If you could eat and drink the universe, what would it taste like? Astrophysicist Roberto Trotta joins forces with An Lanntair and Uig Sands restaurant to bring complex astrophysics to life through two unique but complementary events – with cocktails and canapes at An Lanntair on Saturday night and dinner at Uig Sands on Sunday evening. Roberto will host each event, providing an entertaining and educational experience for everybody….
g-Astronomy at Uig Sands
Sunday 16 February, 5.30pm
£45 per head
The Primal Egg
(Quail and salt fish scotch egg.)
(Hot and sour broth with langoustine tails and crab.)
Water Life and Edible Earth
(Tasting fish plate, celeriac, purple sprouting broccoli, Sea herbs and vegetables.)
(Black cake, Squid ink and vanilla ice cream.)
Before time, before space, before matter, before light, the visible universe was squished in a singularity, at time zero. The potential of what physicist and Jesuit priest Georges Lemaître called “the primeval atom” or the “cosmic egg” is represented in the menu as the quail’s egg.
In the blink of an eye after the Big Bang, a patch of space the size of an atom’s nucleus expanded to become ten times larger than the visible universe today. After three minutes, the cosmic furnace switched off and matter was organised it is simplest components: Hydrogen and Helium. This is represented on the menu by a simple hot broth, with the two elements replaced with local prawns and crab.
Billions of years later as the universe has cooled and complexified beyond measure thanks to gravity, somewhere in a galaxy like many others, a blue planet, neither too hot nor too cold, was formed. Spinning in the Goldilocks zone of a suitable star, life erupts forth. Powered like a waterwheel spinning on the entropic flow of the universe life replicates itself, evolves and diversifies. A dizzying array of shapes colours and forms burst into existence. This is represented on the menu by the main course with a variety of the shapes and forms of edible Earth (with a heavy nod to its sea), life which bursts forth in a Hebridean February.
At the end of it all, 200 billion years from now, dark energy will expand the universe to the point that no other galaxy will be visible in the sky. Light, order and complexity will all descend into a dark, cold, empty homogeneity. This is represented by a dark, cold dessert.
Vegetarian/vegan options can be catered for, as can other dietary requirements.
If you have any special requirements you must notify the restaurant in advance on 01851 672 396 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
g-Astronomy is part of an award-winning public engagement project called The Hands On Universe. In January this year Roberto was also awarded the Annie Maunder Medal for Outreach from the Royal Astronomical Society for his outreach work.
The Hebridean Dark Skies Festival is part-financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community Outer Hebrides LEADER 2014-2020 programme.