Maxim Behar in front of BNT 1 TV in "The Day Begins" with a new book "Seychelles Recipes and More About " Paradise on Earth"June, 2023
Host: I don't know how many of you have been to Seychelles, Simeon and I have not, we're going to go there very quickly in a delicious and beautiful way. We're going to be helped by the new book “Seychelles Recipes and More About “Paradise on Earth” by Maxim Behar, who is our guest right now. Good morning.
Maxim: Good morning.
Host: Why are you talking about Seychelles in this way?
Maxim: There are usually three ways in which each person perceives a country. It's through nature, through the people, and through the food. But when we return to Bulgaria, we vaguely remember the nature. We remember the people, we become friends on social networks. However, the feeling of the food stays very long and that's why I decided that if I'm doing something for my beloved Seychelles, which I've been doing for more than twenty years. It's worth introducing the food first and then telling many more stories. I hope this will be the first but not the last book I write about Seychelles. I focus on the food, but I tell many stories about the people, nature, about Seychelles, the most famous people there.
Host: Show it because I'm sure not a few of them will want to buy it. It's not just for professional chefs in the kitchen, isn’t it?
Maxim: No, of course. The dedication is that I'm waiting for you in Seychelles "The Day Begins" very soon, come on in.
Host: We know when we open a book for the first time it's a sign. I opened the salad on "Millionaire" and Christina opened "Romance".
Maxim: The Millionaire's Salad is very famous and easy because I have only seen it in Seychelles. It's made from hearts of palm and its thin pieces cut from the. Mixed with spices it is delicious, easy, and enjoyable. As it is a salad I don't know if it goes with alcohol, generally alcohol is not very popular in Seychelles. It's a very warm, tropical country on the equator. The most popular is their "Takamaka", it is made in the "Takamaka" area which is famous for its beaches. The food is one of the highlights and I would like to introduce Seychelles to Bulgaria who are traveling more and more. In the last one year there have been four charter flights from Sofia to Victoria. Apart from Qatar, Emirates, Turkish airlines, and others flying there, it is becoming a popular destination. And it's not that inaccessible with a lot of good planning. Seychelles sounds exotic, expensive because it's far away. If you plan well, you can spend as much as a holiday in Greece. Flights are not that expensive there are different types of hotels.
Host: And which is the best season for a holiday?
Maxim: There is one season because it's near the equator and it's always warm. It's 27 to 29 degrees during the day and 25 degrees at night. The weather is beautiful. I don't know if you know Seychelles is the country in the world with the highest percentage of reserved territory where no one is allowed to nail a single tack. It is 65 percent. Host: That's why we see these pictures that Simeon is showing. Maxim: By law, it is forbidden to build hotels more than two stories high. Almost all of them have the typical Creole architectural features. Because of this policy, it's a very interesting country to be able to attract tourists who want a peaceful holiday. To enjoy beaches and nature. Not to be bothered by discos all night. I have met many disappointed Bulgarians in Seychelles who have told me that they were surprised because they took their dresses, suits, jewelry but there was no one to show them to.
Host: They didn't check out their destination properly.
Maxim: Yes, there are different people. And other destinations where there's nightlife and it's a much more active holiday. If there are looking for that kind of holiday, it's not Seychelles.
Host: Do you have a favorite place because I see in your book that after each picture there are directions to exactly where it is?
Maxim: There is a favorite place, a neighborhood and it is on the main island of Mahe, it is called "Beau Vallon". We live in a small modest house right on the beach with local people who take care of us. In the morning we are served fresh fruit that has just been picked from trees by the beach. But wherever I go on the different islands of Seychelles, which are 115 and the population is 85,000.
Host: You said about food, nature, and people. We discussed food, nature, and now people. It struck me there are not 100,000 people, do they know how to live, what is their philosophy of life, have we had anything to absorb as a way of life from them?
Maxim: First, these are very good people. They are always smiling, "soft", which means mild and that ensures that you won't meet someone who will raise their tone and scold you. It's not just towards tourists, because that's how they behave towards each other. The Seychelles were a deserted territory when they were discovered in the mid-17th century by the French. They named them after the Marquis de Seychelles, then Minister of Finance, who gave the money for another expedition. But they were insanely beautiful, and from there the French sailors went on and discovered Madagascar, where there were already people. And 20, 30, 40 years later French settlers came from Africa with their slaves and settled in the Seychelles. I say this to clarify that there is no indigenous population there, they are all settlers. There are white people there who have been intermarrying with whites for generations and they are the native Seychellois. They are descended from the French and English then because it was a British colony until 1976 when the Queen granted independence. But the people are extremely kind and positive, there is no aggression, there is a lot we can take from them, but you also must live there to see them.
Host: As a good start, it's nice to go there and see it all in person. You won't take long to convince us, we're already almost inclined to do it.
Maxim: After all the political mess we've seen in the last few months in Bulgaria, the Seychelles are quite radically different and opposite.
Host: Thank you very much for your participation and the book as well. We'll start with the recipes first and then a visit there. When I say the recipes, you probably know that Stefan Shterev is a great cook, and he will probably also be interested. Now we will ask him directly, will you cook anything from these recipes? Good morning.
Stefan Shterev: Good morning, not only am I going to cook, but I've been stocking up on Creole spices since three years ago.
You can watch the whole interview here.