Chef Eric Rivera Explores Holst's Planets Through 20-Courses

When you think of space and the planets, what do you think of? If I had to guess, it would be ideas of, well, space. Blackholes and supernovas, the solar system and the planets within them. Maybe you think of your favorite Carl Sagan documentary or a book you read by Neil DeGrasse Tyson. How about our solar system’s planets in relation to Roman gods, colors, flavors, and sounds? While that all sounds very abstract, these ideas take a memorable transformation when Chef Eric Rivera and Gustav Holst are at the helm.

Gustav Holst was an influential English composer whose greatest works The Planets has been captivating listeners for over 100 years. It’s generally regarded as a masterpiece and after digging in to the entire suite, I can’t help but agree. The seven-part saga is nothing less than an audible romp through the solar system, something like an audio iteration of the Hero’s Journey (shouts to Joseph Campbell). Maybe that’s why many people liken it to Star Wars and speculate if John Williams sampled Holst’s work for his own star-studded score.


Many notable critics point to The Planets as being one of the most copied works of music in history. Whether other great composers like Hans Zimmer, John Williams, and Frank Zappa sampled it, stole it, or simply were deeply inspired by it, nobody can argue how utterly influential the music is. After listening to it myself, it easily fit into my personal symphonic tastes of musical scores made for films and television shows like Game of Thrones (shouts to Ramin Djawadi). From Mars’ foreboding intro to Neptune’s victorious ending, my mind went wild with scenarios of heroes, villains, tales of triumph and records of failure.

Chef Eric Rivera will explore Holst’s work through 20 different courses. “It has more to do with the symbology behind the planets than the planets themselves,” Chef Eric said. While he’s still toying around with the specifics, he has an idea of how each individual planet will influence the food on your plate. Colors like Mars’ is red and Neptune’s blue. Temperature will be a big factor during dinner, take Mercury which is the closest planet to the Sun. You should expect something sizzling or boiling, Chef Eric might even light something on fire right in front of you, as he’s one to do. The farther away from the sun you are, the colder the food will get. This experience will blend sound, flavor, and story telling to celebrate one of the greatest works of music ever conceived in ways you only could at addo.