The Decadent Cookbook

Medlar Lucan & Durian Gray


The chapter headings say it all:

- Corruption and Decay

- Blood, the Vital Ingredient

- The Gastronomic Mausoleum

- And I can Recommend the Poodle

This is not a normal cookbook but a slightly sinister and highly literate feast of decadent writing on food. There are dishes from the tables of Caligula and Marquis de Sade, a visit to Paris under siege (when rat was a luxury) some unexpected uses for cat food and some amblongous recipes from Edward Lear.

There should be something here to delight and offend everyone: the recipes for cooking with endangered species looking particularly tasty. Mouth-watering.

Sunday Times


The putative authors are Medlar Lucan and Durian Gray, a bit of a tip-off: the medlar is a small, brown fruit, eaten when decayed; the durian fruit tastes good but smells like sewage.

These two coves left editors Alex Martin and Jerome Fletcher to tidy up this compendium of hideous repasts, taboo-busting banquets, and surprisingly sensible fare, accompanied by passages from decadent literature: mnus courtesy of the Marquis de Sade, J.K. Huysmans, King George IV, the Grand Inquisitor and other glutons.

The Independent on Sunday