In a brand new fortnightly column, celeb chef Steven Saunders, of The Willow Tree in Bourn, shares his tales and a recipe with us. This week, he discusses visiting the Ukrainian Embassy in Warsaw and attends a London hospitality occasion that helped to lift £200,000 for Ukraine.

Steven Saunders at the Willow Tree, Bourn. Picture: Keith Heppell
Steven Saunders on the Willow Tree, Bourn. Image: Keith Heppell

Welcome to my little column. I can be right here recurrently, sharing with you my private tales and my meals passions, together with what’s seasonal, what’s on development, what’s in and what’s out. I’m delighted to assist steer you in direction of do-it-yourself recipes that can be straightforward to organize at house.

On a private observe, final yr was a really tough yr for me. I misplaced my eating places in Spain, my marriage and my house in Covid occasions.

Nevertheless, it has made me stronger and extra decided to assist individuals particularly in occasions of hassle. I do know that all of us need to assist Ukraine indirectly. On Might 12, we’re holding our personal fundraising occasion, Dine4Ukraine, at The Willow Tree in Bourn. Tickets are actually obtainable by way of Eventbrite ( or e mail us on the deal with beneath.

All occasion income can be donated to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) working in Ukraine. Our goal is to lift £20,000 for Ukraine. It will be fantastic to see you there at this main Cambridgeshire fundraiser.

My enterprise associate Shaina and I not too long ago got here up with a easy resolution to assist war-torn refugees of Ukraine.

Steven Saunders at the Willow Tree, Bourn, with owner Shaina Galvin planning The Odessa Project to help refugees from Ukraine find jobs and new homes in the UK within the hospitality industry. Picture: Keith Heppell
Steven Saunders on the Willow Tree, Bourn, with proprietor Shaina Galvin planning The Odessa Mission to assist refugees from Ukraine discover jobs and new houses within the UK inside the hospitality business. Image: Keith Heppell

We name it The Odessa Project, a scheme to deliver secure houses with safe and well-paid jobs in hospitality to displaced Ukrainians.

The hospitality business, nationwide and native media, and extra importantly Ukrainian individuals themselves have embraced the challenge with open arms as a result of, in contrast to the federal government’s scheme, this one is secure as a result of resorts and eating places have HR groups who will defend them and supply welfare. Individuals’s non-public houses can’t present that.

Just lately, I visited Poland and met with the Ukrainian Embassy and final week we attended an enormous occasion in London at The Grosvenor Home sponsored by business leaders, to be a part of elevating round £200,000 for Ukraine.

Whereas in Warsaw, I visited central bus stations and prepare stations the place numerous the refugees reside. Tragically, so many have misplaced their houses and family members.

It was essential to be on the bottom to grasp what they’re going via and the way we are able to greatest assist them.

Steven Saunders with author and broadcaster Gyles Brandreth at a Ukraine fundraiser at The Grosvenor House London
Steven Saunders with writer and broadcaster Gyles Brandreth at a Ukraine fundraiser at The Grosvenor Home London

One of the best contribution I really feel we are able to finally make at current, past our fundraising, is to place continued strain on the federal government to enhance and open the visa course of to supply houses and jobs collectively as an permitted route into the UK.

We’ve got greater than 2,000 UK hospitality sponsors, prepared now, who want to be matched with displaced Ukrainians in search of a brand new life and a promise of greater than short-term ‘charity’ and state advantages. They repeatedly emphasised to me that will be their desire.

Again at house, this weekend I’m cooking for my girlfriend. She doesn’t eat a lot, and she or he doesn’t eat crimson meat, so what higher dish than the nationwide dish of Ukraine, Rooster Kyiv. This do-it-yourself model is basically one thing particular and comparatively easy. I hope you’ll do that incredible recipe and fly the flag for Ukraine. It will be fantastic to see you posting photos of your personal Kyiv on social media – I can be watching!

I’m again in two weeks, the place I can be sharing a few of my award-winning tapas recipes.

Recipe: Rooster Kyiv

Steven Saunders' Chicken Kyiv
Steven Saunders’ Rooster Kyiv


  • 4 hen breasts, skinless
  • 100g of plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2 eggs overwhelmed
  • 200g of (gluten free) Panko breadcrumbs
  • Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • Tender stem broccoli (or asparagus) to garnish
  • A little bit hen inventory gravy to complete
  • Pea shoots and garlic cress to garnish

For the filling

8 cloves of garlic peeled, chopped and minced

150g of unsalted butter

100g of plain flour

Some chopped herbs – parsley and even tarragon


 For the filling, which may be made upfront, soften the unsalted butter in a saucepan and add the garlic into it. Prepare dinner for 2 minutes, then add the flour and prepare dinner out for an extra two minutes and add the herbs. Proceed to prepare dinner till thickened.

 Cool the combo then roll the butter into an extended go online a sheet of cling movie after which wrap tightly. Place within the freezer.

 Whereas the butter units arduous, butterfly the hen breasts. Place every breast between 2 sheets of cling movie and hit gently with a rolling pin till even. Put within the fridge till wanted.

 As soon as the butter has frozen, unwrap it and lower into 4 equal parts. Put the butter into the center of every hen breast, then roll the meat round it evenly, in order that it cooks completely.

 Warmth your deep-fat fryer to 190°C and preheat an oven to 180°C.

 Dip the hen in flour, then the overwhelmed egg, then the gluten free breadcrumbs. Repeat this course of twice to make sure they’re sturdy sufficient to carry the garlic butter inside.

 Deep-fry the hen two at a time for 3 minutes, till the breadcrumbs flip golden brown, then switch to the oven and end cooking for an extra 10 minutes.

 Serve the Kyiv entire to every visitor on somewhat mashed potato and a drizzle of sauce made like a gravy from hen inventory.

 Garnish with pea shoots and garlic cress (as per image). Get pleasure from!

Learn extra

Chef Steven Saunders and The Willow Tree owner work on campaign to help Ukrainian refugees

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