Olia Hercules is a Leith’s-trained chef, recipe writer and food stylist who honed her skills in the fiery kitchens of Ottolenghi. Born in Southern Ukraine in 1982, and with a family history that stretches from Siberia to Azerbaijan, Olia’s cooking is infused with the passion and resourcefulness of the female members of her family – her mother, aunts and grandmothers.
These are the women who inspired her first cookbook Mamushka, published in 2015. A celebration of dishes from all over Eastern Europe, it is brimming with recipes that draw on ingredients from her childhood – from the wild sorrel picked from the surrounding countryside to the home-grown vegetables in her mother’s garden – along with British and international influences that reflect Olia’s more recent history (she’s lived in the UK over 10 years) and her constant exploration of new flavours and ingredients.
Kaukasis The Cookbook was published in 2017. In it Olia, again, brilliantly navigates the space between tradition and creating something new. Olia is currently working on her third book, Summer Kitchens due to be published by Bloomsbury in 2020.
Mamushka: Recipes from Ukraine & beyond is published by Mitchell Beazley.
Kaukasis The Cookbook: The culinary journey through Georgia, Azerbaijan and beyond is published by Mitchell Beazley.