Olia Hercules releases second cookbook, Kaukasis

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 5th September 2017

Ukrainian chef and food writer Olia Hercules has released her second cookbook:  'Kaukasis: a culinary journey through Georgia, Azerbaijan and beyond'.

After the financial crisis in 2008, Olia Hercules quit her job working as a film business reporter and went to train at Leith's School of Food and Wine. She then worked as a chef de partie in several restaurants in London, and as a recipe developer, before getting her first book deal.  

Olia Hercules' books

Olia's first book Mamushka was a celebration of her diverse eastern European history and the female cooks in her family who inspired her love for cooking. Olia was named the Observer's Rising Star of 2015 and prides herself on seasonal, creative cuisine. 

Olia Hercules, Kaukasis book

Olia Hercules 

Photography by
Elena Heatherwick

What is Kaukasis?

Her second book title Kaukasis, comes from the ancient Scythian language, meaning “snowy mountain top”. The book is a celebration of the Caucasus - the area bridging Europe and Asia including Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Iran, Russia and Turkey. There are over 100 recipes showcasing Olia's diverse culinary background - examples include like quince stuffed with lamb & caramelized shallots and Armenian “cognac” profiteroles.

Chapters are split into the following sections: 'roots shoots leaves & all', 'flour & ash', 'beasts from land, sea & air', 'pain be gone!', 'sweet in the tooth'. Many of the recipes featured are vegetarian. Although not vegetarian herself, Olia enjoys cooking dishes that are.

Olia said: "In our modern world we can get tomatoes, cucumbers, and herbs all
year round. Of course, you can too in the Caucasus, but people still tend to eat seasonally. The first fresh vegetables of
spring, the first herbs, the first sweet prickly cucumber – these ingredients are never better to enjoy than immediately
after the long winter months.”

Throughout Kaukasis, Olia shares stories about her travel across the region and the inspiration behind each vibrant, earthy dish, many of which can be traced back to the Soviet era. 

(EDIT: COMPETITION NOW CLOSED)

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 5th September 2017

Olia Hercules releases second cookbook, Kaukasis