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50 Flavors of Grey – 50 Shades of Grey Food Menu
50 Flavors of Grey

50 Flavors of Grey – 50 Shades of Grey Food Menu

Food is woven into 50 Shades of Grey Book: Food Menu and Analysis

Make your 50 Shades of Grey food menu based on the book

50 shades of Grey Book Cover

50 shades of Grey Book Cover

I am not ashamed to admit that I have read the 50 Shades of Grey series.  The book series entwines food into the story. Book one of the series, 50 Shades of Grey, has over 50 food references. This article will cover the most noteworthy dishes and wine. 

The author, E.L. James, uses food as a literary constructs to help share a story of innocence lost, control, insecurity, predatory behavior, and sexual awakenings.

Each interaction with food serves as a metaphor for the characters mood and intentions. Let us explore some of the foods and dishes mentioned in the book. As a service to my readers I am also including links to my favorite recipes online for these dishes in case you want to make your own 50 Shades of Grey menu for a romantic dinner or a dinner party. 

For the record, in addition to chick lit, like 50 shades and Twilight, I also read war novels like American Sniper and the Tom Clancy series. 😉

Christian Grey and Ana Steele Meet

50 shades on set. Image fromExpress.co.uk

50 shades on the movie  set. Image from Express.co.uk. Visit their site for more images from the set.

The beginning section of the book is all about innocence, nativity and predatory stalking by Mr. Christian Grey. The early scenes involving food and drink reflects this interaction. After Ana interviews Christian for her roommate Kate’s article, Christian is memorized by Ana and takes on a creepy fascination.

Creepy Mr. Charming


After a photo shoot for for the article,  the darkly brooding and mysterious CEO of Grey Holdings and obligates Ana to a coffee date after the shoot. The conversation and choices of food are interesting. This scene is set at Portland Coffee House. 

Ana is young and innocent, not yet exposed to the ways of the world. Ana’s picky choice of Earl Grey outside of the teapot and preference for weak tea, speaks to the bubble that she lives.Christian Grey is about to pop this bubble like a semi-truck through a glass house.

The interplay of Christian asking her if she wants to eat and her saying no to food will be a reoccurring theme. Food is a metaphor for Christian’s insecurities and Ana’s constant flight response and struggle to retain personal control.


Weak Earl Grey tea, blueberry muffin and a fancy Latte with leaf art, Page 33

What they ordered at the coffee shop

50 Shades of Grey Food Menu: What they ordered at the coffee shop Page 33

An article from PDX Eater on the best coffee shops in Portland. The book says that they visited the “Portland Coffee House”, the  movie is shot at the “Public Domain Coffee House”.  http://pdx.eater.com/maps/portlands-20-best-coffeeshops-and-roasters-sept-2013


“Why don’t you choose a table, while I get the drinks. What would you like?” he asks, polite as ever. “I’ll have… um – English Breakfast tea, bag out.” He raises his eyebrows. “No coffee?” “I’m not keen on coffee.” …. “Anything to eat?” “No thank you.” I shake my head, and he heads to the counter….

He’s carrying a tray, which he sets down on the small, round, birch-veneer table. He hands me a cup and saucer, a small teapot, and a side plate bearing a lone teabag labeled ‘Twinings English Breakfast’ – my favorite. He has a coffee which bears a wonderful leaf-pattern imprinted in the milk. How do they do that? …

“This is my favorite tea.” My voice is quiet, breathy. I simply can’t believe I’m sitting opposite Christian Grey in a coffee shop in Portland. He frowns. He knows I’m hiding something. I pop the teabag into the teapot and almost immediately fish it out again with my teaspoon. As I place the used teabag back on the side plate, he cocks his head gazing quizzically at me. “I like my tea black and weak,” I mutter as an explanation.

On the first real date: Hunter and Prey


Christian invites Ana to his swanky apartment and pours her a glass of a rare and esoteric bottle of Pouilly-funce from France; she really wants a margarita. After glamouring the naive Ana Steele, with charm and fancy wine, he reveals a dark side.  He convinces Ana to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement and then shows her into the S &M Red Room. Ana is both disturbed and naively intrigued by the charming Mr. Grey’s hobby.   Ana is not deterred and Christian seduces Ana, the cherry is poped and Ana is now stuck in his web.  Ana agrees  to think about the S M contract


Pouilly-Fume Wine: has an unusual flavor for a dry white wine: a strong flavor of musk and smoked. The grapes are grown on the east bank of the Liore river in France. On the other side of the bank they grown Sancere.   Mr. Grey likes unique French wines. Page 68 

More info: http://www.terroir-france.com/region/loire_pouilly.htm

50 Shades of Grey Food Pouily Fume

50 Shades of Grey Food Menu:  Pouily Fume Wine  Page 68


 Seattle is lit up and lively in the background. I walk back to the kitchen area – it takes a few seconds, it’s so far from the glass wall – and Christian is opening a bottle of wine. He’s removed his jacket.

“Pouilly Fumé okay with you?” “I know nothing about wine, Christian. I’m sure it will be fine.” My voice is soft and hesitant.

My heart is thumping. I want to run. This is seriously rich. Seriously over-thetop Bill Gates style wealthy. What am I doing here?

You know very well what you’re doing here – my subconscious sneers at me. Yes, I want to be in Christian Grey’s bed.

At a French Restaurant, Christian Grey negotiates a S &M contract


Christian takes Ana to a nice French restaurant, “Sauvage”,  to entice Ana into a S &M contract.  Ana takes the bait, but has some concerns that has to be ironed out. The food choices the author chooses speak to Ana being a prey (venison) and Nettle Soup (delicious and painful). Nettle being a herbacious plant with stinging needles on the sides.  


Nettle soup is a herbal soup that is typically cooked with cream and might remind you of a spicy basil soup. Page 109.  Simply Recipes http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/nettle_soup/

50 Shades of Grey - Nettle Soup

50 Shades of Grey Food Menu – Nettle Soup


“Just straightforward sex, Anastasia. No toys, no added extras.” He shrugs.

“You know… well actually you don’t, but that’s what it means.” “Oh.” I thought it was chocolate fudge brownie sex that we had, with a cherry on the top. But hey, what do I know?

The waitress brings us soup. We both stare at it rather dubiously. “Nettle soup,” the waitress informs us before turning and flouncing back into the kitchen. I don’t think she likes to be ignored by Christian. I take a tentative taste. It’s delicious. Christian and I look up at each other at the same time with relief. I giggle, and he cocks his head to one side.

“That’s a lovely sound,” he murmurs. “Why have you never had vanilla sex before? Have you always done… err, what you’ve done?” I ask, intrigued.

Venison is a beautifully flavored game meat that should be served medium-rare. It is best served with it’s own Jus.  Page 110 

Venison Recipe: Honest Food.net http://honest-food.net/2011/08/11/venison-steak-diane/

50 Shades of Grey - Venison

50 Shades of Grey Food Menu – Venison


“The waitress returns with venison, but my appetite has vanished. What a revelation. Christian the submissive… Holy shit. I take a large slug of Pinot Grigio – he’s right, of course, it’s delicious.

Jeez, all these revelations, it’s so much to think about. I need time to process this, when I’m on my own, not when I’m distracted by his presence. He’s so overwhelming, so Alpha Male, and now he’s thrown this bombshell into the equation. He knows what it’s like. “But it can’t have been full time?”

I’m confused”

Last Lasagna of Innocence


After a week of “Firsts” Ana tries to enjoy one of the last moments of innocence with her roommate as they packup their apartment.They just graduated college and Ana cooks up here homemade lasagna as they eat on the floor, while drinking bad wine . Kate warns Ana to be careful. This is the last scene of innocence in the book and last scene were Ana is grounded before she makes a series of bad ,”exciting”, decisions. Page 115


Homemade Lasagna, this is a dish that most folks learn to make because of it’s ease. One of the many things college students learn to do is make a good lasagna before they graduate. Page 115 

Lasagna Recipehttp://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/traditional-lasagna


50 Shades of Grey Food - Lasagna

50 Shades of Grey Food Menu – Lasagna


Quote: “Forty-five minutes later, we pause our packing for the house specialty, my lasagna. Kate opens a bottle of wine, and we sit amongst the boxes eating, quaffing cheap red wine, and watching crap TV”

An Indecent proposal


Christian takes Ana on s date to an unnamed restaurant, with a “great wine cellar”.  Ana dresses up in Kate’s tight dresses, Ana’s inner goddess is winning. Christian takes it upon himself to order  oysters and black cod for them to share (she has no say) and ups the ante on the S &M contract negotiations. Ana is feeling weird and conflicted, but agrees to the S M contract with clauses added. 


Oysters on the half shell, Of Course Christian orders Oysters, considered to be aphrodesiacs and very sensual imagery associated with this bivalve. Author, E.L. James,  fully uses  this scene as a metaphor for seduction of the innocent Ana.   Page 154

50 Shades of Grey Food Oysters

50 Shades of Grey Food Menu:  Food Oysters Page 154

Black cod with asparagus, crushed potatoes in hollandaise sauce, Page 156

  • Black Cod recipe: Cucicna Famiglia http://www.cucinafamiglia.com/2010/09/black-cod-with-hollandaise-sauce.html
Black Cod with Asparagus and Hollandaise sauce

50 Shades of Grey Food Menu: Black cod with asparagus, crushed potatoes in hollandaise sauce, Page 156



“I hope you like oysters,” Christian’s voice is soft. “I’ve never had one.” Ever.

“Really? Well.” He reaches for one. “All you do is tip and swallow. I think you can manage that.” He gazes at me, and I know what he’s referring to. I blush scarlet.

He grins at me, squirts some lemon juice onto his oyster, and then tips it into his mouth. “Hmm, delicious. Tastes of the sea,” he grins at me. “Go on,” he encourages.”

“The waiter re-emerges with our entrees: black cod, asparagus, and crushed potatoes with a Hollandaise sauce. I have never felt less like food.”

Christian tests the waters for S &M and Ana gets spanked


Ana is frustrated and creeped out out by Christians SM proposal and his non-emotionally committed stance to their relationship. Clearly, Ana has been an sexual object up to this point. Ana decides to ignore Christian until he shows up as the featured speaker of her graduation ceremony; he obviously paid off the graduation planner. Christian attends Ana’s college graduation party and then later that night he  shows up to her apartment with  bottle of Bollinger to “celebrate.” Ana gets spanked really hard by Christian for being defiant. Ana turns the tables on Christian when she gets upset with him.


Bollinger Champagne – Bollinger is an old school sparkling wine from the champagne region in France. A good bottle of Bollinger costs around $80. Page 176

50 Shades of Grey Food Bollinger

50 Shades of Grey Food Menu:  Bollinger Champagne


“Hi,” he says, and his face lights up with his radiant smile. I take a moment to admire the pretty. Oh my, he’s hot in leather.

“Come in.”

“If I may,” he says amused.

He holds up a bottle of champagne as he walks in. “I thought we’d celebrate your graduation. Nothing beats a good Bollinger.” “Interesting choice of words,” I comment dryly. He grins. “Oh, I like your ready wit, Anastasia.”

“We only have teacups. We’ve packed all the glasses.”

“Teacups? Sounds good to me.” I head into the kitchen. Nervous, butterflies flooding my stomach, it’s like having a panther or mountain lion all unpredictable and predatory in my living room.

 A “Light Dinner” before Ana’s First Red Room Experience

Plot: Christian arranges a private Doctor gives Ana the pill and Christian prepares a “Light” dinner of chicken Caesar salad. After Christian is satisfied that Ana has had enough food, he takes her into the Red Room for her first proper S&M experience.


Chicken Caesar salad.   Page 222 

Chicken Casesar Salad recipe: Martha Stewart http://www.marthastewart.com/342389/chicken-caesar-salad

50 Shades of Grey - Casesar Salad

50 Shades of Grey Food Menu – Classic Chicken Casesar Salad


“What’s the music?” “Villa Lobos, an aria from Bachianas Brasileiras. Good, isn’t it?” “Yes,” I murmur in total agreement. The breakfast bar is laid for two; Christian takes a salad bowl from the fridge.“Chicken caesar salad okay with you?” Oh thank heavens, nothing too heavy. “Yes, fine, thank you.” I watch as he moves gracefully through his kitchen.

Apparently Ana likes the Chicken Casesar Salad and Christian is strangely aroused by her finishing her meal

The chicken Caesar is delicious. To my surprise, I’m famished, and for the first time since I’ve been with him, I finish my meal before he does. The wine is crisp, clean, and fruity. “Eager as ever, Miss Steele?” he smiles down at my empty plate. I look at him from beneath my lashes.

“Yes,” I whisper. His breath hitches. And as he stares down at me, I feel the atmosphere between us slowly shift, evolve… charge. His look goes from dark to smoldering, taking me with him.

Wow that must have been some salad, as Ana agrees to try out the red room of pain.

“Christian’s stance has changed completely, subtly altered, harder and meaner. He gazes down at me and his eyes are heated, lustful… hypnotic. “When you’re in here, you are completely mine,” he breathes, each word slow and measured. “To do with as I see fit. Do you understand?”

There are some real naughty bits after this quote, enjoy page 224 especially.

Meet the “Greys” and getting frisky under the Table


After Chrisitan’s Mother makes an unannounced visit to Christian’s apartment and stumbles in on Christian in bed with Ana. Christian’s mother is elated that Christian has a girlfriend and one that is allowed to sleep over. Soon after Christian and Ana are invited to a dinner party at the uber rich estate of the Greys. The food imagery is amazing and definitely shows that Ana and Christian are from two different worlds.


Chorizo and scallops with roasted red peppers and shallots, Page 239

Chorizo and scallops Recipe from  Nigela Lawson http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/scallops-and-chorizo-64

50 Shades of Grey - Scallops with Chorizo and Red Peppers

50 Shades of Grey Food Menu – Scallops with Chorizo and Red Peppers


“It smells delicious – chorizo and scallops with roasted red peppers and shallots, sprinkled with flat leafed parsley.

And in spite of the fact that my stomach is churning from Christian’s veiled threats, the surreptitious glances from pretty little Miss Pigtails, and the debacle of my missing underwear, I am starving. I

flush as I realize it’s the physical effort of this afternoon that’s given me such an appetite. Yes in case you were guessing there was copious amounts of copulation before dinner.

Yes in case you were guessing there was copious amounts of copulation before dinner.

Dinner continues with Beef Wellington and frisky fingers


The family dinner party continues with Beef Wellington, while Christian. Christian gets frisky under the table and Ana gets jealous over the servant’s flirtatiousness with Mr. Still. Ana is putty in Christian’s hands. The dinner party evolves and Ana gets a little jealous how the staff flirts with Christian Grey. You see more of Christian being obsessed with how much Ana eats.


Beef Wellington is a quintensential English dish that is often served on Christmas, although this dish is great anytime. A prime cut of steak is wrapped in a mushroom paste and puff pastry and cooked to medium-rare. It is one of my favorite dishes. Page 240-243

50 Shades of Grey - Beef Wellington

50 Shades of Grey Food Menu – Beef Wellington


“Oh… he remembered. He places his hand on my knee – his fingers traveling up my thigh. My whole body tightens in response. No… not here, not now. I flush and shift, trying to pull away from him. His hand clamps down on my thigh, stilling me. I reach for my wine, in desperation.

Little Miss European Pigtails returns, all coy glances and swaying hips, with our entrée, a Beef Wellington, I think. Fortunately, she gives us our plates and then leaves, although she lingers handing Christian his. He looks quizzically at me as I watch her close the dining room door.

The beef is delicious and served with roasted sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and green beans. It is even more palatable since Christian manages to retain his good-humor for the rest of the meal. I suspect that it’s because I’m eating so heartily.”

Manic Love, Whips, and Clam Pasta

Things get very serious between Christian and Ana. Ana breaks down some of Chrisitian’s wall and he becomes emotionally desperate for her. There is a lot of predatory controling behavior and ample amounts of  bedroom, and bathroom romps. There is no more food after this scene, what evolves next is Ana’s first foray into the Red Room. S and M kinda stuff. Keep an eye out for food from 50 Shades Darker


Pasta alle vongole is a classic Italian dish that has it’s roots in the area around Venice. This dish is made with fresh clams, olive oil, wine and spaghetti. This dish pairs with Sancere Wine mentioned in this section. Page 335

Pasta alle vongole

50 Shades of Grey Food Menu – Pasta alle vongole

“He is devouring me with his eyes. Holy shit… something’s amiss – the strain in his jaw, the anxiety around his eyes. He shrugs out of his jacket, undoes his dark tie, and slings them both on to the couch en route to me. Then his arms are wrapped around me, and he’s pulling me to him, hard, fast, gripping my ponytail to tilt my head up, kissing me like his life depends on it. What the hell? He drags the hair tie painfully out of my hair, but I don’t care. 

There’s a desperate, primal quality to his kiss. There are about 5 more pages of primal imagery of a emotionally broken, yet strangely aggressive Christian who uses Ana as a mother replacement and sexual prey. Yeah it’s all fucked up.

After 5 pages of more bedroom romps and Ana becomes emboldened to ask why she can’t touch Christian without Christian going into the fetal position with panic. Al this drama makes them hungry and they eat fancy clam pasta made by the butler.

“Will you ever let me touch you?” I ask boldly. He stills again, his hand on my behind. “Put your hands on the wall Anastasia. I’m going to take you again,” he murmurs in my ear as he grabs my hips, and I know that the discussion is over. Later we are seated at the breakfast bar, dressed in bathrobes, having consumed Mrs. Jones’s rather excellent pasta alle vongole. “More wine?” Christian asks, gray eyes glowing. “A small glass, please.” The Sancerre is crisp and delicious. Christian pours one for me and one for himself.

My Final Thoughts

 I hope you enjoyed reading my 50 Shades of Grey Food Menu and Analysis. Enjoy the recipes, but please refrain from tying up your partners and beating them. Instead just feed them a nice meal; I find this works better than stalking them and convincing them to partake in Red Room of Pain activities. Just my thought. 😉

Read my other Food Articles

Best Las Vegas Buffet –  Bacchanal versus Wicked Spoon

Death of the Food Trucks and Rise of the Food Halls

Restaurant Reviews

Hidden Orange County Wine Loop

Produce Trends from PMA

Best Chorizo in Orange County

Top 10 Cookie Baking Hacks

Secret to the perfect Pie Crust

Top Napa Valley Wineries

BevMo 5 cent Picks

Jack in the Box Buttery Jack


About Tom Holmberg

Tom grew up in a cultural diverse neighborhood and a culturally diverse family, so he has learned to appreciate all types of food. "I am not a Chef, nor do I play one on T.V., but I have learned to appreciate food from years of eating and cooking." Tom also spent 10 years in the restaurant industry in various roles, from Prep Cook to server.


  1. That’s so clever the way you’ve woven recipes through your charming review of the book. I hadn’t read it until I perused your excerpts. Well done.

  2. Love the way you laid this post out and how creatively you wove together the elements to fit your narrative. Nicely done!

  3. youre not ashamed to admit you read 50 shades of grey but you definitely should be very ashamed

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