Remarks by Chargé d’Affaires Kristina Kvien at the U.S. – Ukraine Cook-Off

Remarks by Chargé d’Affaires Kristina Kvien at the U.S. – Ukraine Cook-Off, Part of the “An American Culinary Experience – Breaking Down American Food Stereotypes” Program
Kyiv, June 4, 2019

Well good evening, thank you very much. Thank you for the invitation. These are my favorite types of events: food and wine. What could not be good about that? And I was also explaining to a couple folks that this is my very first public event in Kyiv so thank you for hosting me at this. I arrived in the city one week ago today, so I’m almost over jetlag and I’m really happy to be here.

So when I first started telling folks back in the United States that I was headed to Kyiv, those who knew where Kyiv was on a map said, “Oh, you know Ukraine has really turned into a foodie haven?” And I must say I was a little surprised. The last time I was here was about ten years ago and I would say while a wonderful city, I would not have called it a foodie haven back then. But since I’ve been here I’ve already been to a couple places and I’m really excited to try more because I think my friends were correct: it has become a foodie haven in Ukraine.

So first, I would like to introduce our two fabulous chefs. We have Christopher Williams…Christopher, raise your hand.

Christopher is from Texas. Houston, Texas. And then we have Yurii Priyemskii. Yurii?

And Yurii is from Kyiv so we have the best of both worlds here tonight. There are also many others who have been involved including Ukrainian and U.S. businesses, our wonderful Embassy team who I think you’ll have a chance to meet tonight, and our local partner Bridges. Thank you very much for participating today.

So when you ask people outside the United States, “What do you think of when you think of American food?,” a lot of times they may say a big hamburger chain. I won’t name any particular one. Or they might name food that’s in a box that you can buy in a supermarket. And while all those foods are wonderful and all those chains are wonderful, I think we can highlight tonight that the United States also has an amazing array of whole food cooked from fresh and sustainably sourced ingredients.

I hope you were able to see the slideshow as you were coming in. The pictures for the slide show were actually taken by Ukrainians who visited Alaska to see how Alaskan seafood is caught and processed.

And the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute donated the fresh seafood and fish you will have tonight by our chefs.

I think tonight you’ll also see examples of Ukraine’s status as an agricultural powerhouse. And both the United States and Ukraine are really strong producers in agriculture and we consider ourselves partners in that, not rivals.

So enjoy. I hope that you enjoy the food of our two wonderful chefs and see the similarities and differences in U.S. high quality food and perhaps talk with some of your colleagues to see about new opportunities for collaboration.

Дякую and thank you.