Ukrainian chef inaugurates restaurant 'cultural embassy' in London

Monday, July 4, 2022

"I stand in solidarity with all Ukrainians," said Ukrainian chef Yurii Kovryzhenko, 39, who recently opened a Ukrainian restaurant in Chelsea with his partner Olga Tsybytovska, 33, on the UC campus.

A top Ukrainian chef has opened a "cultural embassy" to his home country in the UK to showcase his dining, design, art and beverages in the form of a new restaurant staffed exclusively by refugees.

"At a time when the news is filled with the atrocities of war, it's more important than ever to fly the flag for Ukrainian culture. I can do more to help here," says the chef, who supported the Michelin leader's decision to suspend an offer on a restaurant in Kiev.

For many people, English skills are an issue as well as the long time refugees may need to get their official documents from the UK government.

Kovryzhenko has served as Ukrainian ambassador for modern cuisine for many years and is the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry culinary diplomat representing Ukraine internationally.

The name of the restaurant near Earl's Court is also the name of the largest aircraft in the world, made in Ukraine (Antonov Airport near Kiev, Ukraine) and destroyed during the first weeks, but the first two days of the war were very pleasant and welcoming.

Kovryzhenko and Tsybytovska arrived in London in February to hold a dinner at the Ukrainian Embassy, but could not return following Russia's invasion.

If the project is a success, they plan to open more restaurants and social spaces in Britain in which Ukrainian nationals will take part, they said.