New Gordon Ramsay show about international cuisine sparks backlash before production begins

National Geographic issued a statement saying the announcement had been 'taken out of context'

Roisin O'Connor
Saturday 28 July 2018 11:40
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Gordon Ramsay's top Kitchens Nightmares meltdown

A new show starring celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay is receiving a backlash before production has even begun.

Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted is set to premiere on the National Geographic channel next year, according to Variety.

A press release explains that Ramsay will explore different cuisines from around the world, attempt to go about “discovering the undiscovered,” and finally engage in a kitchen competition against the locals: “pitting his own interpretations of regional dishes against the tried-and-true classics.”

News of the upcoming show prompted a considerable backlash on social media, where people branded the premise as “disrespectful” and also called out the use of the word “uncharted”, as though Ramsay was some kind of intrepid explorer for trying cuisine from other countries.

Journalist and author Sathnam Sanghera was among those to call out Ramsay, joking that he would be "eaten alive" if he tried to tell any of Sanghera's Indian aunts how to cook.

Meanwhile American chef, author and restaurateur Eddie Huang said the "last thing the food world needs right now" was Ramsay trying to show "locals he can cook their cuisines better than they can".

Other critics suggested he was attempting to emulate the work of the late, beloved food writer and chef Anthony Bourdain, who starred in several programmes where he showed a respectful curiosity about international cuisine, culture and tradition.

White British and American chefs often come under fire for lacking sensitivity or proper knowledge when presenting international cuisine to their TV audience.

In a recent episode of Masterchef, co-host Gregg Wallace received a huge backlash after attempting to tell a Malaysian contestant how she should have cooked traditional dish from her own country.

Following the negative online reaction to Ramsay's upcoming show, a National Geographic spokesperson issued a statement which said: “We are disappointed that the announcement of our upcoming series with Gordon Ramsay was taken out of context.

“With National Geographic’s storied history of exploration, our plan with this series is to celebrate and learn about local cultures around the world. In partnering with Ramsay — a well-known adventure enthusiast — we are going to fully immerse viewers and give them a glimpse into surprising and unexpected cultures and local flavours.

“We have not gone into production on the series yet, so this perspective is premature. We’re looking forward to working with Ramsay, who’s been making food and travel documentaries for well over a decade, to share the series when it premieres sometime next year.”

Production is scheduled to begin this fall, and an official premiere date has not been announced. When it comes to air, Uncharted will broadcast in in 171 countries.

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