Olia Hercules

Olia Hercules is a London-based Ukrainian chef, food writer and food stylist born in 1984.

Early lifeEdit

Olia is a Ukrainian born chef of Russian and Bessarabian (Moldovan)origin. She spent her early childhood in the town of Kakhovka, in southern Ukraine. Her father is an entrepreneur and her mother a hotel manager.[1] She moved to Cyprus at the age of 12 where the climate was deemed better for her asthma [2] and went to an English school. She settled in England at the age of 18 to study international relations and Italian at Warwick University before getting masters in Russian language and culture. Beside her native Russian, she also speaks English, Italian and some Ukrainian.[3]


She started working as a film journalist but amidst the 2008 economic crisis decided to change careers. Olia Hercules began working as a chef after completing a course at Leith's School of Food and Wine in 2010.[4][5] She wrote for Jamie's magazine and was a food stylist for various publications.[6] She then went on to work at the London restaurant, Ottolenghi's as a chef-de-partie.[7][8] She has appeared on Saturday Kitchen.[9][10] And now Sunday brunch (19/07/20).

Personal lifeEdit

She married a Greek-Cyriot man in her early twenties and kept his last name ‘Hercules’.[11] She then had a son with fellow chef Tom Catley[12] and is now married to food photographer Joe Woodhouse with whom she shares another son in London.[13]


She has written the recipe book Mamushka which is a collection of Eastern European recipes. 2017 saw Hercules' second book published.[14]

  • Mamushka: Recipes From Ukraine & Beyond (Octopus Publishing, 2015)[15]
  • Kaukasis: The Cookbook – A Journey Through the Wild East (Octopus Publishing, 2017)[14]
  • Summer Kitchens Inside Ukraine's Hidden Places of Cooking and Sanctuary (Weldon Owen ,July 14, 2020) ISBN 1681885700



External linksEdit