In the first chapter of Live And Let Die James Bond arrives in New York City where he receives the full red carpet treatment as a guest of the FBI.
After being whisked through immigration Bond is being chauffeured to the St Regis hotel where he meets Captain Dexter of the FBI and CIA buddy Felix Leiter, who immediately mixes a Martini . Leiter is acting as a liaison officer on the mission between the FBI, whose remit covers the US, and Bond, who is dealing with the Jamaican connection.
Bond’s suitcase is brought up to the suite while they are drinking, as well as two trolleys loaded with covered dishes, linen and cutlery. After setting a folding table the waiters disappear to leave the three mean to their meal, which Ian Fleming describes as “American cooking at its rare best”.
The meal consists of soft-shell crabs with tartare sauce, medium rare beef hamburgers, French fries and broccoli, a mixed salad with thousand island dressing and ice-cream with melted butterscotch, although Bond has a “mental reservation” about the butterscotch, washed down by “as good a Liebfraumilch as you can get in America”.
Finally, after ending the meal with coffee after eating in silence, they get down to business when Dexter asks Bond to tell him what he knows about the case involving Mr Big and a hoard of treasure belonging to Bloody Morgan.
A gastronomic tour of America
All in all Live And Let Die turns out to provide quite a gastronomic tour of both America and Jamaica, with numerous meals described in varying degrees of detail. Because of this it is possible 007’s reputation for fine dining originated with this book (also see James Bond’s food); I have looked for no evidence of this either way and Bond’s meals with Vesper offered us our first culinary experiences with Bond, but while in the United States in Live And Let Die we are privy to the following meals:
If you are interested in learning more about James Bond’s food I recommend Licence To Cook from Amazon:
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