Loneliest 5-Star Restaurant On Earth
Just like wine goes with food, so does good company. Eating in isolation is never anyone’s dream. Yet, have you wondered which might be the loneliest 5-star restaurant that exists?
Nestled up in one of the most uninhabited places of the world, Antarctica, lies the Concordia Research Station, a French-Italian research facility.
It is located on a plateau 3200 m above sea level. A place of extremes, temperatures can drop to –80°C in the winter, with a yearly average temperature of –50°C. As Concordia lies at the very southern tip of Earth, the sun does not rise above the horizon in the winter and does not set in the summer. The crew at the station lives without sunlight for four months of the year. Due to the altitude and location, the layers of oxygen in the air are thin and so it gets impossible to spend much time outdoors.
Despite all these hardships, up to 16 people spend a year at a time living in Concordia in the name of science. Far removed from civilization, the white world of Antarctica offers researchers the opportunity to collect data and experiment like no other place on Earth.
Now, this southern continent might not have any resemblance to normal public life, but its food habits are top-notch. Concordia Station houses the loneliest 5-star restaurant where the crew members enjoy the best possible cuisine. Although no tourists can visit Concordia Station, it is mentioned in the ‘Lonely Planet Antarctica Travel Guide’ as featuring the continent’s best cuisine, with fine wines, and seven-course lunches.
In the land where water boils at 189 degrees Fahrenheit and cold coffee takes 3 minutes to get ready, it is of utmost importance that the crew members get their food right. Otherwise, due to such extreme living conditions, one can meet death on account of food poisoning or vitamin deficiency.
Each year, the Italian National Program for Antarctic Research holds a lottery to determine who will be spending the next year as the resident chef at Concordia. The chef at Concordia has to make supplies last through long, dark winter months before fresh stock arrives in summer in November. All ingredients that he presents on the plates travel first to the coast by ship on a 7 to 20 day voyage from Australia and are then transported a further 1300 km.
Even so, fine dishes like the Russian caviar or butter sea bass fillet make it to the serving plates. So does fine French wine. The chefs even arrange for cooking classes for the crew.
Doesn’t matter if you live in the remotest base on Earth. You could still be having Foie Grass and Yorkshire Pudding, all on the same day!
Isolation is sometimes best compensated with the best food.