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Omnivore - Local artist to receive scholarship at chefs collaboration dinner

The life of Emily Cameron honored by the restaurant community and her parents match the gift

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In another great example of the Atlanta restaurant community rallying in support of one another, 14 of Atlanta’s celebrated chefs put their skills to work out of generosity and honor on Sunday, May 1.

Emily Cameron was a server and bartender whose passion and pursuit was a career in photography. At this time last year she was shooting the release of Kate Parham-Kordsmeier’s cookbook, Atlanta Chef’s Table, photographed by Heidi Geldhausen. The star chef-studded dinner raised close to $20,000 for The Giving Kitchen, which provides crisis grants to members of Atlanta’s restaurant community facing unanticipated hardship. Cameron was as server at Muss and Turner’s under chef Ryan Hidinger, whose legacy is The Giving Kitchen. At the time of her death, last fall, Cameron was a bartender at The Pinewood. 

The TGK team met Cameron with her infectious enthusiasm at the dinner. She offered to donate her skills anytime TGK needed. They took her up on it and she photographed Team Hidi 3.0, the Annual Pinky Golf Tournament, and Restaurant Revival summer industry party. Alison Sawyer of TGK told us “Emily was a beautiful force and we are honored to have crossed paths with her even just for a brief moment.”

For the second year of this dinner, Kordsmeier and Geldhauser wanted to honor Emily who tragically lost her life too soon. In her memory they set up the 2016 Emily Cameron Art Scholarship. This $5000 scholarship is eligible to anyone in the service industry who is also pursuing a career in the arts (like Cameron). Additional proceeds from the evening benefit The Giving Kitchen.

This year’s recipient is Natalie Escobar, an Atlanta-based painter who is a server at The Porter. Cameron’s parents, Alan and Mary Cameron, are matching the gift for a total scholarship of $10,000. Escobar plans to use the funds to help her prepare for her first solo show in Atlanta this fall and spend more time in the studio.“I couldn’t be more thrilled to be chosen for this scholarship,” Escobar says. “It’s a great honor, and I only hope I can make Kate, Heidi and especially Emily, proud.”

The evening kicks off with a champagne reception at Himitsu at 6 p.m. Guests will enjoy “The Emily,” a signature cocktail from Gunshow. Guests move to Umi at 7 p.m. for a multi course family style dinner served with wine pairings. Communal tables will overlook the sushi bar, providing an up-close and personal dining experience as guests watch their favorite chefs work together to prepare their meal. Featured chefs include:

Fuyuhiko and Lisa Ito, Umi
Gerry Klaskala, Aria
Joey Ward, Gunshow
Asha Gomez, Spice to Table
Bruce Logue, Boccalupo
Todd Ginsberg, The General Muir
Billy Allin, Cakes & Ale
Todd Mussman, Muss & Turner's
Landon Thompson, Cooks & Soldiers
Adam Evans, Brezza Cucina
Philippe Haddad, Cape Dutch
Matt Weinstein and Christopher Maher, ONE. midtown kitchen
Tickets to this event are $250 from Xorbia. Umi is located at 3050 Peachtree Road. Buckhead. 404-841-0040. Umiatlanta.com.