A Classic Spanish Dish Is About To Be Launched Into Orbit, Courtesy Of José Andrés

How many hours does José Andrés have in his day, really? Known for his humanitarian efforts, this popular Spanish chef has so many projects outside of his restaurants, which include Jaleo, Minibar, and Pepe. Andrés founded the widely acclaimed World Central Kitchen to provide meals to the hungry in the aftermath of Haiti's 2010 earthquake. The organization has recently been on the frontlines of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, serving hot meals to Ukrainian refugees in Poland. World Central Kitchen will also be featured in the upcoming Ron Howard-directed documentary, "We Feed People." And to add to the accolades Chef Andrés has racked up, he was recognized by the Smithsonian during its annual Portrait of a Nation gala in January.

Andrés' efforts have taken him all over the world, but now, one of his projects is launching him into outer space. Today, Food & Wine reported that the chef and his team will be sending Spanish food into space to feed a four-person crew of astronauts that will dock at the International Space Station (ISS) for eight days in early April.

Astronauts will chow down on authentic Spanish cuisine

As reported by Food & Wine, Spanish-born chef and humanitarian José Andrés will be pushing the limits of his already wide-ranging projects, this time sending a pair of quintessentially Spanish dishes into space. Next month, a four-person crew of astronauts — including NASA veteran Michael López-Alegría, also born in Spain and a friend of Andrés' — will dock at the ISS for eight days. And of course, they'll need to eat. So Andrés and his team at ThinkFoodGroup were called upon to come up with nutrient-rich, NASA-compliant meals to feed the crew — a task Andrés told the outlet he found intimidating.

"The difficulty is NASA has done this very well over the years," he said. "They've done many dishes. And the question was can we come with something different, something new? Can we push the envelope a little bit more?"

Andrés and his team focused on two dishes — Secreto de Cerdo with Pisto, am Iberico Pork cooked with tomatoes, onions, eggplant, and peppers, and a classic Chicken and Mushroom Paella. As the chef said in a press release on the José Andrés website, paella was chosen for what it represents — coming together to eat a family-style meal. "The way that families, even today, eat paella is the pan is in the middle of the table. We believe in sharing."