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Spoilers ahead for the Season 2 premiere of Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted.
Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted has returned to National Geographic for a second season of famed chef Gordon Ramsay hitting the road and going off the grid in pursuit of new ingredients, new dishes, and new experiences. Ramsay can wind up in some pretty wild situations when he goes off the grid, and his journey to Tasmania for the Season 2 premiere of Uncharted saw him helping to make whiskey with a very unique source of fuel: sheep poop.
Yes, the chef renowned for shows like Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares not only drank the sheep poop-fueled whiskey, but got his hands dirty to help distiller Peter Bignell make the whiskey at the Belgrove Distillery in Tasmania. Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted showrunner Jon Kroll spoke with CinemaBlend about Season 2, and he shared the story behind the sheep-fueled whiskey:
Well, I will tell you how that came about. I am a whiskey collector and am in two different whiskey clubs, and my club all watches the show and they said, 'You should have more whiskey in the show.' And of course in Laos in Season 1, we had this sort of really not aged Mekong River rice whiskey. But we were looking at Tasmania as a place to go, it was a place that we felt would be really interesting. And I found out that there are more than 50 distilleries in Tasmania alone. Which is a third of the number in all of Australia, I believe. And there was this one guy who was winning all these awards, and we tracked him down and it turns out that he had just done this whiskey called 'Wholly Shit.' And we just thought, well, we want to see the look on Gordon's face when he hears that that's what's in the whiskey.
Believe it or not, Tasmania has a lot of whiskey distilleries, and the Uncharted crew was lucky enough to find Peter Bignell and his Wholly Shit whiskey. Viewers didn’t see Gordon Ramsay’s initial expression when he found out about what went into the process of making this particular whiskey, but his reactions to the process and actually pitching in were pretty entertaining.
The timing was apparently just right, and the name of the whiskey certainly doesn’t hide that there was a unique fuel that went into making it! The process of making the Wholly Shit whiskey involved the dried dung of sheep that ate distillery grain, and it was burned instead of peat. The whiskey was smoked in sheep poop, so drinkers weren’t actually consuming sheep byproduct. And, according to Uncharted boss Jon Kroll, the finished product was pretty tasty:
And the truth is, it is magnificent whiskey and this guy is winning all these awards. It's a beautiful rye and the lovely hickory notes that the smoke from the sheep shit brings to it really makes it a well-balanced rye.
As to be expected from Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted, Gordon Ramsay himself didn’t just show up, chat with distiller Peter Bignell, buy a bottle of Wholly Shit and then head off to gather his next ingredient. Ramsay participated in the Wholly Shit process, and the experience involved some… well, shoveling. Let it not be said that Ramsay isn’t willing to participate in the process of Uncharted despite his success in more conventional kitchens!
Speaking with Jon Kroll, I asked if Gordon Ramsay balked at helping out with the Wholly Shit process or any of the other physical chores of Uncharted, which can be pretty unglamorous. Kroll shared:
Gordon's pretty much game for anything, as long as it's got purpose. I think that if I ever had him do something that was strictly... because it was funny or something like that, that would not be well-received. But if it's got purpose, I mean, the fact is they needed extra fuel for the smoker. So he understood, this is how we do it. So he's usually game as long as there's a reason for it. Sometimes he'll look over at me and roll his eyes and say, 'Come on, Jon.' But I figure if I'm not pushing him to his limits, I'm not doing my job.
As viewers who caught the Season 2 premiere of Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted in Tasmania know, Gordon Ramsay wasn’t working with the sheep poop just for the sake of slapstick or silliness. He was helping make Wholly Shit, and when a whiskey called Wholly Shit needed more fuel, Ramsay grabbed a shovel to make it happen. He left the distillery with a bottle of whiskey, and he was clearly impressed with Wholly Shit. The shoveling certainly seemed to pay off.
Combined with other Tasmanian ingredients like wallaby, Tasmanian Leatherwood Honey, fish, and more, the Wholly Shit made for a dish that definitely impressed the people from the episode who got a taste, and probably made viewers everywhere hungry for a taste themselves.
While Wholly Shit won’t be appearing on supermarket shelves everywhere, Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted still has plenty of unique ingredients and gourmet off-the-grid dishes in store in the rest of Season 2. Gordon Ramsay will even snack on a giant tarantula this season, and it might just be tastier than expected!
Tune in to Nat Geo on Sundays at 10 p.m. ET for new episodes of Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted. If you missed the first season or just want to relive his first batch of culinary adventures, you can find the first season streaming on Disney+. For more viewing options now and in the not-too-distant future, check out our 2020 summer premiere schedule.