This post has been updated.
A press release described the forthcoming “Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted” in terms more excitable and excessive than the namesake chef in the presence of a bumbling line cook:
Each episode of UNCHARTED will include three key ingredients: unlocking a culture’s culinary secrets through exploration and adventure with local food heroes, no matter where they may lead him; tracking down high-octane traditions, pastimes and customs that are specific to the region in hopes of discovering the undiscovered; and, finally, testing Ramsay against the locals, pitting his own interpretations of regional dishes against the tried-and-true classics. The series moves beyond conversation to truly immerse Ramsay in all aspects of the local culture to better prepare him for the final friendly cooking competition with local chefs and foodies.
The official announcement also called the program an “anthropology-through-cuisine expedition.”
The sound you hear is Bourdain, who died in June, trying to convince St. Peter to give him a day pass so he can come back and slap some sense into Ramsay, who apparently didn’t read the Columbusing memo on white men “discovering the undiscovered.”
Back on Earth, the critics lined up to take their shots at Ramsay on Twitter. They were particularly harsh in comparing Ramsay, best known for his vein-pulsating rants on his “Hell’s Kitchen” series, to Bourdain, a former chef who never made the mistake of upstaging the cultures or people he featured in his programs.
nah, anthony bourdain didn’t live his life educating us on food and culture for gordon ramsay to divebomb cooking traditions— justin block (@JBlock49) 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."— Michael Arnovitz (@MichaelArnovitz) July 27, 2018
IOW: remove all the curiosity & respect with which Anthony Bourdain approached other cultures and replace with unbridled ego.https://t.co/93ocJpPFGA
In MY new show, Gordon Ramsay parachutes into a crocodile’s mouth. That’s episode one. Episode two? Shark mouth. Episode three? A sharp stick. I don’t wanna spoil episode four but it rhymes with “wood blipper.” #ForYourEmmyConsideration https://t.co/HuQe1N4HlO— Chuck Wendig (@ChuckWendig) July 27, 2018
With his new show, Gordon Ramsay fixin to BE the idiot sammich of his dreams.— Ravenous 👽🙅✊ (@RoscoeGerm) July 27, 2018
Ramsay’s fans pointed out that the fiery chef came across as genuinely curious and engaging in his 2010 U.K. series, “Gordon’s Great Escapes,” which explored the food and culture of India and Southeast Asia. Some Ramsay supporters also noted that his “Great Escapes” shows predated Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown,” apparently unaware that the late author of “Kitchen Confidential” had debuted “A Cook’s Tour,” a food and travel show, in 2002 on the Food Network.
National Geographic sent a response to this post and the early online reaction to Ramsay’s new series:
“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.”
“Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted” is scheduled to debut next year on National Geographic in 171 countries and 43 languages — unless Twitter kills it off before then.