Dine for Ukraine with Chef Igor a Huge Success

On Sunday, May 1st 2022 we were honored to co-host Castro Valley Chef, Igor Breyman for the inaugural Dine for Ukraine CV event.

Chef Igor is a resident culinary professional with extensive experience as an instructor, chef, and caterer.

He and his sister, Helen Nesteruk, were born in Odessa, Ukraine. They emigrated to the US with their family, and grew up in Castro Valley, but retain deep ties to family and friends in their homeland. As the world watches in horror at the atrocities and humanitarian crisis caused by the Russian invasion, his family is working tirelessly to find ways to help Odessa residents who are struggling to get access to food, goods, and services they desperately need. 

To raise critical funds for those still in Ukraine, Chef Igor cooked a delicious three course Ukrainian meal with a twist for two sold out seatings in support of his sister’s recently launched nonprofit, OurBorsch.

OurBorsch is a grassroots organization that is well-positioned in Ukraine to get aid directly into the hands of Ukrainians. The group helps mobilize their existing network of on-the-ground volunteers to facilitate delivery, fund humanitarian aid, and fulfill projects that create a meaningful impact on the lives of the Ukrainian people and the rebuilding process.

The dinner itself drew in 70 supporters who were treated to a modern take on traditional Ukrainian fare, including options like Ukrainian Fur Coat Salad, Oxtail beef borscht, 3-day brined game hen, and Ukrainian Burnt Cheesecake for dessert.

As Igor puts it, “the powerful media of food is a media of Memory. One smell, one taste; carrying you back to your life experiences to where you began.”  By preparing this meal, Igor can share his food experiences passed down from his Ukrainian father and family who encouraged his career.

During the meal, diners were introduced to Chef Igor, and his sister Helen, who described the importance of the work they are undertaking and offered guests a direct connection to the people of Ukraine and showcased both their resilience and devastation. They also reiterated how this crisis will be ongoing for years to come and so will the need to provide critical support.

Between the meal itself, silent auction items, and direct donations collected that night; over $11,000 was raised for the group.

The evening was supported by a network of Castro Valley Marketplace vendors, including us, who donated ingredients, product, time, support, and event space to make the evening possible. The coalition vendors participating in the fundraiser include Akemi Sushi, Amphora Nueva, Baron’s Meats, Cannery Kitchen and Tap, Castro Valley Natural Grocery, Cordial Bottle Shop, Oaktown Spice Shop, and Seven Hills Baking Co. 

As a homegrown organization with personal connections to the Marketplace, and seeing the immense success of this event, plans are already underway to host future events in support of Ukrianians and OurBorsch.

To learn more about the group and to support them please visit their website at

To hear about future events first, be sure to join our mailing list through the box below. 

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