Dalí’s Illustrated Tome of Witty Recipes and Tasty Prose

“Les Dîners de Gala”, the opulent cookbook that Salvador Dalí conceived and executed, pays homage to legendary Parisian traditions, chefs, and restaurants. His words hint to the yet-to-fully explode modernist approach to the art and fashion in food preparation and presentation. His illustrations at once pay tribute to classic French 19th c. “gastronomique stylistes extraordinaire” Urbain Dubois and Émile Bernard.

The 1971 gem consists of 136 eclectic, impractical, and sumptuous recipes within twelve equally as odd chapters/categories:
Les caprices pincés princiers
Les cannibalismes de l’automne
Les suprêmes de malaises lilliputiens
Les entre-plats sodomisés
Les spoutniks astiqués d’asticots statistiques
Les panaches panachés
Les chairs monarchiques
Les montres molles ½ sommeil
L’atavisme dés oxyribonucléique
Les “je mange GALA”
Les pios nonoches
Les délices petits martyrs

These titles ironically tie everything together as if Dalí were sharing an amusing intimacy.

Additionally, fifty-five of the individual recipes were illustrated in color, twenty-one of which were created and shared by much-ballyhooed chefs from Lasserre, La Tour d’Argent, Maxim’s, and Le Buffet de la Gare de Lyon, and other noteworthy and famed restaurants.

Naturally, as is true with most anything that involves Dalí and either his spoken or written word, it is always quotable, if not sometimes perversely:
“Do not forget that a woodcock, ‘flambée’ in strong alcohol, served in its own excrements, as is the custom in the best of Parisian restaurants, will always remain for me in that serious art that is gastronomy, the most delicate symbol of true civilization.”

Or that which is a Marklewood credo:
“I attribute capital esthetic and moral values to food in general, and to spinach in particular…”

I eagerly anticipate his “Wines of Gala” (1977) which, like the afore-mentioned, I can neither find nor afford. It is similarly outrageous and a connoisseur’s compendium of art, reference, and prose. Henry joins in my sigh, but knows not what that means.

(“Les Dîners de Gala” by Salvador Dalí, 1971.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s