Gordon’s Great Escape Review: Currying Favour

January 17, 2010 by  
Filed under - Home, Reviews

4Gordon300GORDON’S GREAT ESCAPE: Monday 18th January, Channel 4, 9pm ALERT ME

Everyone likes a curry – we eat 3 ½ million of them a week, so it’s appropriate that one of our foremost chefs learns to cook it properly.

Arriving in Delhi, Ramsay visits Seema Chandra, a food critic and expert on Indian cuisine who reveals that Indian food is nothing like the takeaways we get back home. Actually she seemed rather offended that we call our curries “Indian food?. What do you mean tomato soup isn’t an authentic sauce?

He’s immediately thrown in the deep end aboard the Magaloor Express, a train known for its onboard food. It seems even Michelin-starred chefs have trouble cooking in the cramped confines of a moving train, where safety is something that doesn’t even exist. Still, it beats the toxic waste you get on any British service.

It’s good to see Gordon being put in his place a few times – it’s not often we get to see Mr Angry showing some humility, but he’s respectful and willing to learn. His trademark banter is often a one-way street though, as Gordon’s attempt to engage the Indian chef – “See that, that’s the dog’s bollocks? – is met with blank-eyed stares.

In Lucknow he discovers authentic Indian chutney (you can safely assume it’s not going to be the Day-Glo yellow that you get in many British curry houses). Once again, the language barrier presents a bit of a problem, so many times Gordon’s left talking to himself.

Here Gordon goes a bit Bruce Parry and learns how to make chutney out of…ants. Yep, ants. I found it hard to suppress a schadenfreudian chuckle at seeing Gordon being eaten alive half way up a tree – it’s marvellous to see him out of his comfort zone.

He then travels to Chhattisgarh to cook at a wedding under the tutelage of burly master chef who looks like an Indian Oliver Reed. Gordon’s taught to cook a biryani made of two whole goats stuffed with chicken and quails, a sort of goat-based turducken (Goatchucken?). Bet you won’t get that in your local.

Most of the enjoyment comes from seeing Gordon out of his comfort zone and getting genuinely enthusiastic about the food he encounters but it raises some interesting questions about the food we eat. We live in a country so obsessed with curry; perhaps we should make more effort to seek out the genuine article ourselves. Food for thought indeed, now pass the ants.

Al says:

In India and just as rude as over here. I’m surprised the woman who tasted his kebab and said it was ‘OK’ didn’t slap him when he called her ‘.. a pain in the arse’.

Just a parody of himself with no respect for anyone – give us Jamie any day – but good to see him suffering with the ants.

ziggy says:

Andrew….hes left handed. What is he supposed to do?

speakeasy says:

tonights installment of ramsay is proving to be just hilarious – in particular the woman who broke the world record for rubbing chillis in her eyes. Actually think this is one of his best shows yet. loving the woman at the wedding who described his cooking as ‘promising.’ hahahaha.

SLQ says:

well written review – funny and to the point, was laughing out loudly several times.
adds value to onthebox.com.

Andrew says:

Gordon showing his ignorance, using his left hand to eat with in India. Typical!!