No magic recipe for the suffering in Ukraine, but a Cleveland chef will try to heal through food

Brandon Chrostowski of Edwin’s pairs with famous Ukrainian chef to provide comfort
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 11:08 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 25, 2023 at 1:00 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Chef Brandon Chrostowski is leaving Edwin’s and Edwin’s Too on Shaker Square to bring vegetable seeds to Ukraine from Chef’s Garden in Huron.

“I’ve got radishes, different types of lettuce, we’ve got red onions, you name it. They brought up seeds to feed a village of 700 people,” said Chrostowski.

Once there, Chrostowski will partner with one of Ukraine’s most famous chefs. Ievgen Klopotenko.

“Klopotenko has restaurants in Lviv and Kiev,” Chrostowski said. “He’s visiting people in bomb shelters, he’s making sure he gets to the people who are displaced. We’ll work side by side. That’s really important to show that work. It’s also to drop off some supplies to children’s hospitals and then also seeds we were fortunate enough to receive.”

It’s not Chrostowski’s first time to Eastern Europe to help.

Last March, he traveled to Poland on the Ukrainian border to help people fleeing the war-ravaged area.

“The strongest man or woman would cry three steps into these buildings because they were the size of a Costco or they were abandoned malls like Beachwood and imagine walking into that filled with women and children and the toughest human being is going to feel a certain weight so you know you’re where you’re supposed to be when your body reacts like that,” said Chrostowski.

He’s not just leaving his businesses, but also a wife and three little children.

“It’s what you’re supposed to do, man. I mean, like to me, it’s just, you feel called. Sometimes your body, maybe you’re called to feel some sort of way and never surrender to the fear of something to fulfill that calling. So I just feel a deeper call to be there, to deliver goods, to deliver food while I’m there to others and just be a part of making life a touch better in an awful situation we all see on tv in this war-torn country,” said Chrostowski.