back view of a young girl protesting against war


Appalled by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the resulting senseless deaths and destruction, we wanted to find resources to share. As more and more information became available, the blog post in draft became so big, that it would have been TL:DR. This is the first in a series of posts.

a delicious bowls of food with slices of breads and salmon roe
Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on

#CookForUkraine is a social media initiative modelled on the campaign #CookforSyria, which has raised over £1m since 2016. All the money raised for #CookForUkraine is going to UNICEF’s work in Ukraine.
Cook For Ukraine is fundraising for Unicef UK (

Alissa Timoshkina, a London-based Russian with a Ukrainian great-grandmother (who was a Ukrainian Holocaust survivor) and author of ‘Salt and Time: Recipes from a Russian Kitchen’ teamed up with her Ukrainian friend Olia Hercules, to get the campaign started. The book is available at Amazon UK, priced at 9.43 (64% off RRP) for the hardback and 3.99 for the Kindle edition.

the front cover of a current biometric ukrainian passport
Photo by Mr Borys on

Olia Hercules is an alumna of Warwick University and Leith’s School of Food and Wine. She has worked at Ottolenghi as a chef de partie and has appeared on TV shows Saturday Kitchen and Sunday Brunch. Olia Hercules is married to food photographer Joe Woodhouse. with whom she has a son. Previously she was in a relationship with chef Tom Catley and they had a son together also.

Olia Hercules has written three cook books. For her first book, Mamushka: Recipes From Ukraine & Beyond (2015) (to be reviewed shortly), she received The Observer Rising Star Award in Food 2015 and the Fortnum & Mason Debut Food Book Award 2016. Mamushka has sold over 100,000 copies worldwide and has been translated into five languages. It is currently on offer for 16.99 for the hardback on Amazon UK, saving 35% on RRP. If this is still too steep for you, the Kindle edition is just 99p ! The book has been rated 4.5/5 from 475 reviews.

focus photography of green cabbage
Photo by Pixabay on

The second book, Kaukasis: A Culinary Journey Through Georgia, Azerbaijan & Beyond was published in 2017, in UK, USA, Canada. Germany and Poland. It’s available for 16.99 as a hardback on Amazon UK and as a Kindle edition for 99p.

Olia’s third book, is another on Ukrainian food – Summer Kitchens: Inside Ukraine’s Hidden Places of Cooking and Sanctuary, was published in July 2020. The Guardian bookshop has had this on sale at 22.62 saving 13% on RRP but is currently out of stock (08/03/22) Summer Kitchens – The Guardian Bookshop Amazon UK price is 17.68 saving 32% off RRP and 11.83 for the Kindle edition. There’s a Polish hardback edition for 8.93, entitled Sielski Smaki

Summer kitchens are buildings separate to the main house, which people erect close to kitchen gardens. Might be something different for an allotment holder with a Spring or Summer birthday.

Photo by Théroigne S B G Russell

July 2022 will see the publication of the next Olia Hercules cook book, Home Food: Recipes to Comfort and Connect. The book can be pre-ordered on Amazon UK.

The war in Ukraine is intensely personal for Olia Hercules. In February, Olia’s brother, Sasha, had an eco bike business in Kyiv. Now, he is training with the Ukrainian army.

Joe Woodhouse, Olia’s husband, has been making trips to Essex to buy personal protective equipment for his regiment, which will be sent to Ukraine via Berlin. Olia raised £70k for equipment such as helmets and night-vision goggles in a single weekend on Instagram, helped by Anna Jones, Melissa Hemsley and Alissa Timoshkina.

Olia’s parents, entrepreneur Petro and hotel manager Olga, are in Karkhovka, which has been under siege. You can read more about the family story in an interview with Olia Hercules by Mina Holland on 04/03/22. The piece also includes some recipes.
Olia Hercules: ‘Let’s not forget that Ukraine is not headlines, it’s people’ | Food | The Guardian

You’ll find more recipes on Olia Hercules’ website
Recipes – Olia Hercules

Alissa Timoshkina and Olia Hercules will benefit from the experience of the #CookForSyria organisers, Clerkenwell Boy and the NEXTGen London team. led by Layla Yarjani.

#CookForUkraine aims to raise money via its JustGiving page, and had raised over £111,000 from under 2000 people by 10:34 GMT 08/03/22.

woman in black hijab headscarf walking on field
Photo by Samuel Silitonga on

Alissa and Olia, want to bring people together, to experience Ukrainian food, at supper clubs and bake sales. If you want to get involved in that, there’s a link in the last section of JOIN THE MOVEMENT – HOW TO GET INVOLVED underneath a link. It’s not clear, but takes you to a Google doc to fill in.

As soon as we spotted #CookForUkraine, we emailed The Craft Guild of Chefs and asked them to send the #CookForUkraine JustGiving page link out.

#CookForUkraine is looking for hotels, restaurants and bars to get involved and Soho House, Burger & Lobster and Yotam Ottolenghi are doing so. In section 2 of JOIN THE MOVEMENT – HOW TO GET INVOLVED there is an email address for food and drink professionals to give you help.

The JustGiving page once again (which also has recipes)
Cook For Ukraine is fundraising for Unicef UK (

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