The world’s most expensive meal will cost you US$495,000—and it will be served in a space balloon

By Michael Verdon 21 March, 2024
SpaceVIP's space balloon which will host the world's most expensive meal

A space tourism firm has enlisted chef Rasmus Munk, whose Alchemist restaurant has two Michelin stars, to create the world’s most expensive meal for its space-balloon flight

Forget the freeze-dried space meals and Tang. One of the first luxury-space tourism companies is hosting a meal aboard in the stratosphere that is priced at US$495,000 each. Now, they just need to find a group of six to pay for what amounts as history’s most expensive meal, on Earth or in space.

SpaceVIP has enlisted chef Rasmus Munk, whose Copenhagen-based restaurant Alchemist has earned two Michelin stars since 2020, to cook one of his most impressive meals and serve as host aboard a space balloon. Space Perspective’s Spaceship Neptune can seat eight passengers and a captain. In honour of the occasion, the “astronauts” will be wearing made-to-measure clothing by Ogier. Think stylish space suits.

Space Perspective plans to begin manned test flights by the end of this year, with commercial flights starting in 2025. The company recently received the capsule for Spaceship Neptune, and will begin test flights with its space balloon in the next six weeks. Its MS Voyager ship will be used as its command centre, launching, and retrieving the balloon from the waters off the east coast of Florida. Space Perspective is based in the NASA complex on Cape Canaveral.

the capsule lounge where guests will have the world's most expensive meal
The world’s most expensive meal takes place in this capsule lounge.
Photo by Space Perspective

The six-hour journey will involve ascending at 19 mph in the capsule to about 3000 metres, where the participants can see the Florida peninsula. A company spokesperson said the meal will be served as the sun rises over the curvature of the earth. The Wi-Fi on board will let the guests report their trips live.

Munk, who focuses on what he calls holistic cuisine, will prepare a series of dishes “inspired by space exploration during the last 60 years of human history.” Beyond culinary delight, the food is meant to inspire a discussion on humankind’s role in protecting the planet. “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,” the chef said in a statement.

Munk himself has been a space geek since childhood, hooked after he saw the stars at the Copenhagen Planetarium. Alchemist, in fact, has a large planetarium dome that lets its guests dine surrounded by projections of underwater sea life, inside a human body or, appropriately, looking down on the curvature of the earth.

Rasmus Munk's silhouette sat in front of a blue planet
Chef Rasmus Munk, whose restaurant Alchemy has two Michelin stars, wants to open a wider discussion about the fate of Earth during the world’s most expensive meal. Photo by SpaceVIP

“This mission is poised to redefine not just private exploration, but the very essence of fine dining,” said Roman Chiporukha, founder of SpaceVIP in a statement.

If the cost of the trip sounds excessive, it is. A typical seat on Space Perspective’s capsule costs about US$150,000. SpaceVIP said it will donate the proceeds of the trip to fund the Space Prize, which the company established to promote women in STEM education and gender equity in the space economy.

A SpaceVIP representative said dates for the mission are not set yet, but it should happen sometime next year. Presumably, the firm will also need to find seven foodies with open minds and very deep pockets.


This story was first published on Robb Report USA