Since it launched, Cook for Ukraine has been doing bits. Inspired by 2016’s Cook for Syria project, it’s a fundraising initiative that was set up in response to the bloody war and huge devastation in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine – and has become a worldwide celebration of Ukrainian culture.
Dreamt up in London by Ukrainian-born Olia Hercules, Russian Alissa Timoshkina, Polish chef Zuza Zak and Instagrammer Clerkenwell Boy, the initiative has already raised more than £475,000 for Unicef UK’s Ukraine appeal. More than 10,000 posts have been shared using the #CookForUkraine hashtag on Instagram, and countless London restaurants have been inspired to take part.
But it doesn’t need to stop there. If you want to raise money to support children and families affected by the war in Ukraine, and eat some bloody good food while you’re at it, here’s how you can get involved with #CookForUkraine in London.
Cook up some serious scran
Roll up your sleeves and preheat your oven. One of the best (and most delicious) ways to get involved is to head to the kitchen yourself.
Try out some new recipes and share your culinary creations using the #CookForUkraine hashtag on Instagram, donate to the initiative’s fundraising page and encourage others to do the same. If you want to really go for it, you could even host your own supper club or bake sale.
It’s a great opportunity to explore new recipes from the region and beyond. Cook for Ukraine suggests trying out this hearty green borshch, tangy solyanka fish soup, and aubergine and tomato serdakh, but the options are endless. Really. Delish.
Eat out to help out
More than 140 London restaurants and bars are taking part in Cook for Ukraine by encouraging diners to add £1, £2 or £5 to their bills, which will be donated directly to Unicef. There’s some pretty great ones taking place as well, including Manteca, Sessions Arts Club, Silo, and a hell of a lot more.
Plenty of places have also introduced new dishes to their menus in celebration of Ukrainian culture. Head to Big Mamma Group (Ave Mario, Gloria, Circolo Popolare) for bruschetta with garlic and Ukrainian ‘salo’ (or lardo), with all proceeds from that dish donated to Cook for Ukraine. Flor Bakery is selling a special Ukrainian rye bread, and Koya has made a new Ukraine-inspired green borsch udon with onsen tamago.
Attend an event
From supper clubs to cookery classes, there are plenty of events popping up around the city to raise money for Cook for Ukraine. Here are some that are coming up:
Ottolenghi Test Kitchen duo Noor Murad and Jake Norman are hosting an intimate cook-along during the Marylebone Food Festival, taking place at La Cucina Caldesi on April 27. Tickets cost £165 per head with all proceeds going to #CookForUkraine.
Studio Feast in Hackney are hosting a Polish dumpling workshop, ‘Pierogi for Peace’, on April 30. Tickets cost £100, with all proceeds also going to #CookForUkraine.
Mortimer House and Ukrainian chef Yurii Kovryzhenko are hosting an exploration of Ukrainian cuisine on May 4. Tickets cost £60 per head with all proceeds going to #CookForUkraine.