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If the cooking of the Caucasian region isn’t yet on your radar, it soon will be. For her new book, the Ukraine-born cookery star uncovers wild flavours from Georgia, Azerbaijan and beyond, and brings back stories from culinary paths less travelled. These gorgeous, flavour-packed recipes will give you a taste of what you’ve been missing.

Olia Hercules

book of the month.

LABOURS OF HERCULES Pounding with pestle and mortar, writing notes and folding dumpling dough
Dyushbara (Azerbaijani dumplings in broth), p72

A story of memories and inspiration

She has one of the most magnificent names this side of Hollywood and Olia Hercules’ rise to heroine status in the food-writing world couldn’t have been better scripted by a Tinseltown screenwriter. She was a young chef at a low ebb (a relationship breakup, living far from family back in Ukraine, having a young child to look after and a living to be earned…) when she began her first book, Mamushka. Writing the book, a collection of stories and recipes from her extended family in her home country of Ukraine, proved to be a sanity-saver and a lifeline. When it was accepted by a publisher, it became the catalyst for a whole new chapter of her life. Mamushka was an instant hit and her new book, Kaukasis, which is out on 10 August, has Hercules’ admirers licking their lips in anticipation of more exotic culinary adventures.

Olia wasn’t prepared for the success of Mamushka. “I’m still pinching myself big-time.” The best bit, she says, is the feedback she gets. “I’ve had letters from people all over the world. A woman in her eighties wrote to me from Australia. Her family, Ukrainian Jews, fled during World War II. She sent me this story about her life and her parents.

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About delicious. Magazine

Fire up the barbecue, our globetrotting August issue has burger recipes everyone will love and a spicy North African lamb from Berber & Q. Gather hungry friends for our summer menu from Provence, Olia Hercules’ recipes from Georgia and Azerbaijan, and Eleonora Galasso’s casual Italian supper. GBBO stars feature, too, with Martha Collison’s great bakes and Chetna Makan’s Indian street food. Plus, chill out with our no-cook midweek meals and a pull-out special of frozen desserts.