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Station Crew ‘Kicks it Up a Notch’ with Chef Emeril Lagasse
Expedition 13 crew chats with Chef Emeril Lagasse The crew of the International Space Station joined Chef Emeril Lagasse today after tasting several of his gourmet creations, delivered to space by the shuttle Discovery last month.

Image left: The Expedition 13 crew shows off food packets “kicked up a notch” by Chef Emeril Lagasse. Photo Credit: NASA TV.

Lagasse sent NASA some of his special recipes for potential use in space. After the required testing and processing, five different recipes were selected. Emeril's Mardi Gras jambalaya, mashed potatoes with bacon, green beans with garlic, rice pudding and mixed fruit were delivered to the station in July.

“It’s an absolute honor to share my food with you on such a journey,” said Lagasse during the special hookup. For Lagasse, the call to the station crew on board doubled as a treat. “Since I was a little boy, I’ve been a huge fan of the space program.”

The station is home to NASA astronaut Jeff Williams, Russian cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter. Station crews usually live and work in space for six months. "Our research has indicated that quality, appetizing food is important for the health and morale of astronauts during space missions, especially long ones," said NASA's Vickie Kloeris, who oversees the development and distribution of food on the space station.

“We sampled the food and especially enjoyed the jambalaya and the kicked up mashed potatoes,” Williams said, “in particular, the extra spiciness.”

The ‘kicked up’ cuisine was a welcomed addition to the crew’s menu for its zest appeal.

“Our perception of taste is a little bit decreased,” Reiter said. “We have a longing for a little bit spicier food.”
Menu options for shuttle and station crews are more extensive than ever before, with about 200 U.S. food items available. Russian food also is available.

Williams suggested Lagasse join them in space one day as the onboard chef.

“Now, that would definitely be kicking it up a few notches,” Lagasse said.

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