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Tastebuds Set to Launch to the Stratosphere! Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Announces 2023 Taste of Space

This fall, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will once again take guests on a flavorful journey through the cosmos during  Taste of Space: Fall Bites!. Adding to the foodie fun will be the return of special after-hours events: the 3rd annual Marstini Shake-Off on October 6 and the Taste of Space: Celebrity Chef Edition on November 3.

Taste of Space: Fall Bites! will take place at several eateries throughout the visitor complex. Beginning October 2, guests can enjoy a variety of seasonal dishes* available until November 5.

Featured at the Space Bowl Bistro inside Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex® will be a hand tossed arugula salad with fire-roasted peppers, onions, corn, and black beans; roasted Brussels sprouts with cranberries, pecans, parmesan and Applewood bacon; and dulce de leche with pumpkin spice.

On the menu at Milky Way will be delectable, sweet treats such as fried apple pie tossed in cinnamon and sugar and pumpkin spice bundt cake, both topped with salted caramel ice cream.

A trip to the Orbit Cafe will allow guests to indulge in an Applewood bacon, gouda and arugula sandwich on a pretzel bun; a loaded sweet potato topped with maple cinnamon butter and Applewood bacon; or a jumbo apple cider cupcake with caramel frosting. 

Walking nachos with chili cheese and jalapenos will be available at the Red Rock Grill, as well as sweet potato tots complemented with maple cinnamon butter and Applewood bacon.

The Moon Rock Cafe will offer a black bean salad with arugula, fire-roasted peppers, onions and corn as well as a turkey brie wrap with arugula and cranberry mayonnaise.

Local brews will also be available for purchase inside Planet Play.

Quickly becoming a fan favorite event, the 3rd annual Taste of Space: Marstini Shake-Off will take place October 6 from 6:30 – 9 p.m. inside Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex. Recommended for guests 21+, Marstini Shake-Off promises guests a showcase of flavors for the season at each food station. Participants will mix and mingle with veteran NASA astronauts –Scott Altman, Chris Ferguson and Anthony “Tony” Antonelli – while enjoying elevated items at food stations throughout Gateway. Then, they will cheer on local bartenders from Playalinda Brewing Company: Brix Project, Third Culture Kitchen, The Space Bar and Jack & Harry’s as they create their version of the perfect Marstini. Guests can sample drinks and then vote for their favorites.

On November 3, the stars realign during Taste of Space: Celebrity Chef Edition, a celebrity-studded chef demo and dinner event. In its second year, the event will feature acclaimed chefs Duff Goldman and Esther Choi, who will be serving up something special. Plus, chef Jon Ashton will return as the host of the evening. The event will feature chefs Goldman and Choi demonstrating their expert cooking techniques alongside veteran astronauts Anna Fisher, Bruce Melnick and Scott Altman. Guests will have the chance to enjoy exclusive menu items as they hear personal stories about the experience of eating in space, and favorite foods the astronauts enjoyed during their flights. The chance to take photos with the astronauts following the demo will only be bested by a delectable selection of desserts, including a specialty cake designed by Duff himself.

Gourmands seeking a bit more flavor can take advantage of a very limited number of tickets available for an exclusive meal that will follow the chef demo. The two-hour, sit-down, multi-course dinner will feature a menu designed by Goldman and Choi and will take place on the second floor of Gateway inside the flight terminal of Spaceport KSC. Personal visits to each table will be made by the celebrity chefs and astronauts in attendance. Ending the meal with a treat sweeter than most desserts, guests will have the chance to mingle and take photos with Goldman and Choi.

About the Chefs

Duff Goldman is a chef and artist known for his dazzling, creative approach to food and his awesome stories describing the simple science of baking. On the hit Food Network show Ace of Cakes, Duff welcomed viewers into his innovative cake shop Charm City Cakes at which his team of pastry chefs and artists created spectacular custom cakes. Fans can watch Duff mentor the next generation of bakers on Food Network’s Kids Baking Championship. On his daytime cooking show Ace of Taste,Duff shows off his culinary skills as a classically trained chef with new twists on crowd-pleasing recipes for the whole family. Duff believes we can discover our inner creativity and celebrate with each other through the fun of baking. This will be Duff’s second year as a Taste of Space: Celebrity Edition participant.

Esther Choi is an influential Chef driven by her Korean roots and is chef/owner of mŏkbar and mŏkbar Brooklyn, as well as chef/partner of Ms. Yoo. Inspired by the age-old technique of her Korean grandmother’s cooking, Chef Esther believes that food is the ultimate expression of a country’s culture. With a personal passion for introducing New Yorkers to the flavors of Korean culture, Chef Esther’s cooking combines traditional and modern influences with fresh, seasonal ingredients. Esther began her professional education at the early age of 14, with her formal training as a chef beginning at New York City’s Institute of Culinary Education (ICE), followed by various positions at New York City’s renowned ilili and La Esquina, as well as the Food Network. Esther was the host of Eater’s video series “Kitchen Gadgets” and has appeared in numerous Food Network shows such as “Beat Bobby Flay” “Chopped,” “Money Hungry,” “Throwdown with Michael Symon,” “Chopped 420,” and “Battle of the Brothers”. She also guest-starred in HBO’s “Selena + Chef” alongside Selena Gomez. Finally, Esther is a challenger chef and finalist in the Netflix hit show “Iron Chef: Quest for the Iron Legend.”