With Ukraine under attack by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces, people around the world are doing whatever they can to provide support to countless Ukrainian families in need. Among those raising money to help are Binh Douglas and Sean Curneen, owners of Main Prospect in Southampton.
“For me, and I think I echo some of what Sean thinks, the only thing that I know how to do is serve food, serve a dinner,” Douglas says. “How can I positively affect the community or people who need that help through what I do?”
The answer: By creating a limited-time-only Ukrainian menu and cocktail at Main Prospect that will see 100% of net profits donated to renowned chef José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen (WCK), a nonprofit that is providing fresh meals to Ukrainians fleeing the country, as well as many still in Ukraine. Having long followed Andrés’ efforts to feed people in the wake of disasters across the globe, Curneen reports that selecting WCK as the recipient of their fundraising initiative was an “absolute no-brainer” because Andrés has proven himself a vetted ally in these situations. “When things like this hit, you have all these things that pop up — donate here, donate there. For us, we don’t feel like we have to track down where our money is going. We know where it’s going.”
Located at the former home of the community-oriented John Duck’s restaurant, Main Prospect also prioritizes its community, which Douglas notes has a considerable number of Eastern European families. For this initiative, they reached out to these locals to identify their favorite Ukrainian dishes. “We wanted to find some things that folks might remember, might know, might think of once they see it and that’s accessible from that culture,” he says. Once they had their feedback, they took the list to Chef de Cuisine John Trzcinski, who crafted an authentic menu consisting of items such as beet soup, pierogies, chicken Kyiv, stuffed cabbage and potato pancakes with caviar.
The menu is paired with a specialty cocktail called The Zelenskyy, created by Brian Tupper using Ukrainian Heritage Rye Vodka. The drink sports the blue and yellow of Ukraine’s flag with blueberry and lemon peel on a skewer.
Main Prospect’s owners hope that Hamptons residents who have been looking for a way to support Ukraine but aren’t sure how to go about it, may visit the restaurant and inquire about the Ukrainian menu. “It’s the community that’s putting the money in, we’re just facilitating it,” Curneen notes.
“We felt the overwhelming desire and need to do something,” Douglas adds. “And I’m glad that folks are rallying behind it.”