Costa Rica’s very own astronaut, Franklin Chang Diaz, has teamed with the Four Seasons hotel, to serve up a special dinner literally out of this world.
Former NASA astronaut Chang has brought a taste of space down to Earth, after learning first hand that “the food I ate in space was not what you would call fine dining”.
With his record seven shuttle missions, Chang said, “…eating was a challenged altogether”.
“But what if there was a way to experience the wonder of space without leaving Earth”, Chang proposed. From that came about the concept of “dining under the stars”.
Chang Diaz said he got the answer by working with the chefs at the Four Seasons Resort in Guanacaste, close to his AdAstra rocket laboratory. By blending astronomy with molecular gastronomy, they succeeded in creating a multi-course, space-influenced dinner, called “Taste the Stars.”
“What was really interesting to me was the idea of taking influences from what I saw and ate up there [in space] and getting the chefs to take it to the next level,” Chang Diaz said in a video promoting the dinner.
The tasting menu features molecular cooking techniques and unconventional ingredients, including a real meteorite.
“One of our ideas was to include a rather unconventional ingredient on the menu — meteorite — which we actually made into a sauce,” stated Chang Diaz. “So you can truly taste the stars.”
The “meteorite jus” factors into the dinner’s fourth course, a surf and turf dish titled “Solar Effect” (each of the meal’s courses has a cosmic title, including “Universe” and “The Milky Way”). The space-rock-infused steak sauce obtains its authentic asteroid flavoring by incorporating “Meteorito” wine, a cabernet sauvignon made in Chile that is steeped with a 4.5-million-year-old, 3-inch-long (8-cm) meteorite.
But the “Taste the Stars” menu is not just about providing a literal interpretation by including ingredients from space. It also attempts to capture the essences of Chang Diaz’s on-orbit experiences. [Space Food Evolution: How Astronaut Chow Has Changed (Photos)]
The Four Seasons Resort’s secluded Pacific Coast setting makes it one of the best stargazing locales in the world, according to Travel + Leisure magazine. The nation is one of the few places above the equator where the Magellanic Clouds, two galaxies first identified by Ferdinand Magellan in the 1520s, are visible.
“Costa Rica, it truly is one of the best places on the planet to see the stars,” Chang Diaz said. “The only place you’re going to get a better view is up here [in space].”
Chang Diaz, when he is not reinventing space food, leads the Ad Astra Rocket Company, which is dedicated to the development of plasma rocket propulsion. In 2012, he was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, and most recently, was honored by the Explorers Club in New York City on March 15.
The “Taste the Stars” dining experience exclusively at the Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica must be reserved three days in advance. The meal costs $195 per adult and $100 for children.