May 17, 2017

Savory Surrealism

TASCHEN reissues a cult cookbook to get your creative juices flowing

Spanish painter Salvador Dali is best known for his melting clocks and eerie landscapes. Almost as surreal were the theatrical dinner parties he co-hosted with his wife, Gala. Celebrities and intellectuals  flocked to the events, donning over-the-top costumes to mingle with free-roaming wild animals and enjoy the likes of Frog Pasties, Thousand Year Old Eggs, and Bush of Crayfish in Viking Herbs.

Les Dîners de Gala
Les Dîners de Gala

Recipes for those and 133 other decadent dishes were published in a fantastical 1973 cookbook, Les Dîners de Gala. Authored and illustrated by Dali himself, the book was long out of print and wildly collectible. Now, thanks to TASCHEN’s 2016 reissue, we can all have a seat at the party.

Les Dîners de Gala—a nod to his wife that fortuitously translates “dinners for special occasions”—may not inspire you to entertain on Dali’s scale. But it will surely captivate. The dozen intriguingly named chapters include Deoxyribonucleic Atavism (for vegetables) and The ‘I Eat Gala’ (aphrodisiacs, what else?). As for Dali’s toast topped with lamb brains? Thanks, but we’ll stick with avocado.

 The Details: Available at TASCHEN Library at The Joule, 1530 Main Street, $60.