Où Est Le Garlic?

Know your eggs - a cookstrip from Len Deighton's Où est le Garlic?

Len Deighton is best known as a thriller writer – The IPCRESS File, Horse Under Water, Funeral in Berlin and Billion Dollar Brain are the four that he made his name with, three of them (not Horse Under Water) famously being filmed with Michael Caine as the anti-James Bond, anti-hero Harry Palmer – but before that he studied at St. Martin’s School of Art and the Royal College of Art in London and that is where he learnt to illustrate.

A gourmet in an age when that was something to be distrusted, in 1965 he produced two genius, beautifully designed and brilliantly illustrated books of ‘cookstrips’, Où est le Garlic? and Len Deighton’s Action Cook Book. The former – from which the above cookstrip is taken – is the pick of the two and though long out of print you can still find copies on Abebooks or Amazon or, indeed, if you’re lucky, in your good, local, second-hand book shop.

Len Deighton's Où est le Garlic?


David Lancaster
I will try and get a scan and send to these good people. David
Rob Mallows
David - very interested to hear about the piece in Eat Soup magazine - do you have any more information; be interested to hear about that.
David Lancaster
Nice post. Deighton's food writing is even more low key than his profile as a thriller writer. I had the privilege of publishing a piece by him to accompany our interview with Michael Caine, in the first issue of EatSoup magazine many years ago. It’s a great insight into the gastronomy of 1960s London. Harry Palmer, the hero of his early thrillers, is a cook on both page and screen. Palmer’s day in the Ipcress File starts not with James Fusspot Bond’s bacon and eggs and special coffee, but with ‘… two packets of Gauloises, a quick grappa with Mario and Franco at the Terraze,’ and ‘Normandy butter and garlic sausage.’ The cooking scene in the film features Deighton’s hands, as his knife skills were so much better than Caine’s. A good blog on Len Deighton is at http://deightondossier.blogspot.com. Keep up the fine work in the blog. David Lancaster
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