Dalí: Les Diners de Gala (1973)
by Salvador Dalí
Les diners de Gala was published only once, in 1973, when Salvador Dalí was already an established, world-famous artist at the tail end of his illustrious career. His dreams of being a chef, however, started when he was only six years old.
He consistently incorporated food into his art, whether it was in Geopoliticus: Child Watching the Birth of the New Man (1943) or his Lobster Telephone (1936). But, Les diners de Gala is the reverse of this tradition in the sense that his illustrations are incorporated into his recipes, which include dishes like “Thousand Year Old Eggs,” “Frog Pasties,” and “Toffee with Pine Cones.”
The book features 12 chapters and contains 136 recipes that helped Dali’s dinner parties become the stuff of legend. Of course, the opulent and hedonistic exploits of his guests contributed, but if the food had been bad, they would never have attended. While this is an assumption, what we do know for certain is that Dali was very serious about his cooking.
The preface reads as follows:
“We would like to state clearly that, beginning with the very first recipes, Les diners de Gala, with its precepts and its illustrations, is uniquely devoted to the pleasures of Taste. 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."
Many believe that only 400 copies of the incredible first edition still exist today. But thanks to Tashchen, an acclaimed publisher of awesome content, the book is once again available for purchase – some 43 years after it first made its now famous debut.
Wild Raspberries (1959)
by Andy Warhol and Suzie Frankfurt, illustrated by Andy Warhol
Before Andy Warhol attained notoriety for his commercial art, which forced its viewers to reflect on their own consumerism, he used to be an illustrator. Looking back on it now, it seems fitting that the man who turned a soup can into fine art also illustrated two cookbooks.
The first was in collaboration with socialite Suzie Frankfurt in 1959. They called it Wild Raspberries and filled it with crazy recipes such as “Fighting Fish,” “Seared Roebuck,” “Baked Hawaii” and “Roast Igyuana [sic] Andalusian.” It was hand-lettered by his mother, featuring her grammar mistakes along with her cross-outs.
“Take a saddle of roebuck, roast it and then swirl it in the poasting [sic] pan with two juniper berries. Remove from the roasting pan and sear it over an open fire adding Poivrade sauce every thirty seconds. Serve with at stewed Macintoshes. Ed. Note: unlike many other species of game moebuck [sic] must be eaten fresh. It is important to note that roebuck shot in ambush is infinitely better than roebuck killed after a chase. Keep this in mind on your next hunting trip.”
Amy Vanderbilt's Complete Cookbook (1961)
by Amy Vanderbilt, illustrated by Andy Warhol
The second cookbook was written by Amy Vanderbilt and published in 1961. Warhol was responsible for the illustrations only, which consisted of simple, non-invasive drawings that were direct, clear, and free of anything elaborate. In other words, they were very much to the point.
Amy Vanderbilt's Complete Cookbook was published a year before he opened the first Factory – a year before he would go on to create his now world-famous work Campbell's Soup Cans. Check them out below!
Note* Images were sourced from: "Salvador Dali’s Rare Surrealist Cookbook Republished for the First Time in over 40 Years" ; Wild Raspberries: Andy Warhol's Little-Known Vintage Cookbook; "Amy Vanderbilt's Complete Cookbook - Vintage 1961 Andy Warhol Drawings" and "Take a Look at Andy Warhol Cookbook Illustrations From 1961." And Special thanks to Taschen Books.