One of Ukraine’s most famous chefs is hosting a series of fundraising pop-ups, with a London restaurant on the way.
Yurri Kovryzhenko, one of only two Ukrainian chefs mentioned in the Michelin guide, will be cooking next Monday 27 June at City Social at a fundraising dinner in collaboration with chefs like Jason Atherton and Tom Sellers, with tickets available for £500.
So far Kovryzhenko has helped raise £2million through pop-up events in the capital and he hopes to raise another half-million on Monday through a charity auction following dinner.
“We don’t think about our feelings, we’re really just trying to do the best we can to help Ukrainains and Ukrainian refugees whose houses have been destroyed. All Ukranians are trying to make something to help each other,” Kovryzhenko told City A.M.
The chef, who arrived in London to work as a Ukrainian ambassador five days before the war broke out, will cook three interpretations of classic Ukrainian recipes on Monday.
“Ukraine is the centre of Europe but no one knows what Ukrainian food is,” he says. “Chicken kiev is famous but that’s all people know.
“Ukraine is a big country: by the seaside they’re cooking a lot of fish and it’s more Mediterranean style, in the mountains it’s more German style, Hungarian style.”
The chef, who has two TV cookery shows back home and is a regular on the country’s most highly rated TV channel, will cook a chicken kiev using veal and a spin on the classic sour soup dish borscht.
“In the UK soups with pieces of vegetables are not very popular, they eat just the broth or just the veggies,” says the chef, who will make a creamed version of the classic on Monday to suit UK palettes. “I want to give the taste of the borscht but I want them to really enjoy it.”
New restaurant Mriya Ukrainian Neo Bistro is slated to open in four weeks. “Mriya translates to ‘dream’ in Ukrainian,” says Kovryzhenko. “Dream of victory, dream of come back home and meet with family, dream to restore our country, dream of a peaceful sky for our children.”
Book tickets to the dinner at City Social on Monday by clicking here