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Life can be tasty, life can be fun with Alya Markova, between Bulgaria and Spain

| updated on 3/16/23 11:23 AM
Photo: courtesy of Alya Markova

Life can be tasty, life can be fun! That is the underlying idea of “Cookbook for grown children” which came out this month. In it you will find 28 sweet and salty recipes… in the form of comic strips. The unorthodox book is the brainchild of Alya Markova and it brings together her two grand passions – cookery and illustration.

 It is for everyone who has kept their inner child alive, everyone who wants to have fun, who loves picture stories or who wants to eat well but is always bungling the recipe. The book gives a step by step description of the path products travel from the shopping bag to the table. “The recipes are, on the whole easy. The important thing is - when you feel like having something to eat to not feel too lazy to cook it,” explains Alya, a Bulgarian-born illustrator, who splits her life between Bulgaria and Spain.

The story of the cookbook goes back to 2009 when Alya decided to start her own blogIn it she reveals the secrets of Bulgarian cuisine in pictures and text in Spanish, step by step, in a fun way. And there is a bonus – mini Bulgarian language lessons. 

Why in Spanish, you may be asking yourselves. Alya Markova was born in Bulgaria but she left for Spain with her parents when she was very little. She then returned and spent her teenage years here, after which she again went to Spain where she lived for 18 years, working for different Spanish publishing houses as an illustrator. But then she came home again, and her talent as illustrator and her long-time dream of cooking combined to bear fruit in her “Cookbook for grown children”. But what does “at home” mean to Alya?

“Well, it’s very weird, because now that I’m here after I made up my mind to come home, I found there was a part of me that felt at home in Bulgaria but there is another part that is connected with everyday things, with habits, with the smallest elements of life, with the language that makes me feel very much at home somewhere else. Maybe I have two homes but my more daily “at home” is in Spain,” Alya says.

It was her father, an illustrator himself, that introduced her to the art of illustration. Together with him she created a whole “collection” of 20 books, after which she struck out on her own. The artist explains there are no recipes that have found their way into the cookbook by accident: