Ilian cooks up a storm with wins at international contest
A FOOD photographer who wrote his first two cookery books while living in Tytherington has won two prestigious international awards.
Ilian Iliev beat off about 120 competitors from more than 200 countries around the world at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Yantai, China with his books ‘The Bulgarian Cheese Cookbook’ and ‘Cooking With Yoghurt’.
His cheese cookbook won the Jury’s Award at the competition while the yoghurt one, his first book, was joint third in the world for photography.
The cookbooks, which Tytherington based dietician Sian Riley also contributed to, contain hundreds of recipes from all parts of the world including Asia, Europe and Africa and recipes from Ilian’s childhood in Bulgaria.
They feature both savoury and sweet foods with a twist and readers can discover delights such as cheese chocolates, a cold yoghurt soup with carrot and one of Ilian’s favourite dessert recipes, tiramisu with yoghurt.
The father-of-three, who lived for around seven years on Kentwell Drive and now lives in Cambridge, said: “I was just over the moon when I found out I had won. It was great to visit China too and I made sure I tried some of the Chinese food though even though I was a bit scared to do so to be honest!
“I don’t think I’ll be including any Chinese food in my books though as they eat a lot of seafood there and I don’t really cook with seafood.”
All the recipes in the dad-of-one’s books have been tested on friends and family, a task they happily agree to.
And the photographer has a keen assistant, his daughter, Amelie, 12, with whom he shares his passion for cooking.
Ilian, 51, who has also contributed to more than 40 cookbooks, spends a lot of time in the kitchen with his daughter, his ‘main cooking partner’.
And the youngster is collaborating with her dad on his next book.
But the former member of St Peter’s Church in Prestbury is remaining tight-lipped about its contents. He said: “It’s a secret for now.”
Ilian’s books are available on Amazon and in Waterstones.
●● Ilian Iliev with one of his certificates at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in China