Olia Hercules was born in the south of Ukraine in 1984. She left her home town Kakhovka at the age of twelve, when she moved to Cyprus. After finishing school and then university in the UK, she settled in London and in 2008, decided to quit her job as a film business reporter to pursue her dream to cook for a living.
Olia trained at the renowned Leiths School of Food and Wine and then worked as a chef de partie in restaurants, including Ottolenghi, and as a recipe developer before landing a book deal for Mamushka, a cookbook that celebrates her family recipes, from Ukraine and Moldova to Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan.
Her second cookbook is called Kaukasis: a culinary journey through Georgia, Azerbaijan and beyond. It was published on August 10th in the UK and Australia and in October 2017 in the US, Canada, Germany and Poland. Her third cookbook, Summer Kitchens, was published in Spring 2020.
Olia lives in London with her son Sasha and husband Joe, writing, cooking and feeding her unceasing curiosity by researching food culture and culinary traditions of countries less explored. She is currently raising money for the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine via the #CookForUkraine campaign.