Salvador Dali is a legendary artist best known for his surrealism paintings most depicting subconscious imagery. He is immortalized by his famous painting The Persistence of Memory (1931) that features limp, melting watches. But did you know that this iconic Spanish painter also published an eccentric cookbook in 1973? You’ll be surprised to know that Dali initially wished to become a chef when he was 6 years old. Although he probably didn’t regret becoming a painter in the end, he did make his childhood dream come true at some point in his life.
The celebrated surrealist artist and his wife Gala often threw opulent dinner parties for their friends. It is said that these lavish parties were filled with fancy meals and luxurious recipes from leading French chefs. Dali’s hidden love for cooking inspired him to draw surreal illustrations of the grandiose meals served at their parties. Knowing Dali’s unique style of painting, we could only expect to see bizarre-looking food in his recipe book. And we are absolutely right about that.
Les Dines de Gala cookbook by Salvador Dali
Dali’s book Les Dines de Gala contains 136 recipes that are divided into 12 chapters. The chapters include Exotic Dishes, Eggs – Sea Food, First Course, Meats, Snails – Frogs, Fish – Shellfish, Game – Poultry, Pork, Vegetables, Aphrodisiacs, Sweets – Desserts and Hors d’oeuvre. Yes, your eyes are not tricking you. There’s actually a chapter in the book dedicated to aphrodisiac recipes. All these recipes can be cooked at home but most of them require a well-stocked pantry. Well, considering the fact that these recipes were intended for sumptuous dinner parties.
Recipes are divided into 12 chapters
While the recipes featured in the book are nothing short of appetizing, the same can’t be said to the illustrations. As expected of Dali, the illustrations are rather eccentric and unsettling. There’s one depicting an armless woman with blood spurting out from her shoulders showering her skirt in the form of lobsters. As if that’s not disturbing enough, the plate is also garnished with dead bodies and some severed heads.
“We would like to state clearly that, beginning with the very first recipes, Les Diners de Gala, with its precepts and its illustrations, is uniquely devoted to the pleasures of Taste. Don’t look for dietetic formulas here. We intend to ignore those charts and tables in which chemistry takes the place of gastronomy. If you are a disciple of one of those calorie-counters who turn the joys of eating into a form of punishment, close this book at once; it is too lively, too aggressive, and far too impertinent for you.”, Dali writes from the outset.
Leading art-book publisher Taschen is reissuing Dali’s recipe book for the first time. With a limited copy of only 400 reprints, the Les Diners de Gala can be yours for $60 if you get your copy now. Whether you’re a huge fan of Dali’s illustrations or an aspiring chef, this artistic cookbook surely fits the bill. So get it now while stocks last.
Get your copy from Taschen.