HESTON BLUMENTHAL AND TIM PEAKE
Heston Blumenthal has stepped in to help ensure British astronaut Tim Peake can enjoy a proper cup of brewed tea when he goes to the European Space Station.
The chef’s role will be revealed in a Channel 4 documentary covering his attempt to create “multi-sensory, gravity defying food”. Previous space travellers have had to settle for adding hot water to a sealed pouch but being unable to extract the tea bag. To tackle the problem, Blumenthal’s team have created a system that jettisons the tea bag in a separate pouch. Blumenthal was tasked earlier this year with creating seven dishes to eat during Peake’s six-month mission that would remind him of home. The menu will also include a “bacon sarnie” and a Christmas pudding.
During his challenge Blumenthal, who is renowned for using science in his cooking, explored how humans’ bodies react to being in space. He also had to adhere to strict Nasa food regulations to create a tasty menu that could be consumed at zero gravity. Blumenthal said: “When Tim set me my mission, I felt a surge of pride to be involved in such a historic moment for both astronomy and gastronomy. Imagine telling a young boy that when he grows up he will create food for astronauts to eat in space – it’s a dream I couldn’t even envisage, let alone it coming true!
“Working with the team at the UK Space Agency, ESA and Nasa has been a phenomenal experience. Tim and I have also worked closely together, creating dishes that will remind him of home even though he’ll be 400km away in space. The very least I could do was make sure he had a cup of tea and a bacon sarnie.”
The 90-minute documentary was commissioned from production company Thoroughly Modern Media. Its executive producer Jay Taylor said:
Teaming Heston with the space agency, to create food that can be eaten in space seemed like the dream partnership, but none of us could have anticipated the monumental struggle this would be. From 100-page rule books to exploding space shuttles, this challenge has pushed Heston further than ever, but the resulting food we hope will genuinely change space travel for the better.