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Bermuda Film Blog

Live and let fry: The James Bond diet

This article was originally published in 1/18/2013 edition of The Royal Gazette; Writer Nadia Arandjelovic

Most people who have read Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels or seen any of the films know the secret agent had an affinity for vodka martinis shaken, not stirred.

But what would 007 typically eat to go along with his beverage of choice?

In honour of tonight’s Bermuda International Film Festival screening of ‘Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007’, The Royal Gazette’s lifestyle section decided to dive a little deeper into what the iconic character would have for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If ever a national intelligence officer knocks on your door, you now know what to serve.

Bond actually had a great passion for good food. It was described in detail in Mr Fleming’s books; Edward Biddulph even wrote a book of recipes inspired by the Bond series, called ‘Licence to Cook’.

Bond’s go-to breakfast meal was scrambled eggs with bacon or sausages. A recipe for ‘Scrambled Eggs James Bond style’ can be found online.

Ingredients (serves four)

12 fresh eggs

Salt and pepper

5-6 oz of fresh butter.

Method: Break the eggs into a bowl and beat thoroughly with a fork, making sure to season well. In a small copper or heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter. Once melted, pour in the eggs and cook over a low heat, whisking continuously with a small egg whisk.

Outside of eggs, James Bond was open to trying the national dishes of countries he visited. When in Istanbul in the novel ‘From Russia, With Love’, the spy ate a breakfast of yoghurt, with ripe green figs and freshly-ground, black Turkish coffee.

He was also known to eat whole-wheat toast with butter, strawberry jam, marmalade and honey, from time to time.

When it comes to lunch and dinner, a secret agent would need enough protein to help them get through their active day.

In 007’s case, he feasted on a fair share of meat and seafood, including Doner kebabs (a young lamb broiled over charcoal and served with savoury rice) and fried sardines in Istanbul.

Ingredients for kebabs:

500 grams lean lamb mince

3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tbs plain flour

2 tbs each olive oil and chopped parsley

2 tsp each ground cumin and cinnamon

3 tsp ground coriander

1 egg, beaten

Lemon, warmed pita, salad, natural yoghurt and mint to serve

Method: Preheat grill to medium-high. Line base of a 28cm x 8cm pan with baking paper and lightly grease. Combine the lamb, garlic, flour, oil, parsley, spices, egg, salt and pepper into a bowl and blend. Press the mixture into an even layer in the pan.

Next, place the pan under the grill for four minutes or until lightly browned. Drain off any liquid, then invert onto a wooden chopping board. Discard the waxed paper, then return meat to pan, sealed side down, and grill for two minutes until cooked through.

Slice meat into thin strips, squeeze over lemon, then pack into pita with salad, yoghurt and mint.

James Bond’s diet also included such items as grilled sole, veal, steak, cold roast beef, French fries or potato salad.

In several of Mr Fleming’s novels the secret agent ate asparagus with hollandaise sauce or buttered peas. He also had a slice of pineapple after his meal in the novel ‘Moonraker’.

Ingredients for grilled pineapple:

1 fresh pineapple — peeled, cored and cut into 1” rings

¼ tsp honey

3 tbs melted butter

1 dash hot pepper sauce

Salt to taste

Method: Place the pineapple rings in a large resealable plastic bag. Add honey, butter, hot pepper sauce, and salt. Seal the bag and shake to coat evenly. Marinate for at least 30 minutes, or preferably overnight.

Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat, and lightly oil a grate. Grill the pineapple for two to three minutes per side or until heated through and grill marks appear.

Add mascarpone cheese or whipped cream to turn into a sweet after meal treat.

The BIFF fundraising event starts with a reception at 7pm tonight, followed by the documentary screening at the Earl Cameron Theatre in City Hall.

Hilary Saltzman, the daughter of the original James Bond film producer Harry Saltzman, will take part in a Q&A discussion following the movie.

Tickets, $50, can be purchased at www.premierticketsglobal.com.

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