Yes, you didn’t know but Dalí and Gala threw opulent dinner parties. Yes, we discover right now that the bizarre artist loved food among his other various passions. And yes: when he wasn’t creating awesome artworks, philosophising about rhinoceros horn shapes, or composing one of the most popular object of Surrealism, the Mae West Lips Sofa, he found some time to write a cookbook, inspired by the lavish dinner parties Dalí and his wife organised: Les dîners de Gala.

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At the age of 6 Salvador Dalí claimed that he wanted to be a chef. So, once grown up and become -clearly- mischievous, he wrote a lavishly illustrated cookbook, originally published in 1973 (once and only 400 copies published) that now Taschen has made available with a new reprint.

Dalí’s intensely erotic illustrations and paintings, are paired by funny and intriguing statements about food:

Don’t look for dietetic formulas here.

We intend to ignore those charts and tables in which chemistry takes the place of gastronomy. 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 […].“

Or, personal opinions about food and its equivalents in the art field:

I only like to eat what has a clear and intelligible form. If I hate that detestable degrading vegetable called spinach it is because it is shapeless, like Liberty[…].“

There are 12 chapters and 136 recipes, just absurd and surreal that include such delicacies as “Thousand Year Old Eggs”, “Veal Cutlets Stuffed With Snails”, “Frog Pasties”, and “Toffee with Pine Cones”. And what about the aphrodisiacs? Do not worry, they are very much present!

That’s it: dinner is served!

P.S.: Some surreal recipes are published on Brainpickings page. Have a look… if you’re really brave!

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All images via Taschen.