Culinary experts are blending in the possibilities of great cuisine and outer space exploration. For elite customers, French company Zephalto is introducing Michelin-star-level meals on the “edge of space.” According to the company’s plans, this idea can become a reality by 2024.
This food experimentation was founded by former air traffic controller Vincent Farret d’Astiès. There are pre-reservation tickets available now for future trips in a pressurized capsule called Celeste. Customers will be attached to a stratospheric balloon where they take off to grab a meal.
This capsule will reach an altitude of 25 kilometers, enabling guests to get their thrill-seeking needs met along with a pleasurable meal. The trip promises to deliver great views and a fine dining experience.
It’s not a cheap adventure as the pre-reservation tickets are sold for $11,000 and give purchasers first dibs on a seat when the tickets are ready to be sold. A trip on Celeste will cost $130,000.
Zephalto said that seats for the first flights from late 2024 to mid-2025 have already been sold out. For the people who didn’t have a chance on the first round of ticket sales, they can gain entry with pre-reservation slots for mid-2025 onwards.
Celeste can transport six passengers and two pilots to the maximum altitude in approximately 90 minutes. The speed will be four meters per second. People can eat at a slow pace as the capsule floats around for three hours.
“The view and overall journey remains the central focus of the offering, allowing guests to appreciate and take in the beauty of their surroundings,” Farret d’Astiès said.
The company plans to offer a rotating selection of culinary masters who’ll have autonomy over deciding what makes it to the menu. Zephalto stands by the decision to give chefs the ability “to exercise their creative license and personalize the guest experience to offer something that is refined and elevated.”
Zephalto has been in collaboration with France’s space agency, CNES, on the project and counts aviation company Airbus. According to the company’s statement, the balloon, which is powered by helium, will need to have the same European Aviation Safety Agency certifications as a commercial aircraft.
Currently, the company has completed three piloted partial test flights and there will be another one scheduled later this year to go the full journey. Flights will be open to people of all ages and take off from France. No training is required to enjoy this meal in a one-of-a-kind setting.