Jeff McMillan

Resistance Gazpacho Three Ways

12 September 2014
‘After the first ineffable “gazpacho” was served to us in Malaga and an entirely different but equally exquisite one was presented in Seville the recipes for them had unquestionably become of greater importance than Grecos and Zurbaráns, than cathedrals and museums.’
—Alice B. Toklas, Beautiful Soups, Cookbook 1954

Artist Jeff McMillan dons his apron and cooks dishes from Alice B Toklas’ legendary cookbook, while writer, Deborah Levy glimpses the life of Alice and her partner, Gertrude Stein through food: pleasure, nurture, seduction, a way of thinking about culture, history, art, enduring love – and of course saving some scraps for their two beloved poodles, Basket 1 and Basket 2... for Deborah, Alice B Toklas' recipes are rules that can be changed and re-jigged; as the two women did in life and in literature.

During the war years, Gertrude and Alice lived outside Paris, feasting daily thanks to Alice’s incredible inventiveness with food – she bred langoustine in a drainpipe, harvested her vegetable garden so that they ate extremely well.

Alice’s cookbook included her memories of Gertrude Stein and others who visited, from the perspective of what they ate. She invented special dishes to celebrate her guests: Picasso’s was a striped bass.

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