L.A.-area bakers, cooks be part of a bake sale this weekend to assist Ukraine


Humanitarian organizations are working to assist Ukrainians looking for meals and shelter throughout the Russian invasion — and in Los Angeles, dozens of members of the meals group have joined their ranks. On March 5, roughly 40 bakers, cooks and meals retailers will take part in a fundraiser benefiting two nongovernmental organizations at present serving to Ukrainians on the bottom.

“It simply looks like we’re in an emergency state of affairs, a humanitarian disaster. You possibly can’t wait on this one,” mentioned farmer and organizer Sherry Mandell, including, “I believe as a society all of us have this collective feeling that it’s sort of an nervousness that we wish to do one thing, however what can we do?”

You possibly can order baked items and different objects from taking part eating places via Collect for Good, a grass-roots fundraising group.

Mandell, who helps run the Tehachapi Heritage Grain Venture, teamed up with Steph Chen, the baker-owner of Sugarbear Bakes, to launch Collect for Good in early 2017. Since its inception the group’s occasions — individuals are usually L.A.-area bakers and cooks — have raised greater than $120,000 for varied nonprofits and help teams, together with the ACLU and Asian People Advancing Justice.

Collect for Good will donate proceeds from Saturday’s baked-good gross sales and raffles to World Central Kitchen, which is feeding Ukrainians alongside the border in varied places and throughout the nation and to Libereco Partnership for Human Rights (PHR), a Swiss-German group supplying drugs and different on-the-ground help to Ukrainians on the frontlines, in addition to sources for folks making an attempt to go away the nation.

A vertical photo of colorful and flower-topped cake bars side by side on a plate.

Flouring LA baker Heather Wong is donating a portion of her gross sales, together with objects comparable to her signature cake bars.

(Carolina Korman / Collect for Good)

“There’s positively a collective feeling of heaviness and dread,” mentioned Chen. “I really feel like I open up the information or see completely different retailers that I observe on social media and it’s getting worse and worse and worse, and it’s fairly troublesome to really feel like it is advisable to simply sit on the facet.”

Collaborating bakers and cooks inform Collect for Good of the objects they intend to promote and designate a recipient or recipients. As Chen and Mandell obtain descriptions and ordering procedures, which range by participant, they’re added to their web site. Greater than two dozen of the fundraiser’s individuals are positioned within the L.A. space, whereas others may be present in Orange County and Ojai, and as far-off because the Bay Space.

Donors vary from homespun operations to among the nation’s most lauded eating places, together with A.O.C., Rustic Canyon, Gjusta, pop-up Panhead LA, new pizzeria Quarter Sheets and Botanica.

For pastry chef Laura Hoang — who sells desserts at Chinatown restaurant Pearl River Deli and thru pop-up and wholesale bakery Snacks by Largwa — taking part in Collect for Good’s fundraiser isn’t merely a technique of elevating funds. It’s a solution to present assist for her co-worker. Masha Kaznachey, who’s each a baker and an accountant for Pearl River Deli, lately flew to Ukraine to reunite along with her household and assist these on the bottom.

“[Kaznachey] is without doubt one of the prime supporters of PRD, and our hearts exit to her household and to her,” Hoang mentioned. “I don’t know if anybody at PRD can perceive what she’s going via, however what we are able to do is put extra effort within the kitchen towards this reduction effort.”

Hoang might be raffling eight loaves of milk bread from the restaurant, every feeding roughly 4 folks, to be picked up on the winners’ comfort. It marks each the primary time she is promoting the bread retail and her first participation in a Collect for Good fundraiser.

Whereas a lot of the objects on supply are baked items, a few of L.A.’s most notable eating places are donating proceeds from dishes on their dinner menus. At Santa Monica’s Rustic Canyon, all Saturday gross sales of the trout-roe-smothered pork chop might be donated to World Central Kitchen and Libereco PHR. Along with promoting sticky buns and Basque cheesecake for the fundraiser, A.O.C. is providing a hen dinner that serves 4.

An overhead photo of a sugar-topped cinnamon bun on a wooden table.

Baker Zack Corridor is donating all proceeds from the sale of Clark Road’s Swedish cinnamon buns at each Brentwood and Echo Park places.

(Zack Corridor / Clark Road)

Chen and Mandell are raffling hand pies and promoting tortillas, respectively, for the fundraiser. For the co-founders, their occasions don’t simply function a method to donate, however as an impetus for dialogue.

“Whenever you’re shopping for or doing a raffle, it’s not simply in regards to the pies, it’s not simply in regards to the meals,” mentioned Mandell. “It’s actually in regards to the dialog: It’s sparking curiosity and dialog between the general public, the group. If we see one thing that feels prefer it must be talked about, we’ll do one thing.”

Collect for Good’s group of volunteers aren’t the one ones fundraising this week. West Hollywood cocktail bar Workers Solely lately invested in a case of Ukrainian-made Khor vodka and concocted a drink additionally benefiting World Central Kitchen. The Pruzhnyy cocktail, which is out there till the Khor runs out, additionally consists of apricot, honey and lemon, and prices $20 with 100% of the proceeds donating to the group.

Discover extra data on Collect for Good’s Ukrainian-aid fundraiser at andgatherforgood.com/ukraine.

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