Ukrainian Chef Opens London Restaurant Staffed by Refugees From Russian War

A Ukrainian chef will open a neo-bistro dedicated to the country’s cuisine in Chelsea later this year, with the restaurant staffed by refugees from Russia’s war.

Yurii Kovryzhenko and Olga Tsybytovska will open Mriya, which translates as dream, on Old Brompton Road later this year. The menu will divide itself between classical and more contemporary Ukrainian cooking, according to Codewith Kovryzhenko having used his rendition of borscht as a kind of calling card for what diners can expect:

Yesterday I cooked borsch for the first time at @mriya_neo_bistro. I didn’t even get it right away because everything has been extremely fast lately, and there isn’t enough sleep. At some point, you adjust to this speed and forget what day of the week it is and what your name is. That’s why I was dynamically preparing for the meeting with journalists, cutting, stirring, and cooking borsch, until it came to me: this is the special moment when the dream becomes a reality. I almost missed it. I paused for a moment and tried to capture all the details, smells and sounds.

Kovryzhenko and Tsybytovska arrived in London in February to cook and host a dinner at the Ukrainian Embassy, but were unable to return after Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. They have since hosted pop-ups at Carousel in Fitzrovia, and at Jason Atherton’s Tower 42 in the City.

He previously ran a high-end restaurant in Lviv, Vintage Noveau, as well as launching Trypillia, in Seoul, in 2019.

More soon.

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