander and Butch Whitfield designed the evening’s short program, which includes a live and silent auction. DJ’s Twitch and DJIT of TWIJIT will provide the music. The evening will kick off with a patron reception at 5:30 p.m., and the main event will follow at 7 p.m. Tickets are $300 per person; patron tickets are $750.

“We believe food is love, and food is medicine,” Nail says.

BY Gillian Anne Renault

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