“Les dîners de Gala is uniquely devoted to the pleasures of taste … 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.”
Art and food is a perfect match and therefore I am very happy that so many artists published cook books or shared their favorite recipes. We already showed you some of them this year (Claude Monet, Alma Mahler, Olafur Eliasson). This week’s book is by far my personal highlight when it comes to artist’s cook books this year.
It’s totally crazy, just as its author: Salvador Dali (1904 – 1989). He was one of the first artists I fell in love with in my early childhood. I love his paintings and photography and it’s impossible to describe his oeuvre in just a few sentences. Dali’s expansive artistic repertoire included paintings, film, sculpture, and photography, in collaboration with a range of artists in a variety of media and he’s probably one of the most popular surrealists. You probably know at least one of his most famous works, The Persistence of Memory (1931):
But Dali was not just an extraordinary artist, but one of the most eccentric persons from the twentieth century. The opulent dinner parties thrown by him and his wife and muse, Gala (1894–1982) were the stuff of legend. Dali met Gala when she was the affair of famous artist Max Ernst by the way. Dali and Gala, having lived together since 1929, were married in 1934. In addition to inspiring many artworks throughout her life, Gala would act as Dali’s business manager, supporting their extravagant lifestyle. Dali even continued to paint her as they both aged, producing sympathetic and adoring images of her. At the end their relationship lasted over 50 years and became legendary.
So back to the dinner parties they used to give for their friends. Luckily Dali published a cookbook in 1973, Les diners de Gala, which reveals some of the sensual, imaginative, and exotic elements, that made up their dinners.
The recently published reprint features all 136 recipes over 12 chapters, specially illustrated by Dali, and organized by meal courses, including aphrodisiacs. The illustrations and recipes are accompanied by Dali’s extravagant musings on subjects such as dinner conversation: “The jaw is our best tool to grasp philosophical knowledge.”
All these recipes can be cooked at home, although some will require practiced skill and a well-stocked pantry. Well and a horde of your friends to eat it all. What makes it perfect for Christmas. This is the time of the year to try out Dali’s fancy dishes. I actually plan on doing a whole menu out of it on Christmas’ Eve. This is cuisine of the old school, with meals by leading French chefs from such stellar Paris restaurants as Lasserre, La Tour d’Argent, Maxim’s, and Le Train Bleu.
In making this exceptionally rare book available again, TASCHEN brought us the perfect Christmas gift and a feast for art and food lovers.
#artbook | Les dîners de Gala
#author | Salvador Dalí
#publisher | TASCHEN
#language | available in German, English, French, Spanish or Italian
#ISBN | 978-3-8365-0875-9 (German), 978-3-8365-0876-6 (English), 978-3-8365-0883-4 (French), 978-3-8365-0905-3 (Spanish), 978-3-8365-3975-3 (Italian)
#pages | 320
#published | 2016
you can get your copy here.