Famed chef Gordon Ramsay is known for his cuisine and fastidious kitchen sanitizing. With a series of shows to his credit that demonstrate Ramsay’s interest in finding new chefs, helping failing restaurants, and traveling to exotic locales to learn how various cultures’ specialties are prepared, it would seem Ramsay’s career is food focused. But now a new documentary series shows the chef trying to figure out why cocaine is so prevalent. While the approach is not necessarily new, the motivation is. Ramsay has a personal stake in figuring out why cocaine is so important to people. His journey becomes interesting viewing for audiences.
“Gordon Ramsay on Cocaine”: a slightly different approach
Anyone who has watched the National Geographic series, “Drugs, Inc.,” is somewhat familiar with the format of going deep into the drug trade. An interested party, followed by cameras, talks to drug dealers, manufacturers, and police and federal officials in relevant locations about the drug. In this case, it is cocaine. Ramsay informs his audience that Britons consume 34 tons of cocaine a year. He travels to Columbia and shadows both the police and the drug makers (the latter work for the cartels and make roughly $30 a day). Ramsay also follows police in England as they make arrests.
It is worth noting that another motivating factor for Ramsay is the prevalence of cocaine in one of his premier restaurants. Using specially treated sheets that turn blue in the presence of cocaine, the chef finds out that all of the bathrooms in the establishment, men and women, employee and guest, show evidence of the presence of cocaine. As the show is only two episodes in, it is unclear how well his policies to deter the trend will work.
Just like the National Geographic projects, those who want to conceal their identities cover their faces with sunglasses and cotton bandanas or ski masks. The effect is still a bit creepy, but Ramsay’s earnest persistence in finding out exactly how the process of making cocaine works, and what it does to both addicts and their survivors.
“Gordon Ramsay on Cocaine” will likely engage many audience members. With its level-headed, yet heartfelt approach, the show manages to portray the usually hot-headed chef in a different light. Audiences might find themselves hoping that Ramsay finds what he is looking for. His losses seem to give him a vulnerability that is not present when he is running a cooking show.
“Gordon Ramsay on Cocaine” streams on Discovery+.