Salvador Dalí’s “Les Diners de Gala”

Supper and symbolism.

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Published last in 1973, Salvador Dalí’s cookbook Les Diners de Gala has—much like his decadent dinner parties, where Bob Hope could be found eating sole out of a stiletto—entered into the realm of lamented history. However, the book is now being re-released by German publisher Taschen, ensuring Dalí’s strange and surreal eats can once again be whipped up in home kitchens—or at the very least admired coffee-tableside.

Chefs and diners alike will have to be brave to attempt some of Dalí’s more technically and conceptually challenging dishes, such as Bush of Crayfish in Viking Herbs featuring broth spiked with cognac meant to sip as chilled crawfish are plucked from their tree. Most of the recipes are enticing in their dated elegance—Fruit Cream thickened with semolina and served with brandied plums is the lace garter under the skirt of Veal Cutlets Stuffed with Snails.

Accompanied by original Dalí drawings, the cookbook encapsulates a man who is often only thought of as a quirky moustache and a melting clock. With over 136 recipes and 12 chapters (including an entire one on aphrodisiacs), it is easy to see that Dalí truly was an artist in every sense of his life, his quest for the strange not limited to the canvas or even the plate.


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November 8, 2016