Art Cooking: Salvador Dali | The Art Assignment | PBS Digital Studios | Summary and Q&A

December 28, 2017
The Art Assignment
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Art Cooking: Salvador Dali | The Art Assignment | PBS Digital Studios


Surrealist artist Dali's 1973 cookbook, "Les Diners de Gala," offers a glimpse into his eccentric and extravagant approach to food, featuring elaborate menus, recipes, and fantastical illustrations.

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Key Insights

  • โœ‹ Dali's cookbook showcases his distinctive and deranged approach to gastronomy, highlighting his belief that high cuisine transcends the mundane.
  • ๐Ÿ˜‹ The rituals of food preparation and consumption are elevated to a spiritual level in Dali's perspective.
  • ๐Ÿฅฐ The cookbook reflects Dali's larger-than-life persona, blending art, food, and controversial self-promotion.
  • ๐Ÿ˜‹ Dali's surrealist style is evident in the fantastical illustrations and sumptuous food photography in the cookbook.
  • ๐Ÿงก Dali's religious beliefs, ranging from atheism to a fusion of Christianity and modern science, influenced his artistic exploration of mysticism and symbolism.
  • ๐Ÿ—ฏ๏ธ The crayfish recipe highlighted in the content captures the right level of Dalinean excess and can be recreated with accessible ingredients.
  • ๐Ÿ˜‹ Dali's cookbook offers an insight into the artist's philosophy that food should have clear and intelligible forms, contrasting with his distaste for shapeless things like spinach.


[MUSIC PLAYING] NARRATOR: Throughout history, food has served subject matter, inspiration, and, of course, sustenance for artists. Food has also been the art on a number of occasions. Today, we are exploring the gastronomic adventures of a most distinctive, distinguished, and delightfully deranged artist, known around the world by just two syllable... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What is the inspiration behind Dali's cookbook, "Les Diners de Gala"?

Dali's extravagant dinner parties with his wife and muse, Gala, served as the inspiration for the cookbook. It showcases Dali's unique approach to eating and his desire to elevate food to an art form.

Q: What is Dali's perspective on food and its significance?

Dali considered gastronomy to be a high art form and believed that food could have a spiritual dimension. He saw the preparation and consumption of food as a ritual that transcends the mundane, subliming the profane into the sacred.

Q: How does Dali's cookbook reflect his artistic style?

The cookbook is filled with fantastical illustrations by Dali that reflect his surrealist style. The visuals are as extravagant as the recipes, creating a complete sensory experience for the reader.

Q: How did Dali's religious beliefs influence his approach to art and food?

Raised by a devoutly Catholic mother, Dali had a complex relationship with religion. While he initially embraced atheism, he later drifted back to the church and reinterpreted Christianity through the lens of modern science. His paintings from the '50s reflect this fusion of religious mysticism and nuclear symbolism.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Dali's cookbook, "Les Diners de Gala," is devoted to the pleasures of taste and features extravagant menus and recipes from renowned French chefs.

  • The book is filled with sumptuous food photography and fantastical illustrations by Dali.

  • While some recipes may be challenging or require hard-to-source ingredients, a recipe for a bush of crayfish captures Dali's excess and can be recreated with more accessible ingredients.

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