In 1973, Salvador Dalí published a cookbook called “Les Diners de Gala,” which he proclaimed was “uniquely devoted to the pleasures of taste.” More than 40 years later, Taschen is reprinting it. It features an array of all 136 rare preparations, spread over 12 chapters.
There’s a restaurant in Chicago whose offerings too, are, in a sense, surreal because its dishes are in the most unexpected forms and delivered with showmanship to boot. The array of courses at Alinea is an “edible magic show,” of sorts, performed “in part to shock and awe,” writes Sarah Freeman in Eater.
This smoky dish is a Mexican fiesta that includes a molcajete (Mexican version of the mortar and pestle), filled with burning palo santo sticks (an aromatic tree), alongside a volcanic stone, bearing chicken thigh, sauced with white sesame, jalapeno, and arbol (Mexican chili) to mimic the Mexican flag; chicken-liver mousse, rolled in Mexican herbs; and a cube of charred pineapple, skewered with a skull pin. This is served with a tiny clay saucer, bearing a few sips of smoky mezcal.
For dessert, there’s a chocolate-encased square of caramelized fennel ice-cream (think: fancy Klondike bar), atop fennel crème fraiche.