Look through the travel pages or watch one of TV’s many food, drink and travel shows and before long you’ll see a rave review of a trip to the former Soviet Republic of Georgia and its majestic Caucasus mountains, the architecture, the wine or the food, or a combination of these.

While you’ve got to visit the country to experience the scenery or the ancient buildings, or even the best of the wine from the many small producers, there are only a few restaurants in the UK serving Georgian food, and none currently in Oxfordshire.

But fear not, because, Lia’s Georgian Cookery School is opening this January in a home in Five Mile Drive, north Oxford or we can come to you.

I met my English husband Peter when he was trekking in the Caucasus mountains in 1991, just as Georgia emerged from the Soviet shadow. Previously an English teacher in the capital Tbilisi, on arriving in Oxford I switched to teaching Georgian at the University of Oxford, something I have been doing ever since to a small but talented bunch of students.

A chance meeting with Sophie Grigson persuading me to run some classes at Sophie’s Oxford cookery school.

Oxford Mail:

So what is Georgian cuisine? Well, the country is at the crossroads between Europe and Asia, Russia and the Middle East and it’s no surprise that the food shows demonstrates these diverse influences.

Lia’s cookery school will offer many different classes from March 3, tailored to groups’ wishes. All the introductory classes are likely to include Georgia’s national dish, a cheesebread known as khachapuri and regional variations including the coastal Adjarian with it’s boat-shaped dough, filled with melted cheese, baked in the oven with an egg on top, a dish that, by itself constitutes the full-Georgian-breakfast!

Favourite meat dishes include Chakapuli; lamb with rhubarb and tarragon and Satsivi; the traditional New Year dish made from chicken or turkey in a spiced walnut sauce.

There will be an introduction to dips and sauces including tkhmali, a piquant sauce from an indigenous sour plum which I typically make from home-grown rhubarb, and peppers with crushed garlic and vinegar and many more.

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There’ll be vegetarian classes, featuring dishes such as aubergines with pomegranate seeds and a walnut paste and kidney beans cooked with pomegranate molasses, coriander and mint. All the ingredients are readily available in Oxford because, although some may be unique to Georgia, over 25 years of cooking in the UK has given me plenty of time to experiment and find the perfect alternatives.

So come along and share a new experience of an exciting and very old world cuisine.

Contact lia.chokoshvili63@gmail.com for details and to book.