It draws near, my friends – an event which has so held my attention for some time already. Chef Paco Perez, of whom I practically gushed last month, will be performing a culinary demonstration at The Dali on October 30. Finally! We welcome a genius into the fold, who can turn our minds toward the fantastical and exquisite.
He has told me in confidence that he will demonstrate how to prepare his Huevos Mar y Montaña, or Huevos “M y M.” Eggs of the sea and mountains … what a brilliant thought. Eggs, a universal symbol of birth or rebirth, coupled with the sea and mountains, steadfast symbols of constancy and strength.
Salvador Dali, Still Life (Fish with Red Bowl) 1923-24, In the USA © Salvador Dali Museum, Inc. St. Petersburg, Florida, 2011 Worldwide rights © Salvador Dali. Fundación Gala-Salvador Dali (Artists Rights Society) 2011
True birth is difficult, my darlings. I am not referring, of course, to the vulgar process of birthing a child … the off-putting screams of infant and mother alike are enough to make anyone lose their appetite. No, I speak of the moment in which an artist finally recognizes his true form. Genius is not easy to possess, dear friends. Artists are forced to cultivate their vision and imagination among the common masses. Imagine the strain!
But I digress. Huevos Mar y Montaña. Though I would sooner serve my own eyes on a dinner plate rather than spend time in the kitchen cooking for loved ones, the opportunity to see a master at work is too compelling to miss.
Everything in matter moves, a series of shifting dots like people in crowds, atoms in gas, stars in the night sky.
Salvador Dali, Galatea of the Spheres (1952) Worldwide rights © Salvador Dalí. Fundación Gala-Salvador Dali (Artists Rights Society) 2011
The legendary Catalan thinker Jorge Wagensberg Lubinski tells us the most important thing about particles is their relationship – and the essence of things is not in matter, but in its shape. Tell that to someone trying to fit size-10 feet into size-6 Manolo Blahnik pumps.
Air and paint, shoes and food … From the palette to the palate, what sacred shapes will we take into our mouths? Darlings, at our dinner parties Dali served fish in satin slippers. Now we take the fish apart and spherify its juice on a bed of scales.
Ingredients transformed, the meal becomes homage to nuclear mysticism.
Chef Paco Perez, another great Catalan, has perfected this art of culinary physics at his restaurant Miramar, in Llançà near my Dali’s homeland. He has a few Michelin stars – two I think, but who is counting. Next month, Perez honors The Dali Museum with an indulgent 16-course meal breaking the boundaries of molecular gastronomy.
I want to taste a cloud of lemon air and beetroot vapor. Let me lift a scented fork to melt frozen lamb custard along my tongue. The Surrealists have reclaimed Catalan cuisine. I welcome Chef Perez into our pantheon.