Gordon Ramsay returns to the United States in this week’s Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted season 2 episode, which sends him down south to Louisiana. What follows is a blue-collar adventure of epic proportions and a couple very good pop culture jokes.
This is a part of America that’s been explored often in food TV. For just one example, Anthony Bourdain did a “Cajun Country” episode in his first series No Reservations and a “Cajun Mardi Gras” episode in Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. Other shows have highlighted the region, too, so Uncharted has a bit of a high bar to meet in terms of bringing something new to the metaphorical table.
That comes in the form of Chef Ramsay’s guide for this episode, award-winning Chef Eric Cook. Not only is he perfectly named, but he served his country as a U.S. Marine and still is involved in a number of great causes; the big cook for this episode involves the two of them giving back to volunteer first responders. Cook’s story is touching on its own, and he also makes a more than capable host.
If you’ve watched any amount of food TV, you have some idea of what’s in the “Louisiana” episode from a culinary standpoint, and the more squeamish will want to look away once or twice. But this episode of Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted also has a good section devoted to environmental impact, too, moreso than any other episode this season.
Gordon gets a lesson on how the marshes of Louisiana are eroding and likely to completely vanish within decades, while Cook explains about animals that are moving into the area’s ecosystem and how that’s affecting the life that’s already there. So while there’s a few slightly weird moments, there’s also a valuable message that needs to be heard, as well.
Meanwhile, the list of things that could potentially kill Gordon Ramsay gets even longer. During his fishing expedition, Gordon spots a shark and shows his sense of humor by making a spot-on Jaws reference. At least in this episode, he doesn’t get kicked out of the airplane.
There’s a seaplane and there are also airboats, which unfortunately does not result in an Archer reference. But just like the “South Africa” episode, Gordon ends up in a couple of spots where the entertainment comes purely from watching him try to orient himself, or his reactions to what’s happening around him. The fact that he’s not pretending to be the Michelin-starred celebrity chef for TV and is instead just being genuinely Gordon Ramsay, guy dropped in the middle of nowhere, is what makes Uncharted work.
Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted airs Sundays at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on National Geographic.