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WNY Ukrainian-American chef using culinary arts to aid in refugee relief for Ukrainians

Ukrainian chef, Alex Diaczenko.jpg
Posted at 6:40 PM, Mar 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-16 18:42:43-04

HAMBURG, N.Y. (WKBW) — A Western New York Ukrainian-American is hoping to raise money for Ukrainian refugees, through culinary arts.

The way to anyone's heart is through their stomach. That is what Lago 210 head chef, Alex Diaczenko is trying to accomplish with WNY.

"Growing up, just cooking with my mom. Spending time with her. Doing a lot of the Ukrainian dishes like making perogies and cabbage rolls. Everything pretty much. She always kept me included in it. Baking... things like that," Lago 210 head chef, Alex Diaczenko said.

More than 20 years later Diaczenkois using his culinary powers for good.

"Just bringing light to not only what's happening in Ukraine, but also Ukrainian food because food is love to me. Making people happy makes me happy," Diaczenko said.

The Rochester native is showcasing his skills, whipping up vibrant Ukrainian dishes, all while raising money for refugee relief efforts, amid the crisis in Ukraine.

"We're running a few specials here that all of the proceeds from that go to help the refugees and everybody that's been displaced in Ukraine for whatever they need, pretty much supplies, medical aid," Diaczenko said.

The restaurant is still figuring out how much of the proceeds will go towards Ukrainian relief efforts.

"Right now, we're actually figuring that out because we're just collecting the funds. Seeing what works best for us."

Llago 210 owner, Audrey Zybala, said the new business will still keep its traditional menu, along with the Ukrainian dishes, to continue showing support for the Eastern European country.

Zybala said, "I'm a mom and when I see these parents who are having to move their children out of their homes and disrupt their entire lives, in order to keep them safe, it hits you on a completely different level once you understand what that would have to entail."

The restaurant has collected more than $1,100 in the last two weeks.

Follow Lago 210 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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