Slavic Solidarity: A Dinner for Ukraine by Chef Michael Barrera with Mark Kurlyandchik
The crisis in Ukraine is both heartbreaking and personal for me. My paternal grandfather was a Jew born in Kremenchuk, a factory town on the banks of the Dnipro River. My maternal grandmother hailed from Smolensk, a Russian city near the border of Belarus.
Fate — namely war and displacement — brought them to Soviet-controlled Lithuania, where they both married ethnic Poles.
Thanks in part to the USSR’s forced Russification, I grew up speaking primarily Russian and identifying most closely with Russian culture, though I’ve never once set foot in the country. It took me decades of asking my elders probing questions and traveling to my birthplace in Lithuania to fully understand not only the complicated Slavic mix that makes up my background, but the sociopolitical forces that made it possible.
As Russia forces itself on Ukraine with a despotic invasion, we at Frame are raising money to support relief efforts for the Ukrainian people with a dinner that celebrates its culture through food.
Proceeds will benefit the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America’s #SupportUkraine Humanitarian Effort, which provides vital humanitarian aid to Ukrainian refugees, children, and front-line defenders against Putin’s aggression. Our contributions will be earmarked for WHO-standard medical and pharmaceutical kits.
Hosted by me, Frame’s resident Soviet-born Slav, with an elevated menu of reinterpreted classics executed by our chef, Michael Barrera, this is two nights of drinking and dining for a good cause.
— Mark Kurlyandchik, Frame Editorial Director
Duck Rillettes, Cheese, Pickles, Bread
The National Dish of Ukraine
Celery Root, Frisee, Lemon, Herb Butter
Sour Cream, Berry Compote