British celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s televised culinary journey across India has left many with a bad taste in the mouth. His three-part TV series,
Gordon’s Great Escape
, which kicked off on Britain’s Channel 4 on January 18, is receiving flak from viewers for his liberal use of obscenities (he is clocked using the F-word 87 times) and for being rude to Indian chefs and locals. The show is also being criticised for showing India’s map sans Jammu and Kashmir.
At last count, the channel had received 116 complaints on its website from viewers — more than double the average the network received for Ramsay’s regular show, The F Word. For instance, viewer Astrid Gibbon writes, “Gordon’s forgotten how to use any adjectives other than the F word. Now I know why British tourists have such a bad reputation abroad.”
Viewer Anant posts, “Shame — could have been a good cooking programme apart from Gordon’s behaviour!”
On the show, Ramsay said, “F*** me! I thought she was dead,” refering to an Indian chef’s 90-year-old mother.
However, NDTV Lifestyle Food Editor Seema Chandra says Ramsay didn’t use any expletives on the two occasions she met him. “I told him, ‘In my country we don’t talk like that’. If he’d used it with me, I’d have reprimanded him. It’s a marketing ploy.”
Hemant Oberoi of The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Mumbai, prepared a meal with Ramsay. He too says, “I didn’t see him abuse, at least when I was around.”
Channel 4 defended Ramsay saying, “Each episode was preceded by a clear language warning. Also, Kashmir is a disputed area at this stage. The programme’s map left the area neutral.”