Salvador Dalí’s cookbook “Les diners de Gala”

Salvador Dali's guilty pleasures

Salvador Dali’s guilty pleasures

Salvador Dalí was, beside being a great artist, also a great epicurean. He specially loved good food. Less known is the fact that at young age he wanted to become a cook. Later, in the year 1973, he has captured his passion for cooking in the wonderful and rare book  titled ”Les Diners de Gala” in which he has featured 136 off-kilter recipes in 12 categories. The mind-bending tome includes entire chapters devoted to aphrodisiacs, exotic dishes, snails and frogs, and the appropriate uses for “atteletes” (meat jewellery). Throughout the book, Dalí makes up phrases like “gastro esthetics,” a philosophy that he explains while denouncing spinach:

“In fact, I only like to eat what has a clear intelligible form. If I hate that detestable degrading vegetable called spinach, it is because it is shapeless, like Liberty. I attribute capital esthetic and moral values to food in general, and to spinach in particular. The opposite of shapeless spinach, is armor. I love eating suits of arms, in fact I love all shell fish … food that only a battle to peel makes it vulnerable to the conquest of our palate.

The cover

The cover

Recipes include: “Veal cutlets stuffed with snails,” “Frog Pasties,” and “Avocado Toast.” The avocado toast consists of mashed avocados with lamb brains and almonds spread on toast.  Other goodies within the book include sketches of limbless dwarves eating eggs.

Dali's illustration from the book

Dali’s illustration from the book

Supposedly, only 400 copies of the surrealist cookbook were printed. Some of them are available online. Prices range from $370–$25,000, depending on the condition of the book and whether it includes the dust jacket or if it’s signed by the artist.

Between the recipes is also his famous Casanova cocktail:

Tha Casanova Cocktail

Tha Casanova Cocktail

Casanova Cocktail 
“This is quite appropriate when circumstances such as exhaustion, overwork or simply excess of sobriety are calling for a pick-me-up. Here is a well-tested recipe to fit the bill. Let us stress another advantage of this particular pep-up concoction is that one doesn’t have to make the sour face that usually accompanies the absorption of a remedy.”—Salvador Dali

The juice of 1 orange
1 tablespoon of bitters (Campari)
1 teaspoon of ginger
(probably powdered ginger)
4 tablespoons of brandy
2 tablespoons old brandy (Vieille Cure)
1 pinch of Cayenne pepper

At the bottom of a glass, combine pepper and ginger. Pour the bitters on top, then brandy and “Vieille Cure.” Refrigerate or even put in the freezer. Thirty minutes later, remove from the freezer and stir the juice of the orange into the glass. Drink…and wait for the effect. It is rather speedy.

Read more recipes and see more pictures at:

The epicurean Dali

The epicurean Dali



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