Heston's space food!
I don't know if anyone else knew this but Heston Blumenthal sent his food into space. It wasn't enough that he created edible Christmas baubles that turned to smoke as eaters put them in their mouths, oh no...space it would seem, truly is the final (food) frontier!
Let me start with the things I loved about this show:
- The science in it was great. Everything from the effect of weightlessness on how food could be eaten, to the need for reduced moisture in space food so as to ensure the space station wasn't broken by floating droplets of stew juice.
- The astronauts made great characters in that their need for something homely and comforting, while floating above the world served to highlight their humanity.
- The pressure on producing everything in a timely, efficient and quality fashion was evident throughout the show.
- Things went wrong - that seems like a stupid thing to like, but in real life, things do go wrong and it's important to see how people cope with issues, problems and catastrophes
What I didn't love:
I recently read "An Astronauts Guide To Life On Earth" by Commander Chris Hadfield (you know, the guy who sang Ground Control to Major Tom while floating in the International Space Station). As such, I watched Heston Blumenthal's program while still feeling a sense of absolute awe for the teamwork that went into every launch into space. There seriously is no 'I' in NASA.
So, following a launch failure, when everyone's work literally blew up in front of their eyes, I was disappointed by Heston's egocentric focus on his own loss; which in the grand scheme of things was minimal. Throughout the show there were hints of this in his frustration at getting the help he wanted. At some stages it seemed as though he didn't understand that the people in charge had other things on their minds and that his was in fact, a nice but non-essential, inclusion in the launch cargo.
Ultimately though, it was a good watch for someone who (like me) loves both food and space. What it did prove however, is that a successful chef is not necessarily a great space inhabitant!
You can view the Food In Space episodes here Heston's Dinner In Space