Chef Melissa Kelly checks on her clams steaming under seaweed while Gordon Ramsay tends to his clam and lobster stew during the final cook in Maine. Picture: National Geographic/Justin Mandel
Chef Melissa Kelly checks on her clams steaming under seaweed while Gordon Ramsay tends to his clam and lobster stew during the final cook in Maine. Picture: National Geographic/Justin Mandel

Gordon Ramsay recalls ’Uncharted’ culinary adventures ahead of season 3 finale

By Debashine Thangevelo Time of article published Oct 26, 2021

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As the third season of “Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted” draws to a close, the celebrity chef took some time out to reflect on the journey with this National Geographic series that saw him travel across the globe, engaging with locals in several cities, including KwaZulu-Natal, and exploring the unique culinary traditions.

While he is known for his explosive temper and expletives, it isn’t the bedrock of this series. Of course, that doesn’t mean he had a filter when it comes to his comments.

He laughed: “People love the adventure, but I think they appreciate my honesty. It’s not in my DNA to sugarcoat things, so if something tastes terrible, I’m not afraid to say it or, in some cases, spit it out (sorry to our photographer who was in my line of fire in Iceland).

Ramsay isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. And he was taken on some bizarre escapades with the locals. Some of the challenges veered into dangerous territory.

“For me, the scariest had to be getting percebes in Portugal. No wires, no harnesses, just me, the ocean and some very dangerous rock formations.

“As for my family, I tend to keep it a secret until after I finish, except for my son, Jack. He’s a Royal Marine, so this old man’s gotta keep up with him somehow.”

Emmanuel Chavez, a local chef, teaches Gordon Ramsay how to make the perfect masa, a dough made of corn. Picture: National Geographic/Justin Mandel.

Reflecting on his experiences this season, he shared: “My top three has to be: percebes capturing in Portugal.

“One of the most dangerous things I’ve done on ‘Uncharted’ and also one of the most simple ingredients to cook with. Herding cattle in Texas with helicopters and cowgirls.

“I mean, does it get more ‘Uncharted’ than that? And my final one would be playing Swamp Football (soccer) in Finland. I love my sports but… that was tough!”

While most chefs would be intimidated to be cooking dishes foreign to them and have them judged by the locals, Ramsay was far from fazed by the challenge.

In fact, he took the learning curves in his stride.

“I’m as confident as I can be after taking in everything I learnt during the week. Sometimes, I think it’s my competition who’s unsure.

“They can sometimes veer off from the traditional ways to try to impress me, instead of the locals.

“But it is good for me to lose here and there… makes me stronger in future cook-offs.”

As for the ingredients that blew his mind on his travel, he offered: “I think the most surprising ingredient I discovered was the honey ants in Mexico.

“Most of the time we want to kill ants, but here were these ants coming out of the ground producing the most incredible flavours I’ve ever had.

“I’d also say cloudberries in Finland.

“Walking around the marsh and finding these incredibly unique berries was extraordinary and was a must in my final cook.”

Of course, with such a worldly palate, the menu at his restaurant might be in order for a tweak.

The celebrity chef admitted: You’ll definitely see some tastes of Texas, Puerto Rico and the Great Smokys pop up in the US.

“I was so impressed with the quality of seafood in Iceland that I hope I can bring some of those incredible scallops and lava salt over.

“The one thing I won’t be bringing is that bloody wooden plank from Finland. There’s a reason we don’t have that in London.”

Meanwhile, his TikTok videos with his daughter during the pandemic took on a life of its own.

He chuckled: “Trust me, it was fun for the first month, until I became a breakfast line cook every day with everyone’s request.

“But by the time our first episode of ‘Uncharted’ was being shot, I couldn’t wait to get exploring.”

Don’t miss the last episode of “Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted” season 3 on Wednesday, October, 27, at 9pm.

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