WASHINGTON (WDVM) — In the three weeks since Russia invaded Ukraine, the entire community has come together to show support in multiple ways. For the restaurant community, that involves menu changes and fundraising dinners.
On March 21, ten chefs are coming together to create a ten-course meal and wine pairing at Moon Rabbit. The Chef at the restaurant, Kevin Tien, put it all together.
He said, “As a Chef, the only thing I’m really good at is cooking and calling my friends and having them cook with me.”
Chef Tien has a personal story that resonates with Ukrainian refugees. He explained, “It kind of brought back a lot of memories of my family being displaced during the Vietnam war.”
The money from the fundraiser will go to World Central Kitchen’s efforts at the Ukrainian border. Each ticket is $500-$700. Already, over 100 tickets have been sold, selling out the event. Still, the chefs are looking for sponsors to help offset the cost of putting the dinner together, and potentially matching the donation.
Jon Sybert, Chef and Owner of Tail Up Goad and Reveler’s Hour said, “I certainly hope it inspires people with even better profit margins than restaurants to get out there and do more.”
“I think food is one of the most important things that brings everybody together, and it can do that in a lot of ways. In this instance, bringing a lot of people together to help support and fund what I believe is a really good cause,” Sybert added.
While the chefs are putting together this fundraiser, another restaurant group, KNEAD Hospitality and Design, has decided to actively boycott Russian imports.
Darlin Kulla, beverage director, said, “We decided to take all of our Russian vodkas off of our menu and off of our shelves.”
KNEAD Hospitalist is also adding Ukrainian vodka to the shelves.
Kulla explained, “We were able to do a little more research and we found a delicious Ukrainian vodka. We started featuring it. It makes delicious martinis, and it’s gluten-free, which our guests really appreciate.”
In addition to changing the menu and vodka options, the restaurant group is taking a portion of proceeds made on some of their most popular items and donating it to UNICEF at the beginning of April.