The Honorary Consul General of Seychelles in Bulgaria, Maxim Behar, has displayed his more creative culinary side through the writing of a book on the cuisine, nature and people of Seychelles – a country he has been serving since 2004.
Called “The Magic of Seychelles Cuisine and stories from the “Paradise on Earth” in Bulgarian, the book holds 25 recipes from Seychellois cuisine, ranging from starters, main dishes to desserts.
Behar, who is the owner and CEO of an award-winning European PR corporation, M3 Communications Group, told SNA that one of the very unique sides of the beautiful country of course is the unique cuisine.
“Being in the public relations business I understand very well that cuisine is very attractive and, alongside this, people will learn many other things about our country. I know Seychelles for almost 20 years and it was always my wish to promote it better to the world,” said Behar.
Talking about what inspired him to write the book, Behar outlined that it was his participation in a reality cooking show on Bulgarian NOVA TV Channel called ‘The Cherry on the Cake’, that sparked the idea.
“In the show, I cooked genuine Seychelles food and the interest was really enormous. Hundreds of people called me with requests for recipes and more details about Seychelles and then I had only one choice to satisfy those requests – to write a book,” said Behar.
Offering a deeper glimpse into his relationship with Seychelles, Behar said that his favourite Seychellois dishes are the Millionaire Salad or Palm Heart salad and Tuna Fish Grilled Steak, two dishes that he regularly cooks at home.
To put together the recipes in the book, Behar received guidance from two people within the culinary scene of Seychelles. One was his close Bulgarian friend, Milen Velikov, who lived in Seychelles for about 15 years and opened a Creole restaurant in the Northern Bulgarian city of Ruse.
“Before the pandemic, he was managing an emblematic restaurant on Mahe, called ‘Oscars’. Luckily, and totally coincidentally, at the time when I was writing a book there was a Seychellois chef – Julio Lesperance – visiting friends in Sofia, and part of the advice also came from him,” said Behar.
Aside from the Seychellois cuisine, the book also tells the story of the island nation’s people and nature.
Behar said that the more people know about the country, which he refers to in the book as ‘Paradise on Earth’, the better for Seychelles’ economy, for the education of its people, and for the cultural exchange and friendship between the nations.
“Seychelles cuisine is not foreign to me. Deeply in my heart and thoughts, I feel Seychelles. My dream is to make the country much more known all over the world. That is why the book will soon be in the English language on Amazon so millions of people all over the world will be able to download it. Making Seychelles better branded reflects not only on tourism, but also on businesses, and investments. Even our national pride is important in this unsecured and difficult world,” said Behar.