First unveiled in 1973 as an accompaniment to the opulent dinner parties thrown by Salvador Dalí and his wife / muse Gala, the exceptionally rare Les Dîners de Gala has been reprinted by TASCHEN, featuring all 136 recipes beautifully spread over 12 chapters, from meal courses to aphrodisiacs. Food and surrealism combine as Dali’s illustrations evoke sensual, exotic and imaginative elements, as experienced at their notorious gatherings, inviting audiences to experience the endless boundary to Dali’s talent.
Defined as being “uniquely devoted to the pleasures of taste”, Dali expresses the value of taste and presentation over all else, stating “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.”
The cuisine exemplified is of the old school, easy to recreate if you possess the culinary skill and lavish pantry of leading chefs from stellar Paris restaurants, such as Lasserre or Le Train Bleu. However, if like the latter, you are not able to transform plucked birds into sensual feasts, the cookbook-turned-iconic art object is delicious enough in its combination of kitsch photography and outlandish illustration to fulfil all of your aesthetic desires.
Accompanying the fantastical animals, melting clocks and dreamlike fantasies which surround the recipes are Dali’s personal scribblings, pulling the reader back to the reality they stray, through musings regarding subjects such as dinner conversation, further inviting audiences into the personal thoughts of Dali himself.
Available in English, Spanish, German, French and Italian, get your hands on a copy of Les Dîners de Gala here.