Agent 007 is known for his impeccable taste (shaken martini, anyone?). And yet, the extravagant food scenes that populate Ian Fleming's novels are for the most part missing from their big screen adaptations. Brooklyn-based photographer Henry Hargreaves (whose ingenious use for soda captivated our attention previously) and food stylist Charlotte Omnès set to “return these lavish meals to the limelight,” as their project’s mission statement says, with a new collaboration: Dying to Eat.
Hargreaves’s connection to Fleming goes beyond his artistic proclivities: His grandfather served with Fleming during the second World War and subsequently consulted on sartorial details in Fleming’s Bond novels. As such, when Omnès approached him about this project, Hargreaves jumped at the chance. “She's a great cook and prop stylist,” he tells mental_floss of Omnès. Of the project, Hargreaves adds, “I'm good at shooting, lighting, and composing—so our strengths complemented each other!”
Hargreaves and Omnès set the table for their You Only Live Twice meal.
For Dying to Eat, Hargreaves and Omnès chose a single meal from each title to bring to life. An explanation of the series provided by Hargreaves describes how they went about doing so:
Shots were styled and lit to match descriptions of a wide variety of settings, from a Swiss hotel room to a Miami beach club. Rather than present the meals uneaten, the pair chose to highlight a moment in each, scattering clues—cuff links here, a woman’s purse there—as to what may have happened before, during, and after. Accordingly, each meal is more than just a detail contained within a sentence. It’s a story unto itself.
This sparkling array of flatware, silverware, and china reveals the artists' attention to detail.
The final result is a stunning pairing of Fleming’s detailed descriptions and Omnès and Hargreaves's meticulous recreations. Find a few of our favorites below, and the rest on Hargreaves’s website.
DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE
All images courtesy Henry Hargreaves