Copenhagen’s Alchemist restaurant is partnering with SpaceVIP to launch a ‘stratospheric dining experience’ aboard Space Perspective’s Spaceship Neptune. Jenny Southan reports

Rasmus Munk, Michelin-starred chef and co-owner of the acclaimed Alchemist restaurant in Copenhagen, will be catering meals served in Space Perspective luxury balloon capsules on the edge of space, thanks to a partnership with SpaceVIP (a mission-based expedition company for space and space-related experiences).

The out-of-this world dining experience will take place aboard Space Perspective’s Spaceship Neptune, the world’s first carbon-neutral spaceship, where six passengers will be making history by enjoying the meal of a lifetime above 99% per cent of Earth’s atmosphere.

Each Explorer will be outfitted by French fashion house Ogier, who will be crafting made-to-measure outfits designed using cutting-edge fabric technology developed specifically for this mission.

The six-hour journey is set to launch in 2025 from the Space Coast of Florida and will be priced at US$495,000 per ticket. All proceeds from the expedition will be directed to the Space Prize Foundation, dedicated to promoting gender equity in science and technology.

Memories of Sakura, Alchemist

“Memories of Sakura” is a dish created by the Alchemist RD-lab in collaboration with Maggie Coblentz, MIT, in connection with her research on interplanetary gastronomy. Supported by the MIT Media Lab and the MIT Space Exploration Initiative, this dish is inspired by the memory of Earths changing seasons.

In 2010, the two astronauts Naoko Yamazaki and Soichi Noguchi from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency JAXA wanted to be reminded of Japans cherry blossom season in space. They prepared the cherry blossoms as a food item, since at the time this plant was not permitted in space.

The blossoms were salt pickled using a technique called Shiozuke for Sakura-yu cherry blossom tea. Technique A sweetened cherry blossom infusion was made into a round thin membrane, resembling a water globule in a microgravity environment. The sphere encapsulates a salted preserved cherry blossom from Earth. The flavors are aromatic, sweet, and lightly salty.

Space Perspective offers the most safe and accessible way to travel to space with its Spaceship Neptune, which delivers a “completely reimagined” spaceflight experience with no training or special gear required.

Featuring a pressurised capsule lifted gently by a SpaceBalloon – not a rocket – the spacecraft will take people 100,000ft above sea level where they will dine as they watch the sunrise over the Earth’s curvature. Passengers will also have wifi on board and will be welcome to livestream their experience and connect with loved ones down on Earth during their flight.

Chef Rasmus’s imaginative creations will augment every step of the experience, including dishes inspired by the role of space exploration during the last 60 years of human history, and the impact it has had on our society – both scientifically and philosophically. Rasmus Munk by Claes Bech PoulsenHe will tell an “intentional story through the language of Holistic Cuisine that will inspire thought and discussion on the role of humanity in protecting our planet, challenging the diner to reexamine our relationship with Earth and those who inhabit it”.

Munk says: “Alchemist’s domed main dining room draws direct inspiration from the awe I felt as a child, seeing the Earth from space at the Copenhagen Planetarium for the very first time. Immersiveness is central to Holistic Cuisine, and my ambition is to blend gastronomy with art and science to create awareness about social and environmental issues.

“In this experience, I want to highlight food as a common thread in our human existence, and it will be truly meaningful to serve it while gazing down at the Earth’s curvature. I am honored to be part of what I think will be a transformative once-in-a-lifetime experience – both for the guests and myself, and I look very much forward to supporting the Space Prize Foundation as the beneficiary of this expedition as well as deepening our collaboration with both leading scientific institutions and designers for this project.”

Space travellers report that seeing our planet against the blackness of space brings into focus the profound understanding that we collectively have one home and that all living beings are interconnected and bound by the common thread of existence.

Often referred to as the “Overview Effect”, it’s a phenomenon that can be a sobering reminder that our destinies are intertwined. Seeing our planet from the edge of space has the power to create a cognitive shift and inspire a greater appreciation for Earth and a deep connection to humanity as a whole. With food being an essential part of human existence, creating a system with equal access to it will only be possible through radical collaboration and a paradigm shift to dismantle the barriers that divide us.Space Perspective“Embarking on this unprecedented culinary odyssey to the cosmos marks a pivotal moment in human history,” says Roman Chiporukha, founder of SpaceVIP. “Through the visionary collaboration with chef Rasmus Munk and the ingenuity of Ogier’s approach to functional luxury, this mission is poised to redefine not just private space exploration but the very essence of fine dining.

“This inaugural voyage is but the first chapter in SpaceVIP’s mission to harness the transformative power of space travel to elevate human consciousness and shape the course of our collective evolution.”

“Space Perspective is making the experience of space more accessible than ever before,” says Jane Poynter, founder and co-CEO of Space Perspective. “With our unique spaceflights, we are enabling what can be this completely life-changing moment for people – a profound shift in the way we humans view the world and our place within it. So it’s a pleasure to work with SpaceVIP who share this desire to drive toward a more thoughtful, positive future for our planet – and the Space Prize Foundation, whose mission I deeply support.”

This groundbreaking journey is the first of a series of Space Perspective voyages curated by SpaceVIP in partnership with leading artists in their respective fields. The purpose of the series is to share the transformative power of space travel to shift human consciousness and impact the future of humanity.

What’s special about the Alchemist?

Gastronomy, drama, art, and spectacular visuals blend to create the Alchemist universe. A fine-dining experience is the core of the restaurant – but keeping with Rasmus Munk’s idea of Holistic Cuisine the menu of 40 “edible impressions” is augmented by performers, installations, and the architecture itself.

The heart of the restaurant consists of a gigantic planetarium dome where guests dine surrounded by artful projections and stunning views, conjuring up, and enhancing moods and statements. The guests find themselves under the sea surrounded by jellyfish floating among plastic bags, in space looking down on the earth and inside the human body – finding themselves calming down in time with the slow beating of a gigantic heart.

Most of the drama at Alchemist happens on the plates, where layers of subtext, both humorous, provocative, political, and just plain delicious, line the six-hour experience. Two art installation rooms are regularly refurbished and are filled with surprising interactive performance elements – and two lounge areas give pause and time for reflection during the evening.

The Alchemist has held 2 Michelin stars since 2020 and was ranked top 5 on the World’s Best Restaurant list in 2023. Alchemist’s vision is changing the world through gastronomy.