Saturday, July 27, 2019

Gordon Ramsay's Filling The Gap Left By Bourdain's Passing

From 2005 until his death in 2018, Anthony Bourdain took viewers around the world providing his audience with an honest look at food.  While there were plenty of other hosts doing food travel shows (Samantha Brown, Guy Fieri, Andrew Zimmern, etc.…), Chef Bourdain’s blatantly raw honesty set his work apart from other TV offerings.  

Everything wasn’t, “the best thing he ever ate.”  If something was good he said it was good.  If a dish was terrible he said that too.  He called it like he saw it, and he didn't give a flying f@#k who agreed with him.  Not just anyone could have filled the gap left by his passing. 
|Subject: Gordon Ramsey | Date: 06/15/2007 | Photographer: jo-marshall |
| This work has been released into the public domain by its author |

On July 21, 2019 the National Geographic Channel aired the premiere of Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted.  Like all culinary travel shows, Uncharted features its host, in this case Gordon Ramsay, trotting the globe to show the audience little known forms of cuisine from other cultures.

What makes the show comparable to Bourdain’s body of work is Ramsay’s unfiltered honesty.  The first episode took the chef to the mountains of Peru where he ate high grown mangos, a pale colored jerky, and insects harvested from a cliff grown tree among other Peruvian delicacies.  Again, if he liked something he said so, if not, he said that too.  Plus, like Bourdain, he had no qualms about dropping F bombs which had to be bleeped out in post-production.

While parallels between the works are undeniably evident, it would be a mistake to give the impression one is a clone of the other.  At least in the first episode, Ramsay challenged a local chef to a cook-off, which would take place at the end of the show.   Then, Ramsay spent the episode "searching for ingredients" to use in the contest.  The structure gave the episode a loose kind of plot.  If this hook carries on throughout the series, it will help distinguish it from its predecessors.

Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted airs Sunday nights at 10pm on the National Geographic Channel.  Unfortunately Season 1 is only six episodes long, so if you plan to catch an episode you need to hurry.

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