Martha Stewart, the doyenne of home crafts, is trying her hand at prepping gourmet food for space travel.
At the behest of her friend Charles Simonyi, a software pioneer who will be the fifth tourist in space, Stewart has planned a gourmet menu to feed the crew at the International Space Station. Simonyi, of course, will be dining at the table.
On the menu: a six-course meal including quail roasted in Madrian wine, duck breast "confit" with capers, shredded chicken parmentier, apple fondant pieces, rice pudding with candied fruit, and semolina cake with dried apricots.
"I am really looking forward to sharing this dinner with my crewmates on the station," Simonyi said in a statement. "Although the food is very good there, it is somewhat basic...A little variation will be surely welcome."
Civilian space travel is becoming so chic lately that Stewart's touch is almost expected. Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic, for example, is planning its first suborbital trips for 2009, and the list of first-time space travelers includes Superman Returns film director Bryan Singer and designer Philippe Starck. Starck has even designed the interior of Virgin's SpaceShipTwo spacecraft.
In another example of the cache, Olympic snowboarding champ Shaun White, along with six other athletes, will get a two-hour astronaut training course next month at NASA's Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley. The atheletes will experience weightlessness during several sets of 25-second free falls.
According to Space Adventures, the Virginia-based company behind Simonyi's trip, he will take the meal up to the ISS aboard the Russian Soyuz TMA spacecraft on April 7. The food will be prepared by Alain Ducasse's consulting and training center, ADF.