Celebrity chef's Ukraine charity kitchen destroyed by Russian missile

Tamara Hardingham-Gill, CNNUpdated 18th April 2022
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(CNN) — A Ukraine-based humanitarian kitchen linked to celebrity chef José Andrés has been destroyed by a Russian missile in the northeastern city of Kharkiv, according to the charity that runs it.
One of the restaurant partners of the World Central Kitchen (WCK) was struck on Saturday, according to the nonprofit kitchen's CEO Nate Mook, who confirmed the news on Twitter. He said four staff members had been injured in the blast.
"An update I hoped I'd never have to make. I'm at a @WCKitchen restaurant in Kharkiv, where less than 24 hours ago I was meeting with their amazing team," Mook wrote alongside a video of himself standing amongst burnt out cars and severely damaged buildings.
"This is the reality here -- cooking is a heroic act of bravery."
Frefighters at the scene after a Russian missile struck a restaurant partnered with the World Central Kitchen in the northeastern city of Kharkiv, Ukraine on Saturday April 16.
Frefighters at the scene after a Russian missile struck a restaurant partnered with the World Central Kitchen in the northeastern city of Kharkiv, Ukraine on Saturday April 16.
Felipe Dana/AP
The northeastern city of Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest, has been under regular heavy bombardment since Russia began its invasion more than six weeks ago.
On Sunday, Mook shared an update from Kharkiv, indicating that the injured staff "were doing well" and the restaurant team were in the process of moving "all food products & non-damaged equipment" to another location in the city.
"The work doesn't stop," he added.
Andrés has also taken to Twitter to address the strike, as well as provide an update on the well being of staff at the restaurant.
The Spanish chef has also spoken out against the Russian attacks and called for a halt to the fighting.
"Please stop killing civilians non-stop day and night. That's why people are afraid, that's why a lot of people are still in bunkers, its why many people, they don't want to be in the comfort homes and many nights, they go to the safety of the subway," he said. "That's why, again, this war needs to end."
Founded by Andrés in 2010, the WCK, an organization focused on providing meals in disaster and war zones, has been supplying food to Ukrainians since the start of the conflict, with units in around 30 cities across the country, according to its official website.
On April 15, Andrés shared a graphic detailing the scale of the organization's operation in Ukraine, including setting up over 300 restaurants and delivering over 300,000 meals a day.
"We believe that a plate of food is sometimes the beginning of a better tomorrow," Andrés says in a video posted on Sunday.
Top image: José Andrés. Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images