AROUND £1,500 was raised for charity as Langport refugees cooked traditional Ukrainian dishes for more than 70 people at a sold-out event.
On Friday May 7, Ukrainian refugees were given free rein in the kitchen of The Bridge cafe to prepare a three-course dinner for the local population to benefit the Ukrainian Red Cross Society.
Steve Dury, 59, is the British godfather to 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 officer told the PA news agency.
“What was good is 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 within days but ‘they could have sold it twice’.
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 dishes such as golubsty, a cabbage leaf stuffed with rice, beef and pork, and cupcakes decorated in blue and yellow alongside a compote of fruits.
“We had two musicians playing for free, a nearby winery donated free wine,” Dury said.
“There’s a butcher in Langport who donated the meat, so a lot of local businesses in the community came together.”
He added: “People really enjoyed the food.
“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, very convivial evening.”
One of the highlights was when many of the refugees sang along to background music they had on tape.
“It brought them together,” Mr. Dury said.
“Some of them had never met before, 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 “absolutely magnificent” staff at The Bridge for ditching their cafe and allowing everyone to use the kitchen.