It basically sounds like if Anthony Bourdain were rude as hell.
Late this week, National Geographic announced a new show with celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay called Uncharted. Production hasn’t started yet, but in a press release the network describe the new show as Ramsay traveling the globe and “discovering the undiscovered,” with each episode wrapping up with a cooking competition against local chefs and Ramsay “pitting his own interpretations of regional dishes against the tried-and-true classics.”
Unfortunately for National Geographic, people on social media seem wildly turned off by this idea. Part of the problem stems from how similar Uncharted sounds to the late Anthony Bourdain’s shows, No Reservations and Parts Unknown, except with Bourdain’s curiosity and humility replaced with Ramsay trying to prove that he can beat the pants off locals.
Writers and chefs on Twitter have been, well, unreceptive:
the last thing the food world needs right now is Gordon Ramsay going to foreign countries showing “locals he can cook their cuisines better than they can” pic.twitter.com/dqD3dW5Lnc
— Eddie Huang (@MrEddieHuang) July 27, 2018
me watching people drag gordon ramsay’s colonizing ass over shitty pad thai he made 8 years ago pic.twitter.com/ePgWsxUPyn
— Gabe Gonzalez (@gaybonez) July 27, 2018
“Ramsay now wants to parachute into foreign food cultures and show the locals he can cook their cuisines better than they can.”
IOW: remove all the curiosity & respect with which Anthony Bourdain approached other cultures and replace with unbridled ego.https://t.co/93ocJpPFGA
— Michael Arnovitz (@MichaelArnovitz) July 27, 2018
The backlash was so intense that National Geographic actually issued a response to Eater, essentially calling the negativity premature:
“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 flavors. 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.”
It’s entirely possible that Ramsay will be respectful and deferential on the show—he is after all able to check his famed assholeishness and adopt a more supportive tone on MasterChef Junior. Hopefully he and National Geographic keep this outcry in mind, because the concept could easily spiral into patronizing territory and, let’s face it, no one’s looking for an international version of Beat Bobby Flay.
There is reason to be optimistic. National Geographic also announced a documentary series starring Jeff Goldblum basically wandering around and talking about whatever he finds interesting. If the network has good enough judgement to let Goldblum be Goldblum, maybe they can make Uncharted worth watching.
The post Gordon Ramsay’s new show isn’t even in production and people already hate it appeared first on GQ South Africa.