Category Archives: Food

A View On Bond Reviews James Bond’s Cuisine

sdfdsfA research feat second to none, The Man with the Hawk-like Culinary Eye!

2014, CreateSpace, 128 pages. (Review posted 9 August 2015.)

Perhaps not second to none, but you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s not too far off! Credit where credit is due: this is a truly exhaustive overview of Bond’s cuisine, which spans the Fleming novels, the official spin-off novels, and the films. ANY type of culinary reference is captured by Matt Sherman’s sharp eye – and then is often embellished by his very dry wit – and this includes food or drink-oriented product placement and/or any sort of unintended devouring that has occurred in the series (e.g. Die Another Day at 46 minutes and 8 seconds: “Bond spits out water from a fire sprinkler that douses him”).

Thus, the level of research detail is hugely impressive – and the breadth of detail is also where a great deal of humour is mined: James Bond’s Cuisine manages to traverse that seemingly contradictory line of serious scholarship delivered with the enjoyably relaxed and accessible quality of a “coffee table” book.

Furthermore, you come away from the text with a firmer-than-firm sense of the place of cuisine in the highly sumptuous Bondian atmosphere – and the book manages to genuinely surprise one in its highlighting of the sheer extent of references to food and drink, and munching and consuming, found within the series. Mr Sherman also includes some practical indexes such as “signature meal cuisines” and “real world Bond eateries”.

Admittedly, I’m not really a “foodist”. The principal attraction in purchasing this book was based on my enjoyment of Mr Sherman’s knowledgeable and personable presence within James Bond fan communities. I can certainly see, however, that a by-product of a great interest in James Bond is that one is served a strong knowledge base in culinary pursuits. I feel well equipped to wing it through dinner party conversation.

Furthermore, I found that this book – in the process of pinpointing all the culinary references – kept reminding me of all the engrossing Bondian moments and scenarios I have enjoyed over the years. That constitutes a bonus in what is a tremendous reference work.

Last but not least, I particularly liked the capsule summaries for each and every Bond novel and film, where references to mastication have been employed to describe the central conspiracies and action. To wit, 1984’s Role of Honour (“Ending superpower supremacy will devour the economy unless James Bond crashes S.P.E.C.T.R.E.’s flight of fancy”), 1960’s The Spy who Loved Me (“James Bond sustains a woman after other men wolf down her vulnerability”), and 1974’s film version of The Man with the Golden Gun (“An assassin with a penchant for Cordon Bleu cooking creates crises for James Bond”).

To be enjoyed and admired!

Eat Like Bond!

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With the steady build-up of buzz being generated by the fall release of the next James Bond film “Spectre,” a recently released restaurant guide can help fans dine like Agent 007.

In his book “James Bond’s Cuisine: 007’s Every Last Meal,” author Matt Sherman combed through 54 books and 23 films in the Bond franchise to come up with a list of 254 real-world dining destinations.

Travel site Goeuro recently distilled the listing into a handy infographic that breaks down the restaurants by country and region.

Not surprisingly, restaurants in the U.K. and Ireland get the most mentions, with 21 restaurants.

According to Sherman, the most popular dining destination in the entire repertoire is Scott’s of Mayfair in London, which is mentioned in four separate films and books.

While in the U.K., Bond’s typical meal choice may include a good old-fashioned steak with potatoes and a picnic hamper from Harrods.

To sample the glamorous spy life, Sherman suggests hitting up Ascot for smoked salmon sandwiches and washing them down with Dom Pérignon champagne.

Bond is also a fan of dining at the ritzy Casino de Monte Carlo in Monaco and Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, both of which get three mentions throughout the Bond franchise.

And in the 1985 film “A View to A Kill,” Bond (Roger Moore) tucks into foie gras topped with caviar on toasted brioche at the iconic Jules Verne restaurant at the Eiffel Tower.

Fans can also find Bond-approved restaurants and addresses in countries like the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Switzerland, Greece, Germany and Austria.