If the past two years have taught us anything, it’s that local culinarians share an unspoken unifying ethos: Food is a tool for good.
In the midst of consecutive global crises, chefs, restaurateurs and various food entrepreneurs across disciplines have turned to their crafts to help overcome life’s challenges in the best way they know how — through hot meals and sweet treats.
Amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Southeast Michigan food and beverage establishments are raising funds for Ukrainian refugees, for Polish resources acting as safe havens and for Ukrainian children impacted by the war.
Here, a list of establishments and individuals doing their part:
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Home chef Aldona Jurzyna does not run a restaurant or local food business. She’s a Poland native based in Oxford, and a mom who has been making pierogi out of her kitchen with her children for years. Jurzyna’s parents are the owners of Czarkowice, a bed and breakfast and retreat in Nysa, Poland, and in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine war, Marek and Danuta Jurzyna ceased normal operations of Czarkowice to welcome Ukrainian refugees seeking a safe haven.
In an effort to subsidize the financial loss that her parents would incur without normal income from the bed and breakfast, Aldona launched a pierogi sale as a fundraiser. She spread the word via Facebook and word of mouth and soon, she’d racked up 700 pierogi orders and nearly $1,200 in sales.
Aldona has enlisted the help of family and friends to fulfill the barrage of orders that were placed. On Saturday, March 5, she and her team of loved ones will hand-make pierogi filled with farmer cheese and potatoes, sauerkraut and mushrooms and fruit.
“As Polish people, we went through hell during the war so we understand what [Ukraine] is going through,” Aldona Jurzyna said. “People have been so divided but we are together in this. We want to support the people affected by this even from so far away.”
Known for its menu of American and Ukrainian classics, Christine’s Cuisine in Ferndale is joining the ranks of eateries supporting Ukraine. On Wednesday, March 2, Christine’s will donate all proceeds to the Ukrainian Relief Fund. Your purchase of soups, salads, sandwiches and entrees will directly benefit those impacted by the war.
Christine’s Cuisine, 729 E. 9 Mile Rd., Ferndale. christinescuisineinc.com
From March 25-27, Frame, a multi-concept restaurant in Hazel Park, will host Slavic Solidarity, an immersive dinner experience, featuring five courses of Ukrainian staples. Frame Resident Chef Michael Barrera has curated an inspired menu of dishes, such as borscht, a beet soup, and Chicken Kyiv served with celery root and frisee.
The dinner series will be led by Frame Editorial Director (and former Free Press restaurant critic) Mark Kurlyandchik, with proceeds benefiting the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America’s #SupportUkraine Humanitarian Effort.
Frame Slavic Solidarity: A Dinner for Ukraine by Chef Michael Barrera with Mark Kurlyandchik, $85 per person, 23839 John R Rd., No. 2, Hazel Park. framehazelpark.com
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At its Ypsilanti location, Hyperian Coffee Co. will host Botanical Bakeshop for a Bake for Ukraine pop-up. On Sunday, March 6, the Milan, Michigan-based vegan bakery will set up shop to offer a Brunch Box complete with a tempeh bacon quiche, a chocolate orange croissant and a chopped salad, along with other plant-based baked goods. All proceeds from sales at the pop-up will benefit Voices of Children, a charitable organization that provides support services for children affected by the war.
Botanical Bakeshop at Hyperian Coffee Co., 306 N. River St., Ste. D, Ypsilanti. botanicalbakeshop.com
Marcus Market and Park Liquor
Local beverage shops are showing support of the people of Ukraine by joining large retailers in removing Russian vodka from their shelves. Marcus Market in Midtown Detroit and Park Liquor in Hazel Park are taking a stand with a boycott by no longer purchasing or selling Russian liquor.
Marcus Market, 4614 2nd Ave., Detroit.; Park Liquor, 24819 John R Rd., Hazel Park.
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Sister Pie and Tuscan Café
From Berlin to New York to the South of France, bakers are standing in solidarity to support refugees of the Russia-Ukraine War. Bakers from across the globe are participating in Hamantashen for Ukraine, an initiative in which proceeds from the sales of hamantashen — small, triangular pastries stuffed with sweet, jewel-toned fruit fillings — benefit Polish Humanitarian Action.
The organization is assisting those at the Polish border seeking refuge from the devastating conditions in Ukraine. Locally, bakeries in Detroit and Northville have joined the ranks of Hamantashen for Ukraine.
At Sister Pie, owner Lisa Ludwinski is still finalizing pricing and availability for the pie shop’s hamantashen. What Ludwinski knows is that the pastries will feature a buckwheat dough and a sour cherry-poppy seed filling. At Tuscan Café, an assortment of vanilla bean cream cheese, poppy seed and apricot fill a flour dough crust.
Sister Pie, 8066 Kercheval, Detroit. sisterpie.com; Tuscan Café, 141 E. Main St., Northville. thetuscancafe.com
Contact Lyndsay C. Green at [email protected].