Mongolia in Odessa cuisine: Plov with Black Sea mussels

Food Diplomacy: Mongolian tradition in Odessa’s cuisine

Plov is an Odessite version of the popular rice pilaf with seafood. Mussels are for the port city of Odessa a landmark product. Plov is a complex compound dish, consisting of a rice portion (the main component of the dish), onion-carrot-garlic mix (fried with butter and pepper) and seafood, especially large mussels.

According to a legend, mussels are one of the first seafood that people began to eat. There is evidence that the first recipes for preparing them appeared among the ancient Indians 12 thousand years ago.

Plov-pilaf is probaly a Central Asian dish. Its name has Persian roots (polov), or Hindi (pilaf), and there is even an older version in Sanskrit. All of them meaning “boiled rice”.

One thousand years ago approx., nomadic tribes from the Ukrainian Steppe settled where Odessa now lies. These tribes roamed the Steppe freely, never staying in one place long. In the 13th century, the Mongolian Golden Horde conquered the Kievan-Rus, a loose confederation of East Slavic and Scandinavian people, the base for following Ukrainian and Russian kingdoms. These conquerors are believed to have brought plov (rice cooked in seasoned broth). Though, the classic Mongolian plov is prepared with lamb or horse meat, over the years Odessa has put its own spin on the dish, soaking the rice with mussels to give it a rich, briny flavour.

Restaurants: Kotelok, Kumanets, Prichal #1.

Risoil buys a logistic company in the Port of Chernomorsk (Odessa region).

Risoil S.A. was granted permission by the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU) for the acquisition of a stake in the share capital of Boconti Ukraine LLC, “ensuring an excess of 50% of the votes in the company’s highest management body,” the statement says.

Risoil Group, the main operator in Chernomorsk Port, plans to invest $ 20 million in the equipment of technological lines to expand transshipment and storage capacity for both import and export cargo. The Company also envisages increasing the number of staff to 250 people.

Shota Starina Khajishvili

Risoil S.A. was founded in 2000 in Geneva (Switzerland) by the Ukrainian entrepreneur Shota Starina Khajishvili. It is the holding company of a group of agricultural manufacturing companies, in Odessa Region, dealing with:

  • Logistics of vegetable oils, bulk and general cargoes in the ports of the Black Sea;
  • Production and sale of vegetable oils;
  • Storage of grains and oilseeds in containers;
  • Transshipment, storage and processing of agricultural products.

The Group’s terminal in the Port of Chernomorsk, Risoil South, provided for the transshipment of a million tons of vegetable oil over 6 years. In April 2020, RISOIL acquired the equity rights of TK Exim Oil, a company which leases a liquid cargo base in the port of Chernomorsk, connected to the oil storage tanks of the Risoil terminal.

Bokonti Ukraine LLC is a company dealing with transhipment and storage of bulk cargo and operates one of the most important ore complexes in the Port of Chernomorsk. The ownership of Boconti Ukraine belongs to the Bulgarian entrepreneur Borislav Rumenov Borisov. The company is specialised in storage services. Other activities include:

  • wholesale of grain, untreated tobacco, seeds and animal feed;
  • wholesale of dairy products, eggs and edible oils and fats;
  • non-specialized wholesale of food, beverages and tobacco products;
  • cargo handling and other accompanying services in transportation.

The Company’s strengths:

  • transhipment of bulk cargoes – up to 2 million tons per year;
  • cargo loading and shipment on gondola cars in the import mode (200 gondola cars per day);
  • simultaneous open storage – up to 200,000 tons of bulk cargo;
  • acceptance of Handymax type vessels with a draft of up to 11.2 m, a length of up to 220 m and a carrying capacity of up to 50,000 tons;

The intensity of fleet processing is up to 20,000 tons per day. According to the State Property Fund, in 2019 the company paid 14.6 million hryvnias for rent in the Port of Chernomorsk.

Odessa artist: Born to Shimmer

About “Shimmering” – the favourite series of Anatoliy Gankevich.

Anatoliy Gankevich was born in Odessa. Anatoliy Gankevich is one of the leading representatives of contemporary art in Ukraine. The beginning of his artistic activity starts in 1990. He works in a unique technique – mosaics imitation. Showing what doesn’t really exist, replacing the agonizing reality, the artist manipulates the viewer as a magician. And this manipulation is intended to cause an emotion of happiness.

Mosaic language is attractive because it has many symbolic depths. The relationship between general and particular. As a consciousness: everyone has their own, but we have one in common. Also in the mosaic: each piece lives separately, but combining all the pieces is a big picture. This meaning is read, but unconsciously.

Group exhibition “Salon of the Outcast” / Odessa Navy Museum / 2017

Probably one of my favorite episodes is “Shimmering”. She is the cleanest. Again, here is the mosaic principle of the general and the particular. It is repeated in the plot. The sun is split into thousands of parts and is scattered in mosaic waves. I was in a very romantic mood then. I traveled a couple of years, collected material for the exhibition, discovered many seas and oceans.

Anatoliy Gankevich
“Odessa” / oil on canvas / 195 x 295 cm / 2011

Anatoliy began to experiment on the base of zinc white. He was very afraid that a thick layer of paint would crack, and after trial and some mistakes it suddenly turned out. Dividing the large format into small parts, it has already become cracked – craquelure. And as a result, each piece individually acquired the desired elasticity and was comfortably deformed.

“Sri Lanka” / oil on canvas / 110 x 200 cm / 2011

The technology developed by itself, or maybe I unconsciously looked for a new method, language, because I wasn’t a very good student in painting.

Anatoliy Gankevich
“Argentina” / oil on canvas / 150 x 200 cm / 2011

Anatoliy is studying all the time. When he touch on a particular topic, he dive deep into the material and pull out everything he need. So it turns out that all the work is about himrself.

“Color 10” (“Cherry Orchard”) / oil on canvas / 180 x 300 cm / 2013
“Color 9” (“Evening Cherry”) / oil on canvas / 140 x 180 cm / 2013

For example, Anatoliy Gankevich was once interested in food, the cult of food. And he thought to make the “The-Lesser-Dutchmen Paintings” big and monumental? 2 x 3 meters size in mosaic. As if the food was cut, cooked already at the creation of some supreme cook for a global feast. The first paintings was a copy, and food was removed from the subsequent copies and after that two objects remained, wine and bread – symbols of the sacrament and transfiguration.

″ Still life 1″ / oil on canvas / 200 x 300 cm / 1992

In my approach, first I try to “see.”

That means feeling the state, atmosphere, smell, feeling the image, and then looking for plastic and color solutions and crushing everything into pieces. Pixelization is a compression, reduction, optimization, simplification of information for the speed of perception. And his mosaic technology is much faster than classic monumental. It is simplified, but the effect remains the same.

Anatoliy Gankevich

“Shimmering” is about light and reflection – the basis of perception, the foundation of our psyche. Each glint, particle, is a separate, small, rough, distorted reflection of a perfectly rounded sun that appears on the surface of the sea and disappears after some time.

“Brazil” / oil on canvas / 200 x 150 cm / 2011
“Iranian carpet” / oil on canvas / 196 x 295/2014

Artists, creating works, in my opinion, are solving only their personal tasks. But these tasks are universal and can resonate with the viewer, affect his personal problems and cause interest.

Anatoliy Gankevich

Bored & Horny

An interdisciplinary project by Dima Erlikh

On Friday, June 5, at 18:00, an exhibition of Odessa artist Dima Erlikh “Bored & Horny” will open at the Odessa Museum of Modern Art.

The project is conceived as interdisciplinary and includes a visual part, sound design, floristic compositions and a series of performances by Odessa musicians and DJs. The opening party will feature: Lu Joyce, Potreba and Vybukhivka.

“Bored & Horny” is the second personal project of Dima Ehrlich, whose creative method is to highlight acute social manifestations, aesthetizing and mixing them in his works. Among his interests are painting of mannerism, the work of David Hockney, underground music, plants and masks. The project asks a rhetorical question:

“Are you excit when you are bored?”

Everyone can answer it in their own way, and this is the essence.

“In my work I often use masks and OSB boards. This is a kind of interpretation of the analysis of personality which is the shortest path to yourself. I combine the lighthearted softness of Hockney’s creativity with respect to the hard and emotionally tense subjects of religious painting of mannerism with the technique of deconstructing the surrounding space: fragments of a board, plants, light, sound, geometry ”

Dima Ehrlich
Work of Dima Erlikh from “New Dreams” series for the Forbes Ukraine Art project ” The New Ukrainian Dream”

“The lack of faces behind a multi-colored mask is an attempt to get away from an obsessive personality, thereby providing the viewer with the opportunity to represent anyone in the plot of paintings and installations. It was important for me to show Dima’s artistic practice in the project, which has recently been closely associated with underground music. I think it will be an interesting experience for the artistic environment of Odessa ”

Andrey Siguntsov, curator of Odessa Museum of Modern Art
Andrey Siguntsov

The opening and musical event will take place in the courtyard of the museum, the entrance to the exhibition will be carried out in groups of 15 people to avoid a large crowd of people.

The exhibition runs from June 5 to July 5. Entrance to the opening is free, in the following days the cost of the admission ticket is 40 UAH.

Kuris Manor future pearl of Odessa region

Restorers are trying to bring a second life into the “pearl of architecture” and turn it into one of the main attractions of the Odessa region!

A little-known castle is located in the Odessa region – it is called Kurisov Manor, although the owners themselves named it Pokrovsky.

Kurisov Manor was built by the soldier Ivan Kuris, under the command of Suvorov, who became famous during the 2nd Turkish War. Ivan built the estate, which he named in honour of the first Orthodox Church on the Turkish side – “Pokrovskoye”. Construction lasted about 10 years, and in 1820 the world saw a surprisingly beautiful masterpiece of architecture, which was lucky to belong to one family all the years.

Kurisov Manor, beginning of the XX century. Photo: www.sergekot.com

Elements of Gothic, Moorish architecture, Turkish minarets. They say that the architect was inspired by the Vorontsov Palace in Alupka, Crimea.

Grandson of Ivan Kuris

The architect of the Manor was an outstanding Nikolai Konstantinovich Tolvinsky – the author of many Odessa masterpieces of architecture, including the buildings of the Odessa National Medical University and the new mud bath of the sanatorium “Kuyalnik”.

After the October Revolution, the Kurisov manor was looted, the remains of the landowners were thrown out of the family crypt in the field. In Soviet times, the estate was occupied by an agricultural school.

In the summer of 1990, during a thunderstorm, a lightning hit the Palace. Naturally, a fire started. Since then, the palace has been a skeleton without a roof. After the fire, the remains of the palace were considered unsuitable for restoration.

For almost 25 years, the magnificent Kuris Manor has been gradually collapsing. Some residents of Petrovka tried to pull away stones as a building materials. And the ruins have become a popular attraction – tourists from all over Ukraine come here.

In June 2013, a monument of architecture at an auction was purchased by a deputy of the regional council and businessman Valery Kondratyuk with the goal of restoring it in its original form. The price was over one million hryvnias. However, according to experts, the restoration of the Manor will cost at least three million euros.

I am sure that when the restoration is complited- Kurisov Manor and Petrovka village in general will become a real tourist pearl of the Odessa region

Valeriy Kondratyk

And even in the current dilapidated state, the Kuris Manor attracts tourists and, most notably, filmmakers!

Łódź (Poland) Sister City of Odessa

We thank the Business Development and International Relations Bureau City of Łódź Office for offering this article.


A unique advantage of Łódź is its central location. Thanks to its location both in the heart of Poland and in the centre of Europe, at the intersection of the trans-European transport corridors running north-south (Scandinavia – Adriatic) and East-West (Moscow – Berlin), Łódź is one of the best connected cities in the region and a high potential hub.

The well-developed road system is supported by effective rail connections with all major cities in Poland. Łódź also has one of the biggest rail trans-shipment terminals in Poland and offers a direct regular railway cargo connection with Chengdu in China, in this way taking part in the Belt and Road Initiative.

There are two airports nearby Łódź: the Reymont International Airport, reachable within 10 minutes by car from the city centre, and the Warsaw Chopin Airport, reachable within 90 minutes, offering flights to more than 100 destinations all around the world. Apart from that, about 100 km from Łódź, a new Central Polish Airport (main transportation centre combining air, rail and road traffic) is to be built in the very near future.


Until recently perceived as the city of factories (known as the “textile industry kingdom” or the “Polish Manchester”), Łódź is currently the third largest city in Poland and a modern city, open to changes and undergoing constant transformations. Its industrial and cosmopolitan past defined the unique character of the city.

Łódź is a city with an unusual history. Even though it was granted town privileges in 1423, it was not only until the 1820s that it started growing considerably, attaining the economic significance. Within just 60 years, Łódź underwent a massive change. The tiny commune of artisans was in the 1850s turned into a powerful industrial centre with a population of around half a million in 1910.

Nothing illustrates the dynamic growth of Łódź during the industrial revolution better than a 20-fold increase in population which Łódź observed between 1850 and 1900. The pace and the scope of the Łódź’s progress in these years can only be compared with the fastest growing cities in the world in that time, such as Manchester, Chicago, Los Angeles or Yokohama.


After the period of the economic and political transformation in the 1980s and the 1990s, the difficult situation on the labour market together with the crisis in the local textile industry contributed to the weakening of the city’s prestige. 

However, despite those challenges, Łódź has not lost its most valuable attributes: strong industrial traditions, excellent location and renowned universities. Today, the city attracts international investors from such sectors as: BPO/SSC, ITC, logistics, home appliances, biotechnology and innovative textile industry. 

In recent years, Łódź has also experienced a large-scale process of urban regeneration and of adapting the city’s old industrial tissue to the present times. Thanks to the implementation of the project, entire industrial buildings complexes or even whole districts, such as the New Centre of Łódź (Nowe Centrum Łodzi) were given a new life. Thus, today, historical post-industrial red-brick interiors, transformed in modern co-working areas, host innovative and creative industries.


Although Łódź is already second greenest city in Poland (with green spaces constituting almost 19 percent of its area), the city continues to develop and renovate its green spaces. Łódź is also the coordinator of the nation-wide EKOstrategia project aimed at developing environmental solutions for the cities, and in 2024 will be the organizer of the Expo Horticultural with the “Nature of the City” as the main theme of the exhibition.

Łódź is the heart of creative industry, clubbing, art events and festivals. It is in Łódź that the Polish film industry has developed and the world-famous Łódź Film School (with Andrzej Wajda, Roman Polański and Krzysztof Kieślowski among its graduates) was established.

The attractiveness of the city is also increasingly appreciated by the tourism sector: in 2019, Łódź was recognised in the Lonely Planet’s “Best in Travel” ranking as one of the best travel destinations, overtaking, among others, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Maldives or Houston.


The cooperation agreement between Łódź and Odessa was signed on 7 May 1993. Over the years, many joint projects have been implemented, like:

  • the participation of representatives of Łódź in the International Conference of Mayors of the partner cities, entitled “In the Third Millennium Without Wars and Brutality”;
  • the participation of Łódź’s athletes in the International Coastal Race organized in Odessa;
  • the participation of disabled children from Odessa in the International Swimming Meetings.

In Odessa there were also events promoting Polish culture, such as: the “10th Polish Film Festival”, in 2009, organized by the City of Łódź and the Museum of Cinematography, or an exhibition of graphics from the collection of the City Art Gallery in Łódź entitled “Between Heaven and Earth”, in 2018.


The Łódź economic guide: https://uml.lodz.pl/files/public/dla_biznesu/investlodz/folder_21x21_EN_V_2019__1_.pdf

Łódź for weekend: https://uml.lodz.pl/files/lot/public/user_upload/Lodz_na_Weekend_PL-EN.pdf
Russian/Ukrainian version: https://uml.lodz.pl/files/lot/public/user_upload/LodzNW__ua_ru_net.pdf

SSUR. Reflection of the personality

Influential fashion industry player with Odessa roots

Becoming the forerunner of street fashion doesn’t happen overnight. Ruslan Karablin has been on the front lines for nearly two decades. A career filled with trials and tribulations, few regrets, and more achievements. Russ’s current advantage is being prepared at the proper time, while the planets are aligned.

Here’s where it gets interesting…

Russ was born in Odessa, the third largest city in the Ukraine, the “Brooklyn of the Former Soviet Union.” Moving to Italy when he was 5, Russ remembers a series of trips via planes, trains, and automobiles that eventually landed him in Coney Island. Though coming from a creative family, art and fashion were never thought to be a career to pursue. An education and profession in art & fashion seemed a fantasy. Art school seemed untouchable. Karablin experienced the shady workings of business when he entered the murky working class of Wall Street. However, Russ could not stay away from the downtown art scene.

The early 90’s is where Russ’s creativity flourished. SSUR, Rebel Ape, Natural Born and The Cut were all conceived in the early 90s. His reakthrough design earned him his first cease and desist and a lawsuit from an established corporation by adding extra leaves to an existing and prominent icon.

“It’s a reflection of who I am. My interests, travels, memories, observations, and opinions. Sex, politics, and protest has always been the mantra.”

Ruslan Karablin

Many brands claim to be the first to re-appropriate the Planet of the Apes, but rest assured this was a cultural pop phenomenon that Russ has lead. Continuing with the Russian opulence theme, Caviar Cartel was invented in the late 90s, which led to more mainstream collaborations.

With success come responsibilities and growing pains. In spite of it all, SSUR’s designs continue to maintain a leading demand in street fashion. Russ is focusing more on his fine art these days but will continue to deliver his messages to the masses via pop culture creations and garments. With flagship stores opening in Los Angeles and Shanghai, SSUR© and the Caviar Cartel will continue social disruption in the name of style.

“I’m working hard on giving people quality products that will stimulate
their thinking. Content that will beat them in the head instead of put them to sleep.”

Ruslan Karablin

The initial SSUR boutique opened on Spring Street in the late ‘90s to enormous cult success, becoming a local hangout of sorts for all his artist friends, who would post-up in the infamous back yard to politic about art, culture, clothing, and everything in between. This was during a time when the term “streetwear” was virtually non-existent, and it was said environment and cast of characters that would eventually lead to its inception.

SSUR Odessa

Now firmly immersed in the industry on both coasts, Karablin’s most recent projects are all about global expansion, like his latest solo show Trafficante.

With each passing day, SSUR continues to expand its reach and vision for longevity, working closely with some of the creative industry’s most innovative minds.

“Considering SSUR© is how I sign my art and pour my life’s work into it, I want to protect it. It’s more than a clothing brand in streetwear and has broader reach. I can’t just restart if this gets misrepresented and eventually watered down. This is my life, not just a job.”

Ruslan Karablin
SSUR “New York City 1977” Collection
 «COMME des FUCKDOWN» Collection

Recently SSUR set up two shops in Odessa:

34, Preobrazhenskaya str.

12 Arcadia Beach

“I’m Grand / t” Exhibition

May 30 opening of Lesya Verba’s personal exhibition “I’m Grand / t”

The first project of the Odessa Museum of Western and Eastern Art after the quarantine had been already announced before the epidemic, and today his subject is particularly relevant. The exhibition was prepared by Lesya Verba.

It is dedicated to those who found themselves in such a self-isolation and zeroing that we did not even dream of. It is an anthem of the strength of spirit of people who were able to take off not even from scratch, but from minus. Without a native language, with destroyed plans and uprooted roots.

The exhibition “I’mGrand / t” is dedicated to the legendary emigrants, who outlined the new face of the countries in which they created the future and realized their global world ideas.

Lesya Verba

“Meeting completely different people, I see in everyone a crazy potential, as well as reluctance, misunderstanding of its manifestation. Especially inspiring are those who have managed to reach a higher level of self-realization outside of geography or mental patterns. “

Lesya Verba
“Sonia Delaunay”, acrylic on wood, 2020

“See you on May 30 at the Odessa Museum of Western and Eastern Art. Winners will be waiting for you. Those who changed their destiny and the destiny of the country. Own and someone else’s. Without politics. The power of talent “

Lesya Verba

The exhibition will open on May 30 at 16:00 in the Odessa Museum of Western and Eastern Art – # Ragtime2.0. exhibition space.

The exhibition itself can be viewed in small groups, taking precautions. That’s why it’s worth taking a protective mask with you.

The museum is open on weekdays (except Wednesdays) 11:00 – 17:00, on weekends 11:00 – 18:00.

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