Chefs against war – 03.12.22

The largest volunteer group which we support is Chefs in Club. This is a collective which existed before the war and is headed by local chef Oleksii Aleksandrov. Since the start of the occupation they have been distributing thousands of meals per week to people suffering extreme hardship in Kherson.

The initiative is very large, distributing thousands of meals per week, and until last week they were mostly funded by the World Central Kitchen. We have been providing only one part of the funding for this group.

Last week we were told that World Central Kitchen would discontinue funding Chefs in Club.

World Central Kitchen’s policy is not to work with 3rd party initiatives in places they can access themselves – Kherson is now accessible. However Chefs in Club is already well-established and many people rely on them. They are also starting to go out to villages which are not receiving enough of the aid which arrives in Kherson city.
They now need to find new source of funding for several thousand euros per month. Please reach out to us if you know of any possible funding sources which we can pass on, and any donations to KhersonHelp marked for Chefs in Club will be passed on to this initiative.

Chefs in Club – Brief history
During the occupation Chefs in Club often fed hospital patients. Many hospitals were not able to supply patients with enough to eat.

As Kherson remained under occupation volunteers were increasingly hunted and vulnerable. This collective took enormous risk by continuing to help people openly. Partway through the occupation they were forced out of their base in the city (the Muscat). They continued to work.

On the 12th of November, the day after Kherson was liberated, they moved back in.

Oleksii Aleksandrov wrote the following:

“On the way back to Muscat.

Exactly, back to where it all began. Because, from Kherson, the chefs_in_club team didn’t leave anywhere.

It all started on the 25th. Then Игорь Козлов asked to feed 20 ambulance doctors on Belinsky. On February 27, there were 160 servings. Next – and 300, and 700, and more…

Medics were “joined” by victims from the suburbs where the orcs [russian soldiers] passed in the first days. People were settled in hostels and bomb storage. We cooked from what we could get, what was brought by restaurateurs, individual people and indifferent entrepreneurs.

Time was running out. The repression has intensified. New owners came to Мускат and put us in the yard. Next were other restaurants that did not work, hotel kitchens. But, we had to cook in front of the orcs. Straight up. We even cooked food in the kitchen of the regional hospital under the close observation of the “Russian world”. And delivered to hostels and villages along the route Ірина Мєзєнцева . Next are a few more kitchens, even in our own apartments and offices. But only to keep the opportunity to feed those left without homes and kitchens. And all this thanks to World Central Kitchen ! Yes, all this time we have been cooking for WCK. So grateful to José Andrés and team.

Today we return to Мускат and it’s very symbolic. And many thanks to our team Екатерина Шостак , Ірина Мєзєнцева , Саша Слободянюк, Александр Шостак ,  Максим Брянский , Сергей Пантак .

To be continued. But in a different format! Thanks to Юрій Палічев for unlimited support!”

You can follow the Chefs in Club on Instagram where they frequently post about their work.


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