Rocket salad, anyone? Leading chef revamps astronaut menu
Monday 30 October 2006
Not content with his nine Michelin stars, the French chef Alain Ducasse has turned his attention to the cosmos. He and his team have developed 15 new recipes for astronauts, which were launched into space this week aboard the Russian spacecraft Progress.
Rather than tucking into rehydrated chicken soup, thermostabilised mushrooms or dried peaches aboard the International Space Station, the German astronaut Thomas Reiter will be able to choose from such delicacies as Riviera-style swordfish steak, preserved duck breast with a caper condiment or roasted quails in a Madeiran wine sauce. Mr Reiter was chosen to be the first to test the experimental recipes.
The idea of spicing up astronauts' daily rations came from Richard Filippi, a chef and teacher at the Lycée hôtelier de Souillac in the Lot region of France. The dishes he created received unanimous praise from the Russians, Americans and French who sampled them. The CNES (French National Centre for Space Studies) wished to take the project further, and it was entrusted to M. Ducasse and his team.
The project aims to put the enjoyment back into eating, making the meals taste "more like good food cooked on Earth" rather than simply a necessary source of nutrition, while still complying with the stringent hygiene and nutrition requirements of space. To develop the dishes, M. Ducasse said, "the first step was to understand the constraints on astronauts living in confinement". A visit to the training centre in Cologne provided him, he said, with "valuable insight into food and nutrition issues on the International Space Station: zero bacteria, very low humidity and so on."
After the Institute for Biomedical Problems and the Moscow Food Institute had certified the recipes as suitable for consumption on the space station, they were created in a laboratory in the Basque country.
The meals were tested under extreme conditions when Prince Albert of Monaco and his team undertook a four-day expedition to the North Pole in April.
The gourmet meals will not replace the current rations provided by the Russians and Americans. Instead they will serve as a "morale boost" for crew members, and have been christened SEMs, or Special Event Meals.
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...