... well, I'd like to start with caviar...
August 25, 2015 5:19 AM   Subscribe

Dying To Eat, food photographer Henry Hargreaves and creative director Charlotte Omnès recreate the meals from the James Bond novels
posted by fearfulsymmetry (29 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
I love the construction, composition, and lighting or these. Nothing looks out of place or anachronistic. At the same time, the images don't feel overtly "retro" in the way these things often do, like some hyper-idealized version of the past...which is sort of ironic I guess since it draws inspiration from the hyper-idealized world of the Fleming Bond stories.

I guess what I'm saying is I like that these pictures would have been quite cozy if set in a 1960s issue of Cosmopolitan.
posted by Doleful Creature at 5:32 AM on August 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


Forgot to add this great bit on Bond food and drink from the BBC documentary 'The Real Casino Royale'
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:11 AM on August 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


"Come, come, Mr. Bond, you get as much fulfillment out of gourmet dining as I do."
posted by BWA at 6:12 AM on August 25, 2015


The food porn was the most surprising and memorable part of the Bond novels I've read. I love that aspect of Bond: a man traveling alone on a company expense account becomes very particular about certain luxuries.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 6:12 AM on August 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


a man traveling alone on a company government expense account becomes very particular about certain luxuries.

Even less likely to be audited.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 6:14 AM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah and compare and contrast with Harry Palmer the anti-Bond, who also kinda ate exotic but cooked for himself from supermarket and deli tinned food
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:21 AM on August 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


The excerpt From Russia With Love specifies peaches, but those are plainly nectarines. An odd misstep for something otherwise so painstaking.
posted by jedicus at 6:48 AM on August 25, 2015


This is AWESOME. Great post. I love the behind the scenes photos, especially, it's always cool to see how food is staged.

The only Fleming novel I've read is The Spy Who Loved Me, for a college English course. I barely remember the theme of the course now, but it was something about class and consumption. Class was held at 8am on Friday and I distinctly but not-so-fondly remember discussing the munch of buttery toast and willing the clock forward so I could get my hungover ass to breakfast.

My boyfriend and I watch the Bond movies every other year or so, and this time we've been making themed meals for the weekly Bond Club movies based on where each movie is set (this week is A View To A Kill, so, french onion soup in sourdough bread bowls and ghirardelli brownies), but it would be pretty cool to try and replicate the food from the movies next time we go through the series....though the only one I can think of right now is the OHMSS allergy clinic dinner, might be a little underwhelming if I can't hypnotize everyone first.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 6:48 AM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


[Ahoy, nitpick!] The toast doesn't look nearly buttery enough (TSWLM). Otherwise, my take is "Eat like you only live twice, or 'No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to die replete!'"
posted by mal de coucou at 7:01 AM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


alternately, "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to diet."
posted by everybody had matching towels at 7:04 AM on August 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


a man traveling alone on a company government expense account becomes very particular about certain luxuries.

Even less likely to be audited.


Tell me Bond never faced the perils of ice-cold Camembert and broken crackers.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:11 AM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


There is, of course, no such cut of meat called Brizzola.
posted by Splunge at 8:14 AM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


One of the things that usually shocks first time readers of the early Bond Books is how ...modest the exotic glamour is? For a post-war Audience the bar for extravagant is pretty damn low.
posted by The Whelk at 8:17 AM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I never took it to be exotic glamour. We treat it nowadays as such possibly because of the movies but, if I remember correctly, the books don't have much of that. Though I do remember reading that travel wasn't easy back then and that we have it much easier now. That may have been the big glamour angle.
posted by I-baLL at 8:23 AM on August 25, 2015


In a previous Bond thread, wuwei offered an astute analysis of Bond's appeal to mid-twentieth-century viewers.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:30 AM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, but that's the movie Bond, not the novels Bond who are very different from each other.
posted by I-baLL at 8:32 AM on August 25, 2015


or a post-war Audience the bar for extravagant is pretty damn low.

In Live And Let Die there's a meal that's basically crab salad, burger and fries and butterscotch ice cream with a bottle of - what would later be archetype cheap plonk - Liebfraumilch
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:44 AM on August 25, 2015


Also I think it was William Boyd (who wrote one of the post-Fleming novels) in an interview pointed out a bit where Bond is obsessed with having a decent shower as they were so hard to come by back in blightly (unless you went to the right club)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:46 AM on August 25, 2015


Yeah, but that's the movie Bond, not the novels Bond who are very different from each other.

Fair enough. To be honest, I have not read the Bond novels since I was probably twelve and even then -- with a pre-teen awareness of the world and that world being a late-1970s society -- I mostly recall them with a thin patina of racism and sexism. The food didn't really enter into my consciousness.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:09 AM on August 25, 2015


Font needs to be tinier. If I get close to the the screen and squint, I can still read it.
posted by kcds at 9:15 AM on August 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


or a post-war Audience the bar for extravagant is pretty damn low.

This is a point. Post war and post Depression. And food rationing lasted until the early fifties, at which time the first of the Bond books were written.

Waugh noted that elaborate food and wine were a significant element of Brideshead Revisited in part as a reaction against war time rationing. He, like Fleming, had a taste for the good life....
posted by BWA at 9:31 AM on August 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


This is delightful. Thank you.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:33 AM on August 25, 2015


Someday I should make a Vesper. Or possibly some fussy bond eggs.
posted by Artw at 2:22 PM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wasn't there an effort to redeem Liebfraumilch a few years back?
posted by Artw at 2:23 PM on August 25, 2015


I have actually had a Vesper! We did a vaguely 007-themed holiday party at work yonks ago and I was one of the organizers, so Vespers were on the cocktail menu.

Delicious as fuck they were, and were largely responsible for my credit card being stolen later that night.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:23 PM on August 25, 2015


ivsee it on cocktail menus from time to time (local boozy cinema has one) but I suspect those are more attempts to brand a martini rather than recreations of the bond recipe.
posted by Artw at 5:57 PM on August 25, 2015


I would've chosen this scene from Moonraker (the novel), where Bond is having dinner with M. M places the following order, after scoffing at the idea that he should read the menu:

Caviar. Devilled kidneys. Bacon. Peas. New potatoes. Strawberries in kirsch. The waiter recommends that M follow the strawberries with some bone marrow. (You know, dessert.) He agrees. He summons a half-bottle of red wine and a carafe (!) of vodka.

Bond’s order: Smoked salmon (“it had the glutinous texture only achieved by Highland curers”). Lamb cutlets. Peas and new potatoes. Asparagus with Bearnaise. A slice of pineapple. A bottle of Dom Perignon ‘46.

A minute later, someone delivers a package of powdered amphetamine to the table, which Bond cheerfully pours into his Champagne. “It’s what I shall need if I’m going to keep my wits about me tonight,” he explains.

M smiled at him indulgently. “It’s your funeral,” he said. “How were the cutlets?”
posted by nev at 6:04 PM on August 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


Certainly this is fancier fare than would be served in Bullets Aren't Cheap.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:51 PM on August 25, 2015


The slice of pineapple for dessert just about killed me. That was the first thing I looked for in the photoset.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 5:24 AM on August 26, 2015


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