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The Menu for Mars Kitchen

May 29, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - June 20, 2015 @ 6:00 pm

The Menu for Mars Kitchen
Douglas PAULSON and Heidi NEILSON
29 May – 20 June, 2015
Opening Reception:
Friday, 29 May. 7-9pm

Join the Menu for Mars Supper Club as we pioneer a menu for the Red Planet.

The Menu for Mars Supper Club will construct an analog Mars kitchen to investigate the future of food on Mars. From May 29 – June 20, the Menu for Mars Kitchen and surrounding habitat will be open to the public, and visitors are invited, alongside special guests, to cook using Mars-feasible ingredients. Dishes will be documented, sampled, evaluated, and vacuum-packed. At the exhibition’s end, the prototype dishes and a summary of findings will be sent to NASA to augment their preparations for colonizing Mars.

The Kitchen will also test off-Earth cultivation of edible plants and mushrooms, food preservation, and related topics through a series of workshop and events, a calendar of which will be updated regularly here (below) and at www.menu4mars.net.

Over the last year, Menu for Mars Supper Club met monthly with guest experts over dinner to consider how the circumstances on Mars would affect colonists’ food—and their physical, cultural, and psychological needs. The Menu for Mars Kitchen culminates these discussions and related research. Come and join in the experiment in imagining the future!

Heidi Neilson and Douglas Paulson are the exhibition and Menu for Mars initiative organizers.

Ward Shelley will design the kitchen.

Marco Castro will design the greenhouse and will lead a workshop.

Tattfoo Tan will design a dehydrating station and will lead the “make your own food bars for Mars” workshop.

Gil Lopez will design and edible mushroom growhouse and will lead “make yogurt from powdered milk,” composting, and mushroom cultivating workshops.

John Roach and Will Owen will provide soundtracks.

Programs and scheduled cookery —

29 May: 7-9pm
Opening Reception

30 May: 4pm
Sian Proctor, Mars on Earth: Living in a Mars Simulation

Did you know that there are people on Earth living in Mars simulations? For the past few years NASA has funded Mars simulations on the big island of Hawaii. The project is called Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS). The crew consists of six individuals from around the world and simulations can last from four months to one year. Dr. Sian Proctor was a crew member for HI-SEAS Mission 1 which focused on food strategies for long duration space flight.

SIAN PROCTOR BIO: [Sian Proctor is a geology professor at South Mountain Community College in Phoenix, Arizona. Throughout her adult life she has pushed herself to take on new challenges and to learn new things. She has a B.S. in Environmental Science, M.S. in Geology, and a Ph.D. in Science Education. Both her masters and doctorate research involved the use of technology to understand how individuals learn. She teaches both hybrid and online geology classes, and has traveled and taught around the world. She was a finalist for the 2009 NASA Astronaut Program, was on the Discovery Channel reality TV show called The Colony, was the Education Outreach Officer on the 4-month NASA funded Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation 2013 Mission, and this past year was a 2014 PolarTREC teacher doing climate change research in Barrow, Alaska. Sian’s amazing career has been a direct result of her love of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). She also enjoys traveling, playing sports, photography, and cooking.]

31 May: 4pm
Planetary Society Meetup

Join The New York Chapter of the Planetary Society’s Meetup to prototype recipes for Mars. The Planetary Society was founded in 1980 by Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray, and Louis Friedman to inspire and involve the world’s public in space exploration through advocacy, projects, and education. But can they cook?

DATE to be determined (June 4-7)
Will Owen

The atmosphere on Mars is made of different gases than Earth’s atmosphere. The quality of sound, as it travels through the air, will be different due to the variant density of molecules. Will Owen will perform and DJ along with percussionist Matthias Borello live over Skype using filters and Equalizers to mimic how audio will sound on Mars.

5 June: 4-6pm
Gil Lopez
Workshop – Yogurt making and mushroom tour

A workshop experimenting with making yogurt from powdered milk, followed by a tour of the Kitchen’s fungus facilities.

6 June: 3-4pm
Tattfoo Tan
Workshop – Drying food and pemmican variation

A workshop on making a Mars-version of Pemmican – a concentrated mixture of fat and protein invented by the native peoples of North America and widely adopted as a high-energy food by Europeans involved in the fur trade and later by Arctic and Antarctic explorers, such as Robert Falcon Scott and Roald Amundsen.

7 June: 4pm
Anna Dabney, David Grainger & Guest
Lahpet Thote / Pickled Tea Leaf Salad Workshop

Laphet is a pickled or fermented tea leaf native to Burma. Customarily eaten as a salad (“thote”) or frequently mixed with rice, Laphet serves important medicinal and ceremonial purposes. Despite recent softening of U.S. trade policy, members of the Burmese community in the US continue to rely on friends and family to shuttle Laphet and other traditional ingredients from Burma. Ingredients vary regionally and often include: Pickled tea leaf, peanut oil, garlic, channa dal, dried butter beans, peanuts, sesame seeds, dried shrimp, green chilis, fish sauce, lime juice (or dried equivalent) tomato, cabbage, fried beetle larva.

13 June: 3pm
Heather Kapplow & Thalia Zedek
Jiminy Mac & Cheese

Taste test the future of and old favorite – this entrée is a cricket-enhanced, Mars-pantry-friendly take on Mac & Cheese.

13 June: 5pm
Heather Kapplow & Thalia Zedek
Miracle Fruit Tasting, featuring the Astronaut Reviver cocktail

“Miracle fruit” temporarily alters a person’s flavor perception, which might be a nice change for Mars colonists. Participants will sample various Menu for Mars Kitchen pantry items before and after miracle fruit application, and note how the results could be applied to Mars cuisine. The Astronaut Reviver cocktail is a pervasive-hydrogen-peroxide-taste-busting elixir adapted from a Corpse Reviver for Mars-pantry suitability.

14 June: 4pm
Lindsay Iserman
Artificial Sunshine: Citric Acid in Mars cooking

Discussion of the uses of citric acid in flavoring and preservation of food. Demo and tasting of a Citric acid based Mars cocktail.

20 June: 4pm
Cook-off conclusion, and NASA mailing

Participants will be invited to polish off all the ingredients in the pantry and feast. Awards will be given to the most remarkable dishes. All dishes from the duration of the kitchen will be packed and prepared to be shipped to NASA.

The Menu for Mars Supper Club is a Flux Factory educational initiative.


May 29, 2015 @ 7:00 pm
June 20, 2015 @ 6:00 pm
Event Category:


The Boiler
191 North 14th Street
Brooklyn, New York 11211

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