Arlington chef helps provide thousands of meals for Ukrainian refugees in Poland

An Arlington restaurant owner and chef is back home Wednesday night after spending weeks on the front lines of the Ukrainian refugee crisis in Poland.

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Chef David Guas, owner of Bayou Bakery, traveled to the Polish border with DC chef and humanitarian José Andrés' World Central Kitchen with the mission of feeding Ukrainians in peril.

Guas made meals for thousands of refugees, working 12 to 14 hours a day and leaving his business and family behind in Virginia. He tells FOX 5 that coming face to face with people who've lost everything made his job of cooking food mean so much more.

"With all of those emotions, of course, tapped into this sort of effort, because by no choice of theirs, people were one day doing normal things and then the next day, they were running for their lives, so yeah it was a pretty emotional situation like that," he says.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: DC chef José Andrés' World Central Kitchen arriving in Poland to assist people of Ukraine

While Guas was away, Bayou Bakery launched a fundraiser for World Central Kitchen's mission in Ukraine, and so far, they've raised $25,000.

For Guas, a New Orleans native who helped his own city recover from Hurricane Katrina, cooking meals for Ukrainian refugees was a strong reminder that you can always make a big difference in small ways.

"We take for granted being able to have our next meal and know where it’s coming from," he tells FOX 5. "We were witnessing people coming across that had everything they had on their back. And eating? That wasn’t even part of their plan, they were just getting out." 

World Central Kitchen was started in 2010 by Andrés. The organization estimates it as served more than one million meals to refugees since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began last month.


Bayou Bakery has decided to keep its fundraiser going, and they are still taking donations.