Food & Drink

Russian owner of Soho restaurant donates £11,000 for Ukrainian charities

The owner of a Russian restaurant in Soho has donated more than £11,000 to support people affected by the war in Ukraine.

Zima restaurant have donated 10% of their revenue, £11,109, to the Red Cross which will be donated to refugees in Ukraine.

Alexey Zimin, owner and chef of Zima restaurant, claims to have received hate on social media, in reviews and through the phone in an attempt to boycott the restaurant for serving Russian cuisine.

Zimin, 50, said: “From the start of the war in Ukraine we began to receive some suspicious people call the restaurant.

“We have had people saying, ‘you are Russians,’ ‘you must die’, ‘you need to close your restaurant,’ ‘you cannot use our dishes’.

“We couldn’t see why this would happen to us.

“Even though we haven’t lost business or customers, it’s still hurtful and frustrating for us.”

The restaurant specialises in Russian-inspired street food with a selection of the most unique vodka infusions.

Zimin added that despite sanctions on Russian companies, the restaurant hasn’t been affected with getting supplies apart from buying vodka, which the restaurant focuses on. 

Zima is one of many restaurants that have taken a hit by Putin’s actions and the anti-Russian sentiment in Europe.

He added: “We started donating to the charity before we received any hate.

“I made the decision to donate part of our revenue to the Red Cross because I hate war.

“I wanted to go some good and show support to the refugees and the Ukrainians in our own way.”

Zimin is one of the most popular chefs in Russia and has appeared on one of Russia three major television channels presenting his own cooking programme, Cooking with Alexey Zimin.

Zima restaurant also supported #CookForUkraine, a community providing aid to children in Ukraine.

They held a gastro dinner and raised £2,100 for UNICEF to fund Ukrainian refugees.

#CookForUkraine is a platform for people to share recipes and raise money for Ukranian families through cooking.

In less than four months they have raised £324,296 with the help of restaurants, families and celebrities, like Jamie Oliver.

Image credit: Alexey Zimin

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