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Can Gordon Ramsay Beat the Greeks for the Best Souvlaki?

Gordon, Gino, Fred
Gordon Ramsay’s Greek adventures as part of his ITV show were totally hilarious. Credit: ITV

Gordon Ramsay’s television adventures in Greece have been full of hilarious incidents, but the show featuring his dare to the famous chef by a souvlaki maker in Athens stands out among all of them.

Ramsay’s ITV cooking and traveling show “Gordon, Gino and Fred’s Road Trip” has been covering Greece for the past month. The trio of chefs and friends have been traveling around the country, cooking their versions of Greek food and enjoying the sights.

Souvlaki is the most famous and internationally recognized Greek fast food. It consists of pieces of skewered meats, along with vegetables and French fries, all wrapped inside a round pita. Greek cooks have been offering the delicacy for some time on at least three continents, including the UK, where Ramsay is from.

In one scene in the second episode of their successful series, the trio visit an Athenian souvlatzidiko, a specialist shop in souvlaki. Almost immediately, a war of words ensues between one of the chefs of the shop and the renowned Italian chef Gino D’Acampo.

The Greek chef called Gino a “pizza boy” and questioned the chef ’s pizza skills, with the Italian asking why this matters since they’re cooking “kebabs”. “No, no, not a kebab, it’s souvlaki in Greece,” the Greek chef said, adding: “aye pizza boy, its souvlaki.”

Ramsey’s souvlaki challenge

Scottish chef  Ramsay thought his exchange was completely uproarious. After that scene, there was a heated competition between two souvladitziko (souvlaki taverna) chefs on one side and Gino and Gordon on the other.

Gordon can be seen telling Gino: “Just stop calling it a f****ing kebab.” The Italian was quick to fire back “he’s calling me a pizza boy,” which, despite his laughter apparently really did offend the Italian chef.

Ramsay was clearly concerned about not upsetting the locals by confusing a Greek souvlaki with a Turkish kebab. And he was right. After all a Turkish kebab uses both a different kind of meat and a different kind of pita than the Greek souvlaki.

The duel between the Greeks on one side and Ramsay and Gino on the other, was on. After both dishes were ready, the chefs’ French colleague chose the Greek souvlaki as the winner.

However, undaunted, Ramsay and Dino didn’t give up the fight, asking two Greek souvlatzidiko owners to offer their own verdicts. The first one chose the Greek souvlaki, but the second picked the chefs’ version.

Duel won by Greek souvlaki makers — but Ramsay claims a draw

“We won, it’s 2-1,” said the Greek souvlaki maker. “Oh, f*** the Frenchman,” replied Ramsay. “It’s a draw and since this is an away game, I’ll take the draw.”

In the first episode of “Gordon, Gino and Fred’s Road Trip” to Greece, another incident took place that will go down in television history. After Ramsay attempted to create a sauce and asked a yiayia (grandma) to taste it, she was extremely — how shall we say it –unimpressed.

Ramsey was attempting to make a salsa verde, a sauce based on the famous capers growing on the island. He needed the sauce to accompany a plate of shrimp he was preparing for the show.

After finishing the sauce, Ramsay asks the yiayia who had offered him lodging to taste it. Confident, excited and sure of the yiayia‘s verdict, he was stunned when she told him: “You have used too much salt.”

Earlier in the first episode, Ramsey and Gino D’Acampo had a heated argument about Greek vs. Italian cuisine. Gordon told Gino that he thought Greek food was better than Italian cuisine, as the stars sat back on a luxurious ship cruising the seas.

In the rather unexpected scenes that followed, Gordon and Gino ended up getting into a rather heated Mediterranean food row, as Fred Siriex decided to take Gordon’s side.

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