Gordon Ramsay's Uncharted: A Culinary Adventure With 60 Recipes From Around the Globe
“For home chefs, this book can be enjoyed just for the recipes or, even for those who make reservations for dinner, as a travel guide and an entry into the food customs, ingredients, and cuisines of both faraway and nearby places.”
In his National Geographic series Uncharted, Chef Gordon Ramsay takes viewers on journeys to myriad countries—some familiar, some far flung. But he is always able to find the most intriguing aspects of even cuisines that are relatively familiar. His journeys take him—and the reader--into fields and forests, up the sides of mountains or underneath icy seas. He visits farms and food producers to find the freshest ingredients and goes into the kitchens of homes and stays out in the fields to prepare meals the ways they’ve traditionally been cooked for hundreds of years.
Now, there’s a cookbook to go with his show.
“Pack your bags and your taste buds to join me on the food adventures of a lifetime, a dirt-under-your-fingernails quest to learn about the ingredients, flavors, dishes, and cultures unique to different locations,” writes Ramsay in his new cookbook Uncharted: A Culinary Adventure with 60 Recipes from Around the Globe.
Uncharted takes us to 21 different countries including the U.S. where Michigan’s Yooper Cuisine originated by the miners who settled here is set among a vast—and remote--land of lakes, mountains, and forests in this isolated land that has very little in similarity with the much more populated lower peninsula.
Ramsay goes heavy on breakout boxes—and they’re all worth reading. In one titled “Insider Knowledge,” Ramsay talks to Captain Ron Matson, a fifth generation commercial fisherman who comes from the Grand Island Bank in the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. Now the owner of Cap’n Ron’s Fish & Chips food truck uses his own recipes and smoker for all the food he sells including smoked fish dip, fried fish baskets, fish sandwiches, and smoked fish sausages.
Father from home, Ramsay takes us to Peru’s Sacred Valley, a 68-mile-long stretch of land known as Wilka Qhichwa in the Quechua language that was once the heart of the Inca Empire. The beautiful photographs—in full color on the glossy pages—show Ramsay on the ground working with restaurateur and chef Virgilio Martinez Veliz prepping a Peruvian meal to be cooked on the open coals of a traditional huatia or outdoor oven. Turning the pages, Ramsay is off on his next adventure. Now it’s “The Mountains of Morocco,” where he visits the markets of Medina, and forages with a man known as the King of the Mushrooms.
In Laos, Ramsay journeys on the Mekong, one of the longest rivers in the world and known as the “river of life” to discover the sources of Laotian cuisine. Along the way he shares recipes for Sweet and Sour Catfish Soup. The most unique and possibly hard-to-find ingredient if you don’t live in a big city is the tamarind paste—but then that’s what Amazon, the online store not the river, is for.
While the destinations may be unique the recipes are fairly easy for the most part and don’t necessarily call for unique or difficult to find ingredients.
Ramsay works hard for his food—diving for scallops in the cold glacial waters near the Arctic Circle, harvesting kalo using the karate-kick method on Hawaii’s Hana Coast, and hacking away with a machete to forage for food in New Zealand among the Māori.
“Indigenous Māori possess a tradition of food that is uniquely their own and boasts flavors found nowhere else in the world,” he writes.
For home chefs, this book can be enjoyed just for the recipes or, even for those who make reservations for dinner, as a travel guide and an entry into the food customs, ingredients, and cuisines of both faraway and nearby places. It’s up to the reader to make the choice but this book works wonderfully on all levels.