Charity event raises £1,500 as Ukrainian refugees serve traditional food
Around £1,500 was raised for charity as refugees in Somerset cooked traditional Ukrainian dishes for more than 70 people at a sold-out event.
On Friday, Ukrainian refugees were given free rein in the kitchen at The Bridge cafe in Langport to prepare a three-course dinner for locals to benefit the Ukrainian Red Cross.
Steve Dury, 59, is the UK sponsor of two of the chefs in charge of the supper and described the evening as “a huge success”.
“Everyone has just had a fabulous, fabulous evening,” the local government official told the PA news agency.
“What was good was that in addition to bringing the local community together, it brought Ukrainians together here.
“They could speak Ukrainian together.
“It was very, very, very nice – very emotional, I think, both for the Ukrainians and for the British hosts.”
Mr Dury said tickets for the dinner sold out in just a few days but ‘they could have sold it twice, it was so popular’.
Since April 12, he has been hosting Liudmyla Tarasenko and her 15-year-old daughter, Daria, Liudmyla’s 27-year-old niece, Yulia Svichkar, and her three-year-old son, Egor, as well as her 13-year-old son. Denys Chemodanov.
Ms. Tarasenko and Ms. Svichkar were part of the team that made traditional Ukrainian dishes such as golubsty, a cabbage roll stuffed with rice, beef and pork, and blue and yellow decorated cupcakes next to fruit compote.
“We had two musicians playing for free, a nearby winery donated free wine,” Dury said.
“There is a butcher in Langport who donated the meat, so many local businesses in the community came together.
Mr Dury added that the comments about the food were “very positive”.
“People really enjoyed the food,” he said.
“There were a lot of people who had their very first Ukrainian meal.
“With the food, the bar, the music, (it was) a very relaxed and very social evening.”
He said one of the highlights was when many of the refugees decided to sing along to some background music they had on tape.
“It brought them together,” Mr. Dury said.
“Some of them had never met before, it was their first time meeting – so they were able to network, meet members of the local community.
“A lot of Ukrainian children were there, so they all had fun playing in the garden.”
Mr. Dury praised the local Langport community for their generosity and flexibility.
“(The Bridge staff) were absolutely wonderful,” he said.
“They ditched their cafe for the evening, allowed everyone to come into the kitchen and cook, bought lots of ingredients and made the space available.
“The people of Langport have been so, so welcoming and so helpful with donations and help.”