East Kingston NH Bucovina Cuisines chef cooks to support Ukraine

Kathleen D. Bailey

EAST KINGSTON — A native of Ukraine, Oksana Karcha has been using her skills as a professional chef to raise funds for the people who live in the war-torn country under attack by Russia. 

She said her “comfort food” sold at local farmers’ markets is making a difference in her home country. She recently heard from her friend Marianna, who is putting the funds she has donated to good use.  

“She helped one family who moved from the city to a house in the country,” Karcha recalls, standing in her commercial kitchen in East Kingston. “They planted a garden, and they started to raise chickens. Marianna asked them, ‘What do you guys need?’ and they said, ‘Two bags of food for our chickens.'”

Karcha, who runs and operates Bucovina Cuisines, said her home country wants a hand up, not a hand-out. She held a special food sale in April where “every penny, every dollar” went to her homeland. She’s planning another one in June. 

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Karcha, who also does catering under the Bucovina banner, learned to cook from her mother and grandmother. It became her life’s work when she studied at the College of Culinary Cuisine in Glyboka, Ukraine. 

“It has always been a dream of mine to own my own food business,” Karcha, 40, said. When she married Joe Oliveira, a family friend, and moved to the United States, she began to put that dream to work. She cooked at the former Zampa restaurant and the Holy Grail in Epping, and also at the Cochecho Country Club in Dover. 

Chef Oksana Karcha, owner of Bucovina Cuisines, has roots in Ukraine and through her food she is able to give some proceeds back to her country.

In recent years, she’s been cooking Ukrainian food in a rented commercial kitchen and selling her food at local farmers’ markets.

“I thought it would be a good idea to sell my type of cuisine because I didn’t see much variety at the markets,” Karcha said.  

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