Photographing James Bond’s Dinners

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In just a couple of months, when the next James Bond movie comes out, we are certain to hear the iconic “shaken not stirred” line…referring, of course, to his martini.

However, in a ProPhotoDailey article by David Schonauer, he takes a closer look at Bond’s dining habits via Henry Hargreaves’ book Dying to Eat.  Hargreaves collaborated with food stylist Charlotte Omnes to recreate meals depicted prominently in the books, but missing in the cinematic adaptations.

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 Analyzing the meals is a nod to cinematic history and pop culture.  “Reading about Bond’s dining habits from a modern perspective is akin to cultural archeology. His dinner with Vesper, for instance, is a remarkable example of post-war extravagance. She orders caviar, to be followed by ‘a plain grilled rognon de veau with pommes soufflés, and then fraises de bois, with a lot of cream.’” (Schoner)

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© Gargreaves/Omnes Casino Royale

Schonauer posits that when people read the books, they were transported to a world where both danger and luxury could be found in abundance.  Part of that luxury was highlighted in the food choices.  Today a simple avocado is found in nearly every grocery store across America, however in Europe in the 1950s, it was an exotic indulgence.

Example, after example, is given by Hargreaves in his Dying to Eat.  A former model and food industry employee, Hargreaves delights in pairing food and fashion, and proclaims, “I was fascinated about people’s requests and [how] what they ordered [revealed] their character and personality. I try to bring this idea into my work by showing the connections visually,” he writes at his website.

You can flip through the fabulous meals Bond enjoyed at this link: http://henryhargreaves.com/#dying-to-eat.