Where do you go when you’ve already pushed your passion to the very extremes of their potential here on earth? For science boffin chef extraordinaire, Heston Blumenthal, the answer is simple; you fire it on a rocket into outer space and you force feed it to space station astronauts, or something vaguely along those lines. He’ll be doing it for a new one-off show for Channel 4, which they’ve cannily entitled, Heston’s Space Food. Genius!
It’s going to be 90-minutes of culinary wonder combined with the equally impressive brilliance of getting off the planet and looking down on it all. The special documentary will see the Blume (Blumie!) blasting his vacuum-packed fair out of the stratosphere in Spring 2016.
As you’d expect, Heston will be breaking out his chemistry set to create his latest menu and the space hopping meal will be the most interesting food to descend on the International Space Station outside of the episode of Simpsons when Homer spills his crisps. The lucky diner on this occasion will be none other than Stoke City loving British astronaut, Tim “Up the Potters” Peake, who jetted off to life in zero-g back in December 2015.
Heston will be working with the food specialists at the UK Space Agency, ESA and NASA in a bid to add a bit more culinary flare to the previously limited selection of space food on offer to astronauts. To add in his own very modern techniques he’ll need to push himself beyond the simpler confines of his ice cream pork pies and snail porridge and embrace even more cutting edge science to make it all happen.
Before leaving for the International Space Station, Peake gave Heston the challenge of bringing a bit more excitement to the prospect of his space food, and to help remind him of home. The result is seven specially created meals, with all the nutritional needs scientifically factored into the the equation, which Tim has been able to tuck into during his six month stay in orbit.
Heston’s Space Food will delve into the creative process the gastronomic legend has gone through in devising, making and packaging the meals ready for their journey. The menus include favourites from Tim’s chilhood, comfort food classics and the very first cup of tea to be drank in space (no mean feat with zero gravity to contend with), all with Heston’s very unique sense of food flare. We already know that there’s going to be a bacon butty in the mix, but you can bet your fat, golden duck that it won’t be your average, run-of-the-mill sarnie.
The show will also get into the detail of the science of our digestive process and related human biology and how the bodies of astronauts react to being in space. Heston is clearly pushing himself on this one, especially when you take into account the fact that he’s keen to deliver a multi-sensory experience for Tim, while at the same time working out how the physics and chemistry of eating can be changed within zero-g environments. It sounds like it’s going to be a blast.