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TV chef Gordon Ramsay says he’s tired of promising chefs doing lines on his restaurant worktops, so he went to Colombia to shoot Gordon Ramsay on Cocaine for Britain’s ITV.
“It’s everywhere. It bugs the hell out of me when chefs have this rock-and-roll image. It’s all bullshit,” Ramsay told the MIPCOM market in Cannes during a keynote address Monday. “I personally lost a promising chef. I had dinner with him the night before he died. And I have a brother who is an addict. So it’s close, on a daily business,” he added.
The two-part documentary from Studio Ramsay had the TV chef traveling with his production team to Colombia, ground zero for the global cocaine trade, to look at the trail of criminality and addiction. Ramsay recalled being told they could film the jungle homes of drug smugglers and their illegal cooking kitchens from on high, using helicopter shots to capture an elite anti-narcotics unit at work.
“No, I told them, I want to go into the jungle. I want go down onto that patch and understand how big that business is,” he said. Ramsay added that he didn’t let Fox — which airs his reality series like MasterChef, MasterChef Junior, Hell’s Kitchen and Hotel Hell — know he’d encounter danger by going off the beaten track.
“I didn’t tell Fox I was going. They’ll find out on Thursday,” he said, when Gordon Ramsay on Cocaine debuts on ITV in the U.K. During his keynote, Ramsay kept discussing the restaurant trade to explain his success in TV. He insisted being a Michelin chef and a TV host call for similar qualities. “You have to stay fresh. You have to be the next best thing. And you have to raise the bar,” Ramsay said.
The upcoming 24 Hours to Hell & Back series is the seventh for Ramsay on Fox and calls for the celebrity chef to attempt to bring failing restaurants back from closure in just 24 hours.
Ramsay on Monday also recalled his experience with live TV on The F Word. “I loved it. I really do enjoy that level of vulnerability,” he told the MIPCOM crowd. “I need to be at the coal face. I need to be where the heartbeat is…. I think pressure is healthy.”
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