Behind the scenes of KinoVino Viy: a tribute to Ukrainian food and culture with Olia Hercules

There really is something magical about coincidences, when people cross paths at a particular moment in time to produce something original and inspiring together. This is exactly how KinoVinoViy came about. A university friend, with whom I have reconnected as I was falling in love with the world of food, turned out to have retrained as a chef and was on her way to a highly successful carrier. Another good friend who decided to change her career path and open a café in Brighton. A chance meeting at a supper club with my former film studies student and her friend, who happened to be a big foodie planning to train as a chef. It really was so special when we all came together on an early Saturday morning in the kitchen of Palm2 and knew that we were to have a fantastic day of cooking madness ahead of us. For the next 10 hours or so our venue in the heart of East London was infused with crazy Ukrainian vibes and transformed into a completely different space. Listening to folky-punky tunes (Gogol Bordello and Dakha Brakha) the ladies in the kitchen led by Olia were conjuring up some amazing creations, while my endlessly talented designer friend, Ksenia, worked her magic dressing the set. How beautiful is the experience of women coming together to cook and serve food. I really felt so incredibly proud to be surround by such talent and creativity.

All recipes can be found in Olia’s cookbook Mamushka. ‘Official’ pictures for the night are here.

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