Cooking with Julia: “Land and Sea Rolls”

DSC_0239_1Featuring Curator Dr. Julia Skinner

When you think of a famous cookbook author, Salvador Dali might not top the list. Largely known for his surrealist art, larger-than-life personality, and a penchant for melting clocks and abstract figures, Dali also ventured into the world of cookbooks. His fanciful, quirky Les Diners de Gala, a copy of which lives in the Bentley Rare Book Gallery and is accompanied by a similar publication about wines, was published in 1973 by Felicie/Draeger. Dali dedicated Les Diners de Gala to his wife to showcase an extravagant, erotic banquet in her honor. This vibrant gastronomical journey is framed within Dali’s philosophy of food, an intricate perspective you can learn more about in our exhibition opening in January 2017, Culinary Memory.

At the Department of Museums, Archives and Rare Books, we quickly developed an obsession fascination with Dali’s Les Diners de Gala, so the only thing to do was to strap on aprons and try to emulate the master. Over the next few months, we invite you to join us as we experiment with Dali’s recipes and persuade our friends to come over and try the finished product.

We start with “Land and Sea Rolls,” which on the surface appeared to be stuffed fish and twice baked potatoes. Sounds pretty simple, right? Dali intended for both the Land and Sea Rolls to be roughly the same size and shape – and swaddled in aluminum foil – so you reveal which is which when you unwrap your foil packets at the table. This would work amazingly well if we were able to find the right-sized fish (we weren’t). While our packets were incredibly easy to tell apart, and the sheer volume of butter and heavy cream startled us, Dali’s creation (despite our botchiness) overall proved to be delicious. Follow along below to see the step-by-step process as we took lots of photos and ate lots of butter…



2 thoughts on “Cooking with Julia: “Land and Sea Rolls”

  1. Quite a buttery adventure! Looking forward to more virtual meals with our friends Salvador and the Bentley Rare Book Team…


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