Home Food: Recipes to Comfort and Connect

Olia Hercules

Home Food: Recipes to Comfort and Connect
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Home Food: Recipes to Comfort and Connect

Olia Hercules

In her most personal book yet, Olia Hercules distills a lifetime of kitchen curiosity into her 100 most loved recipes. She draws on her broad influences from all the places she has called home: her childhood in Ukraine; her years in Cyprus and Italy; her simple, plant-centric family meals in London; and the special festive recipes she has gleaned along the way.

The recipes are nostalgic like Potatoes of my Childhood, they are trade secrets like Pasta with Confit Garlic, they interweave every day like Joe’s Beetroot, Cornichon, Feta and Potatoes, and they make everything okay like Life-giving Rhubarb Cake.

These recipes have been hand written, handed down and shared among friends. Dotted with vignettes from fellow chefs and food writers that explore different meanings and associations of home, this charming and extremely personal book from Olia offers irresistible recipes, charming storytelling and boundless heart.


In a recent interview in the Guardian, London- based Ukrainian cook Olia Hercules mentioned that in Ukraine, there is not a tradition of therapy as such, but there is a practice of sharing food. She does not know when she will be able to visit her home country, but in London, she has pooled all her resources together to create the impressive and successful movement #CookForUkraine, with proceeds directed to UNICEF’s efforts to support Ukrainian families and children. Hercules is that type of person and her recipes in Home Food attest to her spirit of generosity and kindness.

These recipes from all over the world are about comfort and sharing, and for the most part, are all easy to create. When more technical skills are required, there are QR codes that take you straight to Olia’s kitchen where she shows you exactly what to do (so sensible). This is a beautiful cookbook with wonderful chapters including my personal favourite: ‘Potatoes and cabbage: the food that shaped me’.

Add Home Food to your collection because it raises money for Ukraine, and because the recipes are comforting and inspire connection, no matter where we are from and where we end up.

Chris Gordon is the community engagement and programming manager at Readings

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