At the time of filming Olia Hercules had just written Mamushka – a celebration of the food and flavours of the wild East – from the Black Sea and Baku to Armenia and Azerbaijan. In the film we follow Olia preparing and then hosting a pop-up at Mrs Atha’s in Leeds – in her own words ‘making people happy’ as they break bread together and in the process helping people in her beloved Ukraine. This is real seat-of-the-pants stuff. Olia has one menu in mind but loves to adapt and add according to the people and inspiration around her. Here, working with helpers from the local Gujarati restaurant she decides to add tamarind to the beetroot salad. In her book, Mamushka, Olia talks about wanting, through her food, to give ‘the messy geo-political mosaic a human face’. Watching the story of the pop-up in this film, and in The Wild East Part 2, is that process on a plate.