One movie that has kept film experts, physicists and philosophers busy, from its release in 1968 to this day, is the cult classic 2001: A Space Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick.
Among the many interpretations, some have pointed out that there are several references to food.
In the opening scenes a black monolith seems to influence the primates into eating meat, passengers of a futuristic flight are fed with liquefied food, and an astronaut on a space mission, living on synthetic nutrients, is congratulated with a cake from his family, shown via video-link. If we think about it, our food choices are the cornerstone of our evolution, and in case we want to seriously pursue space exploration and colonization, the problem of how we will feed ourselves in outer space needs to be solved. Can we thrive on protein powder and vitamin pills for a prolonged period of time, not only physiologically but psychologically?
All these questions came to mind recently when we wanted to pay homage to Dumitru Prunariu, Romania’s first astronaut. When we asked him about his favourite foods in order to create a
dish for the “100 de chipuri” series, Mr. Prunariu stated that he likes simple and natural Romanian food the most, a tell-tale sign that our hearts and minds are emotionally tied to the food of our land.
Our homage to Dumitru Prunariu is an ultra-nutritious vegetarian salad with most delicious Romanian raw and cooked vegetables: beetroot, lentils, cauliflower, carrots, loboda, telemea, nuts and seeds! A reminder that the plausibility of space exploration and colonisation depends on our capacity to eat real, nutritious and healthy food.
The 2018: Space Odyssey Salad
(quantities for 2 portions)
INGREDIENTS FOR SALAD
Beetroot x 150g Cooked (beetroot cooked with skin, to avoid losing color)
Lentils x 150g Cooked (lentils cooked only with water and salt)
Carrots x 50g Raw (cut into thin julienne)
Cauliflower x 40g Cooked only with water and salt, and seasoned with 5g curry oil
Raw radish x 6
Rucola x 20g Raw
Feta x 70g Crumbled
Hazelnuts or almonds x 20g
Mint leaves x 12
Crispy rice noodles x a handful
Sliced kumquats x 2
INSTRUCTIONS FOR SALAD
Layer the ingredients in the following order and add dressing to taste:
Crispy rice noodles
Hazelnuts or almonds
INGREDIENTS FOR DRESSING
(35g per portion)
Mayonnaise x 100g
Greek yoghurt x 100g
Raw spinach x 20g
Chives x 5g
Tarragon x 5g
Lemon juice x 5g
Salt, to taste.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR DRESSING
Blend all ingredients with hand-mixer
Chef Franz Conde is Executive Chef at the Athénée Palace Hilton Bucharest, following nine years at Hilton Amsterdam.