DINNER AT THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION BY THORSTEN SCHMIDT
Danish astronaut takes a culinary experience by Nordic Alchemist Thorsten Schmidt into Space.
When the Soyuz TMA-18M rocket scheduled for launch this Wednesday morning in Kazakhstan is heading to the International Space Station, ISS, there will be a box in the trunk filled with delicious gastronomy – quite possibly the most expensive take-away in the Universe.
Denmark’s first astronaut, Andreas Mogensen, has asked Thorsten Schmidt to create a culinary experience that the nine cosmonauts and astronauts can treat their taste buds with later this week – while floating in a weightless state 389 km into Space.
Thorsten Schmidt promises a star moment for the Space travellers:
“I both hope and think they’ll appreciate it. You have no idea how many hours and effort that underlies this dining experience in space. It‘s probably the Universe’s most expensive take-away,” says the Nordic star chef who also reveals an astonishing price of 75,000 DKK (11,500 USD) per kilo when launch costs are brought into the equation.
The take-away box has a total weight of 6,2 kilogram.
Testing the dishes back in March, astronaut Anderes Mogensen approved of Thorsten Schmidt’s dishes, which have also been tested to extreme vibration – and still looking delicious when dined in Space.
Astronaut Andreas Mogensen, who didn’t know Thorsten Schmidt in advance, had a very special assignment for the renown creative thinking chef. He wanted Thorsten Schmidt to make a meal that would be something out of the ordinary and could be eaten on the Space Odyssey 2015 six months later. Since it would be a surprise, extreme discretion was a must.
“Of course, I said yes. It’s a very exciting assignment and I thought: How many chefs get to try this? But I had not in my wildest dreams imagined the amount of special demands and bureaucracy I would be subject to”, Chef Schmidt states.
“Not only should all the food be packaged in a single box measuring 24 x 22 x 12 cm weighing a maximum of 6.5 kg. The food would also be held for up to six months at around 25° Celsius. In addition, it should be able to withstand extreme shocks and meet a lot of requirements that are not normally met for ready-made meals. As an example the food had to contain a maximum of 10 percent water.“
The Soyuz TMA-18M rocket sits atop its launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan after rolling out from the Integration Facility Monday morning.
Thorsten Schmidt continues: “In space your taste is reduced and equivalent to one having a severe cold, so all flavors had to be intensified, bolder and more aromatic. Besides, I had to study a lot of videos of how to eat in a weightless state. The interesting thing here is the texture. If the astronauts spill, the food must be firm and not turn into crumbles that will float around and pose a potential danger to the space station.“
Moreover, both the American space agency NASA and the Russian equivalent Roscosmos and the European Space Agency ESA had to approve all dishes.
“It meant I had to make 110 units of each product to be sent for tasting. And the starting point often changed along the way. Many small continuous adjustments has been made. But in the end they are the guests, I’m just the cook,” he says.
Besides the menu itself, Thorsten Schmidt has developed a piece of gnarled, blue-gray chocolate that looks like a meteorite, named Space Rock, that comes in different flavors.
The Space Rock.
Because of this extraordinary culinary project The European Space Agency has invited Chef Schmidt as a guest speaker at TED Talk on the subject “Today’s fiction – Tomorrow’s science”.
Thorsten Schmidt exclusively offers his gastronomic excellence for lectures, food festivals, consultancy, private dining and exclusive dinner parties.
In case of interest or/and press, please contact Kristian Brask Thomsen at:
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