Gordon Ramsay Uncharted Texas shows the Lone Star state isn’t a singular flavor

TX - Texan chef, Justin Yu (L), and Gordon Ramsay go head-to-head during the final cook in Texas. (Credit: National Geographic/Justin Mandel)
TX - Texan chef, Justin Yu (L), and Gordon Ramsay go head-to-head during the final cook in Texas. (Credit: National Geographic/Justin Mandel) /

On the season premiere, Gordon Ramsay Uncharted Texas episode showcased a different approach to the classic phrase that everything is bigger in Texas. While the Lone Star State might be know for its mesquite wood, beef and cowboys, the truth is that the flavors and recipes are as stunning as that yellow rose of Texas.

Now on its third season, Gordon Ramsay Uncharted is part travel expedition and part culinary adventure. While some people watch the National Geographic show to see how the fiery chef is put in unpredictable and difficult situations, the reality is that the show does a great job of explaining the stories behind food.

In this episode, the culinary expert Justin Yu gives Gordon his challenge. While many people would expect a big side of beef to be showcased, it isn’t as much about the meat on the grill as it is the collaboration of the food and flavors.

Given the state’s location, its food is influenced by a variety of cultures and Yu is a great example of that concept. While his culinary training at Michelin Star restaurants gives him an elevated pedigree, his innovative touch and culinary creativity makes his food at Theodore Rex stand out in a crowd.

As Yu shared, “Our culture is shaped with our relationships with our friends to the south, including the food– Tex-Mex cuisine was birthed this way!” While Tex-Mex is only one aspect to the Texas food scene, the location influences ingredients used in various dishes.

What unlikely ingredients did Gordon Ramsay Uncharted Texas highlight in the finale meal?

Building up the finale meal, Gordon did more than just try to wrangle some cattle. Although some Hell’s Kitchen chefs might have giggled as the stern chef fell off his horse, the dishes in the communal meal showcased the bounty of food that Texas offers.

From the rattlesnake stew to the feral pork to the foraged ingredients, Texas flavors are bigger, bolder and filled with bravo. While that cowboy hat and belt buckle might make a statement, the reality is that Texas food is never meant to be put in the shadows. Although it might not be pigeonholed into a single category, it will not be pushed aside as just another plate of food either.

As seen with the ribeye dish, those combination of flavors make the dish memorable. Yu’s commentary about the ribeye recipe is clear. Yu said, “This recipe is a great reflection of how ingredients shape even the most Texan of traditions: grilling and smoked barbecue using dried chiles and nopales as strong influences in this delicious dish.”

Whether or not the home cook takes these dishes as inspiration for the next Sunday dinner is not necessarily the point. Most people would never consider cooking with rattlesnake or look to the backyard for wild onions. But, one takeaway could be to be more willing to experiment with local peppers or to make their own corn tortillas for a dish.

In the end, Gordon Ramsay Uncharted Texas is a reminder that the Lone Star state is more than just another brisket or plate of barbecue. There might be one star on the flag, but there are a bounty of flavors to be explored within the state’s boundaries.

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What was your takeaway from Gordon Ramsay Uncharted Texas? Would you try some of the more adventurous dishes from the finale dinner?