Life Without Borders on the show Social Network on Nova News TVJune, 2023
Host: Dear NovaNews TV viewers it is my pleasure in the next few minutes to take you as Mr. Behar says, to paradise on earth with 25 interesting new recipes from Seychelles. Hello, what are you talking about in the book?
Maxim: Hi. See how easy it is, a book, you put it in your pocket bring it home and you directly go to the Seychelles. This is my new book. I often say that I finally wrote an interesting book, because until now I have written about leadership, management, business, marketing. Books that some of them are great “best seller” in the world, especially in America. However, they are for a narrow range of readers, whereas now with this book I tried to bring the Seychelles to Bulgaria. Here I wrote a detailed selection of 25 Creole recipes. I tell stories about Seychelles, the people. I have great pictures that I have taken, and the purpose was to be able to introduce the Bulgarians, my compatriots, my friends, readers to the wonderful nature of Seychelles. With what Seychelles is and through the food. All three of those things are put into this book and I hope that readers will be transported if only for a little while to Seychelles. If they like any of the recipes for each one they can find products in Bulgaria, even online, that will deliver them quickly. Then they will become half Seychellois.
Host: Are the recipes themselves very different in taste?
Maxim: The cuisine is very different because it’s a very complex chemistry of different cuisines. European, mainly French, and British, of course a bit Indian especially the spices. A little bit African, Chinese though all very tasty. A lot of them are quick to prepare with fresh fish and different sauces, garnishes. You put the fish in to bake and that way the meal is ready.
Host: What is it about Seychelles that attracts so much interest and attention?
Maxim: With its nature, exoticism. The very pronunciation of the word Seychelles brings a great exoticism. Because the name has the letters “sh”, “s” in it, they are difficult to pronounce because many people get it confused. But the truth is that Seychelles is an extremely beautiful country, 115 islands with 85-90,000 people. Imagine 85,000 people is a small neighborhood in Sofia or a medium-sized Bulgarian city. It’s a whole country spread over 115 islands. The capital Victoria is the smallest capital in the world 8 000 people, and you guessed it, everybody knows me, and I know everybody, I have been working for Seychelles for 20 years. But apart from anything else there are a few things that characterize Seychelles as one of the most beautiful countries in the world. One is that nearly 60% of the territory is protected by the state, or so-called “preserve territory”. Nobody has the right to hammer a nail, nobody has the right to stretch a deckchair, nobody has the right to put a board on that 60% of the territory. Why, so that they can be preserved so that nature can remain as it is, not be destroyed. Basically, to build a 5-star hotel there it takes about 4-5 years all sorts of permits, surveys, certificates, and everything else. Most importantly, no one is allowed to build a hotel higher than two stories.
Host: Exotic fruits, different coconuts they had in Seychelles?
Maxim: There are different coconuts, the most famous one is “Coco de Mer” or coconut of the sea with a wonderful story, here to show you. You see what it looks like and so it’s made by nature. It grows in only one place in the world and that is the island of Praslin, which is the second largest island. As the first island that was settled by French settlers in the mid-17th century. It was the main and largest island Mahe. The French along with their African slaves were standing by the ocean shore and these coconuts were floating from Praslin Island to Mahe Island and they didn’t know what to call it. It was a coconut but with a side shape and they named it “Coco de Mer” or coconut of the sea. Then they went to the island of Praslin and saw that it only grew there. This is the female “Coco de Mer” there is also a male “Coco de Mer” that has the proper shape. Just as it should look, but I’m not going to show it to you here, it has the shape of a large cucumber. When you enter Seychelles through the border, they stamp you with that exact shape.
Host: Now to send you to a completely different place. If today, was your meeting with Charles already as King. What would you say to him?
Maxim: I would send him a present and a letter congratulating him. What I would write to him in the letter is I hope he remembers his two visits to wonderful Bulgaria. The few times I have met him he has always remembered Bulgaria with very good feelings. Of course, about the king and queen who are part of his family, but also about the people he has seen here. I would very much like him to come again. Now I read that his first visit will be to Romania, which he agreed with the Romanian President at the time of the coronation. It is very close to Bulgaria in the past when he came to Bulgaria a few months after he was in Romania in 2003. Exactly 20 years ago on 12-13 March. And I will tell him that the world is a different place now, something that he already knows, and that Bulgaria now has a much greater need to be put on the map of Europe and for the world to know about it. Investors need to come and be interested in the opportunities to come and do business here. We have a much greater need than 20 years ago. Twenty years ago, the then Prince Charles arrived on a plane of British businessmen. And I
know of 10 companies that stayed and are still here doing wonderful business because they were here with him and saw all the reports on the BBC channels. He said all the time then in all the interviews, “Come to Bulgaria, it’s wonderful.”. We all remember how there were 50,000 English people who bought property in Bansko, at the seaside or wherever in Bulgaria. If now King Charles III comes to Bulgaria and makes that positive noise again from 20 years ago, I think it will be extremely, even much more important for our country. And if I have the pleasure of meeting him early next year, I will tell him bluntly and I hope that by then the situation in Bulgaria will be better.
You can watch the whole interview here.