Photograph: Kris Kirkham
Olia Hercules was born in Ukraine and lived in Cyprus before moving to the UK to study a BA in Italian, followed by an MA in Russian and English. She worked as a reporter for Screen International before her interest in food as an amateur reached its apogee and she decided to retrain to be a chef at Leith's School of Food and Wine. She kicked off her culinary career working at Fulham's Union Market with Aaron Craze before landing her dream job as chef-de-partie at Ottolenghi's. After having her son, and filming for The Food Network, Olia began writing for Sainsbury's, The Recipe Kit, and The Guardian.
"I confess I think i have a slight crush on Olia Hercules, well at least on her cooking. Her Mamushka cookbook. . . is a handsomely produced work of well-crafted recipes (who knew beetroot broth could look so beautiful?) Highly recommended." Observer Food Monthly
"Packed full of vibrant Ukranian recipes, Olia Hercules. . . will enchant your kitchen this summer." Grazia
“Finally. Been waiting for this book all year. mamushka by @oliahercules will be *the* book of 2015. Stunning” – Dan Doherty
“Gorgeous #Mamushka by @OliasGastronomy SO interesting! Ukrainian, Moldovian, Georgian recipes & more!” – Sabrina Ghayour
"Going to make lots of these dishes” – Henry Dimbleby
“So beautiful” – Dan Lepard
“So many glorious recipes. This year’s Honey & Co., mark my words” – Fiona Beckett
“Wow!” – Thane Prince
Olia is a Leith’s-trained chef, recipe writer and food stylist. She honed her cooking skills in the fiery kitchens of Ottolenghi after which she worked as a freelance recipe tester and developer for a variety of food magazines, including Sainsbury’s and Jamie’s, and appeared in a Food Network cookery show Red, Hot and Yummy.
In her most recent role, she helped launch online start up The Recipe Kit, writing, testing and editing over 400 recipes in seven months, and styling more than 130 dishes.
Her recipes are regularly featured in the 10 Best column of The Guardian’s Cook supplement and The Observer named her their Rising Star of 2015 in the Food category and she is the author of the bestselling cookbook MAMUSHKA.