Imagine sitting down to an exclusive dinner at one of the most luxurious and breathtaking resorts in the Maldives, surrounded by pristine turquoise waters and a sense of tranquility that only a paradise like COMO Cocoa Island can provide. Now, add to that the presence of a remarkable individual who has ventured beyond our planet’s atmosphere, pioneering not only in space exploration but also in breaking barriers for her homeland and gender. This captivating scenario became a reality as I had the privilege of attending an extraordinary space-themed dinner with none other than citizen astronaut Sara Sabry.
Sara Sabry’s journey to becoming a citizen astronaut is nothing short of inspiring. A young and accomplished engineer, Sabry has dedicated her life to pushing the boundaries of human potential and advocating for increased accessibility and diversity within the space industry. Her accolades speak volumes – she proudly holds the titles of being the first Egyptian astronaut, the first Arab woman in space, and the first woman from the African continent to venture into the cosmos.
As the sun dipped below the horizon and the stars began to twinkle in the velvety night sky, a sense of anticipation filled the air. The exclusive dinner, designed to celebrate Sara Sabry’s remarkable achievements, was no ordinary culinary experience. It was a symphony of flavors, each course meticulously crafted to represent the five great elements of matter – Ether, Water, Air, Earth, and Fire.
The journey commenced with the Ether course, aptly named “Black Hole.” A canvas of black ink aioli adorned with crispy black brioche and an array of assorted fritters welcomed our palates. The presentation was reminiscent of the mysterious allure of a black hole, drawing us into a realm of culinary wonder.
Transitioning to the Water course, “Hydrosphere” emerged as a delicate broth infused with umami, cradling poached local lobster and accompanied by crispy kelp and dancing bonito. This course celebrated the beauty and vitality of our planet’s oceans, a fitting tribute to the life-sustaining element that covers more than 70% of the Earth’s surface.
The Air course, aptly named “Aurora,” followed suit, offering a delectable flatbread adorned with dehydrated nuts and seeds, accompanied by a velvety chickpea hummus and a crunchy cauliflower salad. This course encapsulated the ethereal nature of Earth’s atmosphere, with flavors that seemed to dance on the taste buds like the elusive Northern Lights.
“Earth” was the theme of the fourth course, affectionately known as “Meteor.” Free-range chicken ravioli delicately enveloped an egg yolk, bathing in an exotic mushroom sauce with a drizzle of chicken jus and a shower of shaved parmesan. This course paid homage to the solid foundation of our world, with each bite offering a harmonious blend of textures and flavors.
As the dinner progressed, the final course, “Fire,” aptly named “Flare,” set our taste buds alight. An almond sponge and passionfruit ice cream lay beneath a dramatic dome of fiery meringue. The dessert not only satisfied the senses but also symbolized the intense energy and warmth radiating from celestial bodies and stars in the universe.
Complementing each course were cocktails and mocktails that seamlessly wove the theme of space and the cosmos into every sip. From ethereal galaxy-inspired concoctions to sparkling celestial mocktails, each beverage further immersed us in the enchanting world of space exploration.
Beyond the remarkable culinary journey, the evening was a unique opportunity to engage with Sara Sabry herself. As she regaled us with tales of her adventures in space, her passion for promoting inclusivity and diversity within the space industry shone through. Her unwavering dedication to breaking down barriers and inspiring the next generation of astronauts, particularly from underrepresented backgrounds, left an indelible mark on all who were fortunate enough to share the evening.
The exclusive space-themed dinner with citizen astronaut Sara Sabry at COMO Cocoa Island was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that transcended the boundaries of gastronomy and storytelling. It was a celebration of human achievement, a tribute to the elements that shape our world, and a testament to the power of inspiration. As the night concluded and we bid farewell to the shimmering stars above, the echoes of Sara Sabry’s remarkable journey lingered on, igniting a spark within each of us to reach for the stars, both in our aspirations and our culinary adventures. The event was curated by Christina Korp, the founder of Space for a Better World. Korp is a passionate advocate for using space technology to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems, and she saw this dinner as an opportunity to inspire guests to think about the future of space exploration and its potential impact on society.