Olena Braichenko [ Ukraine ]
Olena Braichenko was born in Kyiv in 1983. She studied history at the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv and did her PhD on ethno-culture in the Kyiv suburbs in the second half of the 20th/beginning of the. After several years of teaching history at schools and universities, she worked as a senior researcher at the Research Institute of Ukrainian Studies at the Institute of Cultural Studies until 2019. In 2016, Olena Braichenko co-founded їzhakultura, a scientific information project on important developments in the field of gastronomy that supports and promotes Ukrainian academics working in the field of food science. The project aims to preserve and publicize ancient culinary practices, ethnic recipes, and regional food practices. Other areas of activity include food anthropology, food safety, and the history of culinary culture. The project also includes the independent publishing house Їzhak, which specializes in gastronomy and publishes recipe books by Ukrainian master chefs, scientific interdisciplinary studies on food and food culture, and translated editions of gastronomic literature.
In her own research, Olena Braichenko seeks to understand the mechanisms by which a dish becomes native to another region, how it evolves in the process, and what its significance is in the respective cultural context. She thus made it her mission to trace the connection between Ukrainian cuisine and the culinary traditions of other cultures. In 2016, she published her book »Українське застілля« (tr: Ukrainian Feast), which is dedicated to the traditional family feasts and calendar holidays celebrated in Ukraine, as well as their culinary and ritual traditions. Braichenko’s most recent publication, »Україна. Їжа та історія« (2021; tr: Ukraine: Food and History) features Ukrainian cuisine as part of the country’s intangible cultural heritage. Recipes from different regions of Ukraine are presented which reflect its gastronomic diversity. Ukrainian cuisine reveals itself as a »living« cuisine, with dishes that can still be prepared today with all the available kitchen equipment. Readers are also shown the variations of flavors of the cuisine on a visual level through illustrations.
In 2016, Olena Braichenko was the author and co-curator of the special program »Къырым« (tr: Kyrym) about the cultural life of Crimean Tatars as part of the 6th »Книжковий арсенал« (tr: Book Arsenal) International Festival in Kyiv.
Since 2018 she has been a presenter and author of the radio program »У своїй тарілці« (tr: In My Plate) of the state broadcaster »UA:Культура« (tr: UA: Culture). She lives in Kyiv.