Alain Ducasse, one of the most successful restaurateurs in the world and holder of 9 Michelin stars, has begun to prepare meals that will go where no haute cuisine - or even anything worthy of being called a cuisine - has gone before: outer space. The chef is working with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the French National Center for Space Studies to create gourmet foods that can be packaged for consumption on space flights, giving astronauts a taste of something better than the garden variety rations then get now.
Currently, astronauts have an extremely limited array of food to choose from when on a flight, the vast majority of it being freeze-dried or vacuum-sealed. They have very limited cooking supplies and no fresh vegetables, leading them to crave foods like salads and hot coffee when they land back on Earth. Ducasse's line, which is called Space Food, will still have to be packaged specially, but will include favorites like rice pudding (in soy milk) and chicken with Thai veggies.
Ducasse is also working on an unrelated project for the ESA known as "Food for Mars." The goal of this project is to come up with foods that can be made with the only 9 ingredients the ESA believes will be able to grow (initially) on greenhouses on Mars, though a mission to Mars is not scheduled until 2033. The foods that Ducasse designs will be based around rice, onions, tomatoes, soy, potatoes, lettuce, spinach, wheat and spirulina (blue-green algae) and must allow the astronauts to survive on the planet in the long term, not just for a limited flight, as they would be expected to spend 12 months on the planet. So far, Ducasse has come up with 11 recipes that include Martian bread and green tomato jam(pictured below), and potato and tomato millefeuilles (above)."
Samples of the food have been well-received by current astronauts.