National Geographic has been facing major flak on social media following the announcement of a new show with celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. The show, titled ‘Uncharted’ has been unfavourably compared to Anthony Bourdain’s shows.
According to Variety, the show will see Ramsey flying around the world, tracking “high-octane” local traditions and in the end, pitting his own interpretations of regional dishes against the tried-and-true classics.”
And people aren’t happy with this.
“Having already demoralized countless culinary professionals with his expletive-laden verbal outbursts on series such as Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, and 24 Hours to Hell & Back, Ramsay now wants to parachute into foreign food cultures and show the locals he can cook their cuisines better than they can,” wrote Chris Fuhrmesiter for Eater.
The show hasn’t even gone into production yet and people are already trashing it for its naval gazing. Especially in the current political scenario worldwide where netizens are calling out cultural appropriation and the colonial gaze, this move by Nat Geo seems like a terrible move.
The press statement introducing the show stated that Ramsay would go about “discovering the undiscovered” when really, what remains “undiscovered” in the current world we are living in? At what point is a thing declared “discovered”? When a white man is introduced to it so he can interpret it according to his whiteness? The caucasity of it all.
Let’s not even get started on the part where he goes about “pitting his own interpretations of regional dishes against the tried-and-true classics” – we don’t even measure spices in India using teaspoons and tablespoons. It’s not odd to see desi parents advising their offspring to use ‘kam cheeni’ or ‘sirf itna haldi’. How is Ramsay going to deal with that? Good luck, chef.