When Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted premieres on National Geographic tonight, Ramsay won’t be the only culinary adventurer. Chef Analiese Gregory is featured in the season premiere, and her career has taken her to multiple countries and different institutions before she ended up in Tasmania.
Before the “Tasmania” episode airs, I spoke with Analiese about how the travel she’s done has influenced her cooking, her experience working with Chef Ramsay, and what viewers will hopefully take away. Learn more about her in our interview, and don’t forget to check out my preview of the Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted season 2 premiere before tuning in at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Brittany Frederick: Your career is somewhat similar to the concept of Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted, in that you’ve also traveled extensively. How much has that geographical diversity influenced you in the kitchen?
Analiese Gregory: I think in the beginning, I saw all the cuisines of the countries I travelled to as distinct and separate. Which they are, but over time I’ve learned to combine pieces of them together in dishes as I cook. I would say that France taught me about truly great produce, Spain about creativity, Morocco about how to use spices and England about discipline.
BF: Have you noticed anything in the restaurants you’ve cooked in to be universal regardless of the culture? Some key component to their success?
AG: All the restaurants I’ve worked in have had in common a desire to use the best produce available to you – often a farm or garden involved. A sense that you and your colleagues are working towards something that’s a larger goal, and a drive towards perfection.
BF: What is it about Tasmania specifically that speaks to you creatively?
AG: Tasmania speaks to me in much the same way that [the] countryside [of] France did. Some of the produce here is so unique, special and amazing that you’re inspired to cook with it.
BF: You’re no stranger to working with famous chefs over your career, so what was your initial reaction to Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted? What made the show appeal to you?
AG: Originally I thought this show was about National Geographic visiting Tasmania; I love Nat Geo. I had no idea Gordon was involved. When they told me I was actually apprehensive about saying yes!
BF: Do you have a favorite moment or story from working with Gordon Ramsay?
AG: Definitely the cook-off at the end of the show. Gordon is a beast in the kitchen: fast, precise, clean and just really, really good. Working across from him felt like being back in London in the old days. There was a bit of banter and trash talk going on; it was really enjoyable.
BF: Is there anything specific that you’re hoping TV audiences take away once they’ve seen the episode?
AG: I hope that viewers get a sense of the wildness, beauty and isolation of this place. Of the unique ingredients here, how pristine the natural environment is, and how strong the food scene.
BF: What restaurants or chefs would you recommend to readers? Places or people that were particularly impactful for you, or that you enjoy as a fan?
AG: The people most impactful on my career that I’ve worked for were Peter Gilmore from Quay restaurant in Sydney, Australia and Michel Bras from Laguiole in France. As far as restaurants, I’m a huge fan of Lyle’s in London, Elkano in Getaria and Septime in Paris.
BF: So when you look back on your Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted experience, what’s going to stick with you?
AG: It was nerve-racking having Gordon Ramsay turn to me for advice on where to go, what to eat, who to meet, et cetera! I wanted to make sure he saw the best of Tasmania, its food and its people. He did well; the wallaby and crayfish dishes he made at the end were exceptional. Plus, he has a huge appetite for adventure.
Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted airs Sundays at 10:00 p.m. on National Geographic.