'Uncharted': Gordon Ramsay returns to the small screen this week for the new season of his travel and cookery show

The TV series finds the chef traversing the globe in search of little-known specialities

Gordon Ramsay returns to our screens this week in the third season of Uncharted, the travel and cookery hybrid in which the popular chef travel to far-flung corners of the globe to learn about new traditions, cultures and, of course, cuisines, and ultimately to compete in a cook-off with a local expert for a judging panel of demanding, hungry locals, using his newfound knowledge.

The show, which comes out on Tuesday in the UAE, offers audiences a slightly different side of the notoriously tyrannical chef. We're used to seeing Ramsay terrify the staff of his own restaurant in Hell's Kitchen and intimidate failing restaurant owners in Kitchen Nightmares. In Uncharted, however, it's frequently Ramsay who finds himself in scary situations. Previous seasons have seen the chef racing bulls in Indonesia, piranha fishing in Guyana and white water rafting on the Mekong.

The new season promises to showcase Ramsay negotiating Puerto Rican waterfalls in search of delicious freshwater prawns, hunting for rattlesnakes in the wilds of Texas and diving for clams in the waters off Maine.

Watch the season two trailer here:

It was foraging for shellfish in Portugal that Ramsay says he found most challenging in the latest series though – a task that had him venturing out on to rocks nestled in the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean in search of percebes, the tiny, tasty, barnacle-like creatures that cling there. “[There were] no wires, no harnesses, just me, the ocean and some very dangerous rock formations,” the daredevil chef reveals.

“[It's] one of the most dangerous things I’ve done on Uncharted and also one of the most simple ingredients to cook with.”

It's refreshing to see Ramsay, usually the all-conquering master of his own domain, appear so vulnerable, though we wonder how his family takes to seeing their mighty patriarch so humbled. “I tend to keep it a secret until after I finish,” he admits. “Except for my son Jack. He’s a Royal Marine, so this old man's gotta keep up with him somehow.”

Gordon Ramsay starts his culinary journey in North Carolina with a repel in the Great Smoky Mountains. National Geographic/Justin Mande
Gordon Ramsay starts his culinary journey in North Carolina with a repel in the Great Smoky Mountains. National Geographic/Justin Mande

Like much of the world, Ramsay has spent a large part of the last year in lockdown because of the pandemic. (“It was fun for the first month until I became a breakfast line cook every day.”) He admits that by the time he was finally able to get out and start shooting Uncharted, even with the challenges of a Covid-safe set, he was itching to get out of the house, and hopes that travel-starved audiences can now enjoy his adventures, too.

“We were one of the first shows to be back on the road during the pandemic and it allowed us to get access to some pretty incredible places and people,” he says.

“I think, more than ever, the locals weren’t afraid to share how incredible their culture and cuisine truly is. I had some big challenges at the cook-offs because the chefs had been sharpening their knives for months, waiting for me to take them on. I couldn’t be more thrilled and I hope viewers are as well.”

Of course, Ramsay isn't just a TV chef. He also operates dozens of restaurants across three continents, including Dubai's Bread Street Kitchen and Hell's Kitchen.

Can we expect to see any of the exotic ingredients he's encountered in the latest series on our plates in real life soon? “You’ll definitely see some tastes of Texas, Puerto Rico and the Great Smoky [Mountains] pop up in the US,” the chef says.

“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 wooden plank from Finland. There’s a reason we don’t have that in London!”

Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted premieres on the National Geographic Channel at 9pm UAE on Tuesday

Updated: June 2, 2021 09:38 AM

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