Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? With Salvador Dalí, it’s hard to tell. If you thought his paintings were hard to stomach, wait till you feast on this deliciously absurd masterpiece.
Taschen has blessed us by reincarnating this erotic compendium of twisted delicacies. Originally published in 1973, the rare cookbook Les Diners de Gala had previously been out of print (with only 400 copies in existence). This reprint includes everything the first-edition features, not only including recipes, but also documenting the extravagance of a Dalí dinner party. Picture this typical soirée: Gala reclining on a giant velvet bed the entire night caressing her pet lion, everyone in outrageous costumes, the presence of animals and, for dinner, fish (sole, of course) served in satin slippers.
The book is as dizzyingly deranged as any Dalí banquet. For instance, an entire section is devoted to aphrodisiacs and then there are the amazing photographs of his guests (most notably Audrey Hepburn in a birdcage headpiece). Recipes include Frog Pastries, and Conger of the Rising Sun. These are accompanied by lithographs such as Sodomised Entrées, Nocturnal Cravings and Autumn Cannibalisms – surreal compositions that do their shocking titles justice.
Surprisingly, these are real recipes that are the results of collaborations with Lasserre, La Tour d’Argent, Maxim’s and Le Train Bleu – a crème de la crème legion of Parisian restaurants in their heyday. So yes, they are, in fact, edible. If you’ve got a curious palate and mind (and perhaps the required culinary skills), we encourage you to get this and get cooking.
This story was first published in l’Officiel Singapore.