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Having a lifelong love of curry, chef Gordon Ramsay travels to India for the first time. While there he experiences the stunning diversity of its culinary traditions, immersing himself in all aspects of Indian culture, no matter how challenging, unfamiliar or extreme. In the show's second season, the famed chef expands his horizons to other areas of Southeast Asia -- exploring the regional cuisine in Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand. But he's Gordon Ramsay, so he doesn't just taste the food -- he also prepares dishes using the delicacies that aren't found in many other parts of the world. The experience leads to Ramsay reviewing his own relationship with food and his opinion of what is -- and is not -- acceptable to eat.
In tonight’s first programme, Gordon’s odyssey begins in the north, home of our curry house classics. On board an express train he’s thrown in at the deep end and experiences a back-to-basics baptism of fire, cooking for its many passengers in the train’s cramped pantry car and getting travel sick while he’s making curry. In stark contrast he then meets his match working for a cantankerous royal chef, preparing a biryani with a difference for a huge wedding feast before venturing into the jungle where he gets eaten alive by ants when he scales a 40-foot tree in search of the local tribe’s favourite delicacy. Then it’s on to Delhi to cook at the restaurant that invented tandoori chicken, where Gordon puts into practice everything he’s learnt for a tough crowd of Delhi food critics.
In tonight’s second programme Gordon’s got a taste for adventure and heads off the tourist track into impenetrable north-east India, home of the country’s best-kept culinary secrets. Leaving the 21st century behind, he immerses himself in the life of a local meat-loving tribe in Nagaland, once better known for head-hunting than their curries. Then he’s off to Assam to enter a housewives’ competition to find the best Assamese dish; and finally he sets up shop among the street food stalls of Calcutta to try and tempt the local foodies into buying north-east curry – Ramsay style.
In tonight’s final programme Gordon heads south to the coasts of Kerala for the ultimate seafood curry. In Tamil Nadu he hits a meat-free zone and faces his biggest culinary nightmare, living in an ashram where the only food on the menu is vegetarian. Any tranquillity soon evaporates when Gordon tries his highest-octane sport yet - bullock racing - before his final stop in the slums of Mumbai. There he cooks on Slumdog Millionaire streets before putting himself to the ultimate test, cooking alongside one of India's top chefs for a star-studded dinner at the Taj Hotel.
Gordon touches down in Vietnam – he’s never been here before but this nation are fearless foodies; if it moves they eat it and every bit of it! On Gordon’s travels he is wowed by legendary local restaurateur Mrs Duck who turns out to be the queen of beak to tail cooking, he loses his bottle when a 6 foot long snake complete with beating heart is served-up for dinner and finishes his week trying to impress Vietnam’s pickiest foodies when he takes over a traditional restaurant and has his own Kitchen Nightmare.
Gordon is going off the beaten track to Cambodia. After the years of Khmer Rouge rule and civil war the country was at year zero. Today the country is in recovery and the food is undergoing a revival. Gordon scours the country hunting out historic recipes that pre-date the Khmer Rouge rule. He hires a chopper to take him into the heart of the jungle where he discovers a dessert fit for a restaurant, he turns hunter gatherer wading through snake infested rivers on the hunt for a Cambodian favourite, frog and is on the trail of Cambodia’s hairiest delicacy, tarantula!
Gordon is in Malaysia where he quickly learns it’s the women and not the chefs that rule the kitchens. Gordon’s week is spent under the wing of some of the country’s best female cooks. He’s invited to cook his first Malaysian curry for the Prime Minister, scales great heights to find the key ingredient to birds nest soup before he’s entered in to a cooking competition against the country’s cooking against some of the hottest female cooks.
Gordon is in Thailand, home of the UK’s fasted growing favourite food. Before he’s made it out of Bangkok Thailand’s most celebrated TV Chefs signs Gordon up to a battle of the chefs on his TV show at the end of the week. Thailand proves to be a real eye opener; Gordon enters a temple to search for inner calm when he gets a lesson in mediation, a night out to see Thai Boxing takes a peculiar twist when Lady Boys steal the limelight and Gordon finishes his week trying to out-cook, celebrity chef, McDang, on national TV.
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