Just in Time for the Holidays, Dali's Surreal Cookbook
'Les Diners de Gala' a republishing of famous 1973 Salvador Dali tome
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 12, 2016 7:44 AM CDT
Surreal.   (Amazon)
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(Newser) – One doesn't usually think of a cookbook as "lavish and erotic," but that's how the Guardian is describing a reissue by Taschen of a famous cookbook first published in 1973. Described by Food and Wine as "more Hieronymus Bosch than Anthony Bourdain," Salvador Dali's Les Diners de Gala is a 12-chapter compendium of the artist's surreal imagery, as well as 136 often-unconventional recipes, some culled from Paris' top restaurants at the time, notes Kottke. And by "unconventional," we mean such concoctions as conger eel of the rising sun and frog pasties (the Guardian features a recipe for the latter), in chapters with titles like "Deoxyribonucleic Atavism," aka the veggie section. The art is similarly bizarre, including (and it's easiest to quote the Guardian) a "desert scene in which a telephone receiver is suspended on a twig over a melting plate holding two fried eggs and a razor blade."

Dali, who died in 1989, and his wife, Gala, were known for throwing sumptuous dinner parties—Konbini notes food would be brought in on gold platters to costumed guests—and the original edition of the cookbook is a collector's item, with only about 400 copies said to remain. Readers will also get a taste for edibles that were among Dali's favorites and those he found unforgivable, including spinach, which he describes as "that detestable, degrading vegetable." Per the cookbook's description on Amazon, where it's now available for preorder, Dali issues just one warning in the book's intro: "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." (On the other end of the spectrum: a recipe book by IBM's supercomputer chef.)