Salvador Dali is famous for his Surrealist paintings, like the ones on view in the DAM exhibition Modern Masters. Little known fact, though - Dali’s imagination stretched well beyond the canvas and into the kitchen. When he was not painting melting clocks, Dali was writing and illustrating a cookbook called Les Diners de Gala, published in 1973.
For Digital DIY #14, we invite you to create a Surrealist dinner party. We combed through the incredibly eccentric offerings in Les Diners de Gala to find four of the more feasible recipes to test out. Get ready as we present a three-course meal (in four parts) dreamed up by Dali. Whether the food is dinner worthy, we’ll leave up to you.
For Part 1: The appetizer, we have Thousand Year Old Eggs. Made with love, patience (and a six year old helper) by DAM master teacher Stefania Van Dyke.
Stefania’s experience: I decided to make this a family activity and enlisted the help of my 6-year-old son, Sebastian. I showed him pictures of Dali and some of his paintings first, to set the mood and to make it clear that this would be weird. I think that freed us both to have fun with it. When the recipe was unclear, I let Sebastian improvise. Dali instructs the home chef to add “a lot of Tobasco [sic.] sauce.” At your discretion, Sebastian. During the process, I couldn’t help but think how proud the artist would be of our version of this dish. Some of the eggs cracked when they were boiling, so they became these amorphous, oozy blobs. The Surrealists’ interest in rejecting rationality and leaving things to chance were seriously at play. And Sebastian had a blast—he even declared that for Halloween this year he’ll go as “Salvador Zombi.” Sadly, he didn’t get to taste the fruits of his labor because I brought the sealed jar to the office, hosted the (unsuccessful) tasting, and promptly dumped the contents in the dumpster out back.
Find Stefania’s version of Dali’s recipe here.
(Recipe from Les Diners de Gala. Trans. Captain J. Peter Moore. (1973). New York, NY: Felicie, Inc. Publishers.)