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“Friends Cook” for children for the 14th time!

The “Friends of the World” Association together with the “Heart for Hearts” Foundation are launching the 14th edition of the “Friends Cook” Charity Dinner. This year’s event will take guests on the culinary journey to sunny Greece with Mediterranean dishes prepared by two exquisite Greek chefs: Miltos Karoubas and Teo Vafidis. 

The charity evening will be honored by the presence of celebrities Zygmunt Chajzer, Tatiana Okupnik and the Stage Fever music band. A band of dancers will also be flown in especially for the dinner participants straight from Greece, providing fun and dance animation in a truly Greek atmosphere. During the event, as always, the assembled guests will raise funds to support children in need. This time, the proceeds from the tickets and an auction, including Robert Lewandowski’s T-shirt, will go primarily to support the Children’s Surgery and Oncology Clinic at the M. Konopnicka University Paediatrics Centre in Łódź and the Children’s Friends Association. The initiative was held under the honorary patronage of Mrs Hanna Zdanowska, Mayor of Łódź, and Mrs Niki Kamba, Ambassador of the Hellenic Republic in Poland. 

The Friends of the World Association has been organizing charity dinners in Lodz for 14 years. This initiative is one of the activities of the Association created by a group of active, enterprising women who decided to combine business success with charity work. The project consists of organizing dinners for 300-400 people, whose meals are served each year by a well-known and well-liked chef. The proceeds from the tickets, as well as from the auction held during the event, go entirely towards helping the needy and saving lives. The Friends of the World Association is a pro bono, non-profit-making organisation, which would not be possible without the sensitivity and support of big-hearted people. This year, the initiative is once again joined by the “Heart for Hearts” Foundation, which supports Lodz teaching hospitals and all initiatives to activate medical staff. 

The entire amount collected this year during the ‘Tastes of Greece’ Charity Dinner – from the purchase of tickets and the auction held during the event – will be earmarked in its entirety for the purchase of a digital thoracic drainage system for the Children’s Surgery and Oncology Clinic of the M. Konopnicka University Paediatrics Centre in Łódź, and also to support the Children’s Friends Association, for which computer equipment will be purchased to equip seven facilities. This year’s initiative will also support the Ohana animal shelter. 

The “Tastes of Greece” dinner will be held at the Vienna House Hotel by Wyndham Andel’s Łódź on Saturday evening, 18 November, at 7 p.m. The initiative will be honored with the presence of the stars of the evening – Zygmunt Chajzer, who will host the entire event, and singer Tatiana Okupnik, who, together with her band and the Stage Fever band, will provide the musical setting for the evening. Especially for the “Friends of the World”, a group of 8 dancers will fly in from Greece, the Cultural Association of Melissochori “Agios Dimitrios”, who will provide Greek-style entertainment and dance animation. The dinner will be opened with an artistic performance by Polish opera singer Anna Cymmerman, who will present a piece by Greek diva Maria Callas. The year 2023 has been proclaimed by UNESCO as the Year of Maria Callas, which is why, as part of the 100th anniversary of her birth, the Friends of the World Association will honor her memory with this musical accent. There will be special guests at the dinner. Among those present will be representatives of the Embassy of Greece, as well as Andrzej Seweryn – Polish theater and film actor, theater director, and general manager of the Arnold Szyfman Polish Theatre in Warsaw, photographer Jacek Poremba, popular graphic artist Andrzej Pągowski, and artist-painter Jull Dziamski. 

During the evening, there will also be an auction with attractive items such as Robert Lewandowski’s jersey or unique charity porcelain sets – mugs and plates – marked Exclusive Limited Edition with author drawings by Andrzej Seweryn, Teo Vafidis and Miltos Karoubas.

Culinary masters Miltos Karoubas and Teo Vafidis are responsible for the menu of the 14th ‘Tastes of Greece’ Charity Dinner this year.  Chef Miltos Karoubas is World Ambassador of Greek Gastronomy at Greek Taste Beyond Borders, Ambassador of Chefs Sans Frontieres in Greece, World Ambassador of Greek Gastronomy at the Greek Chefs’ Club, former President of the Greek Chefs’ Association, member of ITQI (International Taste and Quality Institute), based in Belgium, and a certified judge of Bocuse d’or and Worldchefs. Teo Vafidis, in turn, is head of the chefs’ club of the Greek-Polish office. For the past 15 years, he has been organizing the Greek Cuisine Festival, which takes place during the largest HORECA exhibition in Poland. He participates as a judge in the most important culinary competitions in Poland, but also all over the world. He organizes Greek cuisine lessons in schools in Poland, participates in many charity events and promotes Greek cuisine through tourism programmes organized in Greece by Poland. He was honored by Unesco for the promotion of culture and Greek gastronomy in Europe. 

Let us recall that in previous editions of the ‘Friends are Cooking’ initiative, a plethora of Poland’s most esteemed and well-known chefs took part, including Karol Okrasa, Robert Sowa, Andrzej Polan, Michel Moran, Magda Gessler, Robert Makłowicz and Pascal Brodnicki. The dishes served are prepared according to the unique recipes of the stars of the culinary art and made by the chefs of Vienna House by Wyndham Andel’s Łódź. A proposal of this year’s menu and all the details of the event are available on the website of the Friends of the World Association.

“I am honored to be able to invite you for the 14th time to an extraordinary event, the organization of which is possible thanks to people with big hearts. Once again, we are coming together to raise funds to support children. And this is a very tangible help. Thanks to the amount collected during last year’s initiative, we purchased a pediatric video endoscope for nearly PLN 80,000, an ultrasound machine for the Lodz Hospice for PLN 55,000 and a Biofeedback set for the Gift of the Heart Foundation for nearly PLN 24,000. This is a huge success, which we hope to repeat this year as well. I believe that thanks to the involvement of our Friends it will be possible,” says Joanna Nordyńska, Vice-President of the Friends of the World Association. – During this year’s dinner we will also present the ‘Amicus’ statuette – a special award of the ‘Friends of the World’ Association dedicated to people who, thanks to their sensitivity and readiness to help, have made a special contribution to the activities of our organization. This year, we will honor Andrzej Seweryn, who has supported us unstintingly for many years, and the statuette will also go to chefs Milotos Karoubas and Teo Vafidis, as well as dancers from Greece,” – adds Joanna Nordyńska.

Sylwia Ziemacka
Sylwia Ziemacka
“I believe our unique selling point is that we focus on what brings us together. Poland Weekly offers something you will not find anywhere else: a truly international and unifying perspective focused on content that builds cooperation and mutual understanding. This attitude doesn't make us naïve, but it allows us to focus on mutual understanding and a search for solutions. There are so many new challenges that we are all facing, such as energy transformation, climate change and supply chain disruption, to name but a few. By working together and sharing good practices, we can achieve so much more.”