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Gordon Ramsay eats cactus worms on new TV show

Words by Rob Chilton

The top chef travels the world and cooks with the locals in his new six-part TV series Uncharted on National Geographic.

Eating worms, brandishing a machete and climbing trees – it’s safe to say Gordon Ramsay steps out of his comfort zone in his new TV series.

The British chef travels to far flung corners of the globe such as Laos, Peru and Alaska for the travel documentary series Uncharted on National Geographic. Along the way Ramsay, 52, meets the locals, harvests ingredients and talks to chefs to learn more about the culture of a country through what they eat and how they cook it. “Food is the foundation,” he says. “It gives rounded insight into the actual culture of a place. I’ve learnt more in a week than I have in the last 10 years.”

Gordon Ramsay Uncharted TV show.

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Not the kind of kitchen Ramsay is used to

Episode one saw Ramsay at high altitude in Peru’s Sacred Valley with Michelin-starred chef Virgilio Martinez. Ramsay ate alpaca, loved the potatoes and sliced open a cactus to eat the worms inside. Future episodes see Ramsay in the mountains of Morocco, exploring the rugged south island of New Zealand, and enjoying the tropical paradise of Hawaii.

Gordon Ramsay Uncharted TV show.

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Ramsay rappels in search of mushrooms in Morocco

For Ramsay, a particular highlight of his global adventure was spending time with the Klinkit community in Alaska. He called the experience “amazing” and revealed he travelled to islands “where there are more bears than people.” Ramsay tells EDGAR, “I went into the back garden of the head of the community and where we might have a BBQ, he had a smokehouse. His 10-year-old daughter was sitting there, plaiting the intestines of a seal she had shot that morning. I thought she was plaiting hair! Some people may think eating seal intestines is vulgar but it’s how that community survives through winter – nothing goes to waste. I was blown away by it.”

Ramsay in more familiar surroundings at Hell's Kitchen in Dubai

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Morocco was another memorable stop on his tour. “I love the melting pot of influences in Moroccan cuisine,” says Ramsay. “I did some foraging for wild mushrooms, which was incredible.”

Episode two (airing Sunday July 28) uncovers New Zealand; eight brand new episodes will appear in mid-2020. “It’s been an amazing journey travelling off the beaten path,” says Ramsay, “connecting with locals to learn and share incredible stories of unique traditions, delicacies and the extreme lengths it takes to harvest native ingredients.”

Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted airs on National Geographic in the Middle East.

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