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Restaurants are helping Ukraine, one plate at a time Wine News

The Carousel menu will feature classic Ukrainian dishes, such as pickled vegetables with trout, borscht with duck and prunes, vareniki dumplings with potatoes and porcini mushrooms, and Ukrainian honey cake. For Kovryzhenko, many of these dishes have historically been appropriated by Russia. “They tried to steal the national identity of all the countries of the Soviet Union, as well as the food.” So, showcasing what he sees as traditional Ukrainian cuisine is, for him, a symbolic part of the resistance.

Another Ukrainian cook has been part of the UK’s most widespread food lure. London-based Olia Hercules, along with Russian food writer Alissa Timoshkina, who also lives in London, and food influencer Clerkenwell Boy (who also created Cook for Syria, a similar initiative) founded Cook for Ukraine.

Since launching last Friday, its Just Giving page has raised £64,000 and 130 restaurants across the country have signed up to donate £1, £2 or £5 from each bill (or whatever scheme they choose ) to Unicef, which helps the 7.5 million children at risk in Ukraine.

“As my heart breaks to see my homeland go to war with its near neighbour, I turn to food for its power to heal, educate, unite and support,” Tomoshkina said. “Like millions of Russians, I too have Ukrainian roots and grew up with a beautiful diet of Ukrainian and Russian food. Let’s cook for Ukraine, for peace, for freedom, for truth, for common sense, for rational thought and for love.

For Chris Leach, founder and chef of Manteca in London, one of the restaurants signed up to Cook for Ukraine and donated £1 from every bill in March was a no-brainer. “We have a responsibility to help in the smallest way possible,” says Leach. “The food industry is good at rallying around these causes, and I think if you’re lucky enough to have people supporting your business, you should be able to offer support elsewhere as well.”

There are countless examples across the country. At Il Portico in west London, chef James Chiavarini has put Chicken Kiev on the menu for the first time in over 40 years, and others have followed suit with the classic dish. Chiavarini donates £5 from every order to the Red Cross in Ukraine, and says it has sold out fast every day.

Around 15 were sold at each service, with around £100 a day raised. “We want that to continue through March and we might be looking at new things to help recharge next week,” Chiavarini says. “Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a quick end to this brutality, so I think I’ll find new ways to fundraise for a while.”

Sugo Pasta Kitchen in Manchester is donating 50 pence for every pasta dish sold on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in March to Cook for Ukraine. The London restaurant group behind Jolene and Westerns Laundry has launched its own ‘My Ukraine Family’ initiative, with an optional £1 added to every bill, matched by the restaurant, aimed at displaced Ukrainian families. The Ukrainian-owned Prosperity restaurant in Twickenham has become a collection point for essential items to be sent to Ukraine, such as first aid kits, baby food, medicine and more.

Chef José Pizarro has also turned two of his restaurants, based in Bermondsey, London and Esher, Surrey, into collection points for donations to Ukraine.

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This notice was published: 2022-03-04 13:49:09

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