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An Excerpt from the Upcoming Book: Las Estrellas y el Bulli

Welcome to Inside The Stoves by Jason Kessler. Each week Kessler will look deep within the soul of food media and come out with fake excerpts from fake books that are absolutely, positively not real. Basically, it's foodie fan fiction.

Translated from the original Spanish

In the early 1970s, the Spanish space program decided to change its focus from manned spacecraft to launching satellites, but the plans for a space test kitchen were not abandoned. In 1975, Dr. Manuel Bautista Aranda, the head of the National Institute of Aerospace Technology (INTA), appointed French astronaut chef Jean-Louis Neichel to head the developmental kitchen laboratory. Neichel had pioneered the development of “Astronaut Ice Cream” in the United States and the Spanish Aeronautical Test Kitchen [or “el Bulli” (the bulldog) as it came to be known] was the perfect challenge for the intrepid explorer/chef. Under his leadership, el Bulli flourished into a groundbreaking facility for the exploration of interstellar culinary developments. Among those developments: space peas, “pop rocks,” and weaponized sea urchin.

The true evolution of the lab occurred under the leadership of Spanish Imperial AstroCommander (SIAC) Ferran Adrià. Adrià had come up through the ranks of INTA during a time of great strife, but his untapped potential was known to all and he was eventually given the highest title ever bestowed by the organization. As SIAC, Adrià was tasked with refocusing the agency towards a new future. After flirting with Space Art and Interplanetary Sign Language, Adrià realized that Spain could become the world leader in the development of a new vocabulary in Galactic Culinary Pursuits. With el Bulli already up and running, Adrià took command of his new post and never looked back.

In 1984, AstroCommander Adrià was given full control of the el Bulli Land-Based Space Station and his innovations changed the way food was consumed and delivered to the outer realms of the atmosphere. His spherical olive pods were developed as a means of making a space martini without the added bulk of real olives taking up precious inventory room on spacecraft. The pods are still in use today, mainly by the Russians on the International Space Station. Adrià was also instrumental in the development of more palatable airplane food for Iberia Airlines.

Sadly, funding for el Bulli and INTA, was revoked in late July of 2011. As such, the lab was shut down and AstroCommander Adrià’s work will no longer contribute to the advancement of galactic culinary pursuits. He will, however, forever be remembered as the most influential space chef in history.All Inside The Stoves Coverage [~ELA~]
— Jason Kessler

*Jason Kessler writes The Nitpicker column for as well as "Heart Attack" for He also writes things for television.