Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted (2019) s01e06 Episode Script

Alaska's Panhandle

Stop it.
- You have - Blow in the lungs?
That is a big pair of lungs.
- Yes. Yes. - Big breath?
- Still more? - Yes.
Almost. Almost.
This is Southeast Alaska.
America's final frontier.
I'm on the Southern Alaskan panhandle in the middle of winter
and I can't wait to see what this icy wilderness has to offer.
This narrow strip of coastline and offshore islands
is exposed to all the elements
And I mean all the elements.
It's one of the most brutal environments on the planet.
Which is another way of saying
it's bloody cold and full of animals that can kill you.
Over the years the locals have adapted to the harsh conditions
and created delicious food from their wild bounty
and I can't wait to explore.
To start my wild adventure,
I'm meeting a chef and hunter who's redefining Alaskan food.
He wants to take me to his favorite picnic spot.
That just happens to be almost 3,000 feet up a mountain.
But it's Alaska, which means snow storms
so he sent me this flashy set of wheels to drive to the top.
Oh, man!
Welcome to Alaska.
Good to see you, man.
Good to see you.
Lionel Udippa is one of Alaska's top chefs.
He's trained in some of the best restaurants in the world
and he is now the Executive Chef at Salt in Juneau.
He's gained a reputation for
creating incredible flavor combinations
from the wild ingredients of this glacial wonderland.
Oh, boy it is freezing!
A little bit.
- Did you bring some lunch? - I did.
- I'm starving. - Alright.
Well I'm gonna help you put these snow shoes on,
we're gonna go on a little adventure.
- Snow shoes? - Yes.
So what do you think about Alaska so far?
Uh, bloody hard.
This is insane.
Do you wanna move here?
In the summer, yes.
Lionel has been hiking and hunting
in this freezing wilderness since he was 18.
Whereas I've lost all feeling in my face and hands.
Any coffee nearby?
What the hell are you doing, Gordon?
- Get up, let's go! - Taking a rest.
Don't you do triathlons?
I do but not in the snow!
Lionel lured me up here with a promise of an incredible view.
But in this whiteout
the only thing I can see is the end of my nose.
Wow, look at this view.
I just hope we can still have lunch.
That is beautiful.
This is amazing.
Alaska's all about survival.
So you're used to this kind of terrain for like
six, seven months of the year.
- Yes, yes. - Amazing.
When Alaska turns green,
- that's when we do a lot of our foraging - Right.
Or hunting or fishing and
we do our best to preserve these ingredients
- so that we have them throughout the wintertime. - Yeah.
And some of those ingredients I've brought with us,
I wanna share with you.
- First is this mug. - Thank you.
I'm gonna give you some chaga tea to warm you up.
Chaga's a mushroom that's harvested on birch trees.
There's a little bit of fireweed honey in this.
- Beautiful. - Alright.
Cheers, Lionel. Thank you.
It's high in antioxidants along with other vitamins.
It's a fungus.
That's delicious and that honey helps it as well,
gives it that little touch of sweetness in there as well.
And then I also brought some other goodies for us.
What is that?
- Moose sticks. - Moose sticks?
Stop messing around.
No, I'm, I'm serious.
- Moose sticks? - Yes.
So it's like a moose sausage?
It's light, it's quiet,
I eat a lot of these when
I go hunting or you don't want the deer to
- hear you chew, right? - Right.
So you gotta keep as quiet as possible.
Are you still hungry?
This, right here is king salmon belly.
King salmon belly.
That is delicious.
Fatty, delicious, salty, smoky.
This will be smoked for about eight hours.
- Really? - Mm‐mm.
That's like one of the
little backpacks I've ever seen on a mountain.
- Um, my favorite has to be the moose stick. - Thank you.
This is just a small tasting of what we have to offer in Alaska.
In order for you to really engage with this land
I'm going to send you off to Hoonah, Alaska.
So you're gonna be going that way, where you can't see anything.
Lionel wants me to start my journey in Hoonah
to learn about the wilderness
from the residents in this remote community
and then meet him back here at the end of the week
to cook for some local legends.
- We're gonna cook in front of a, a bunch of fishermen - Right.
And let me tell you they're gonna judge the hell out of you.
- Fishermen are the Alaskan food critics, right? - Yes.
And anything else to be aware of?
Don't get eaten by a bear.
- Big bears? - Big bears.
- Wouldn't they be sleeping this time of year? - Bigger than you.
They're bigger than me.
I've got one week and two missions.
Number one, explore the panhandle and design a menu based on
it's wonderful ingredients.
And number two, don't get eaten by a bear.
Chef Lionel told me to start
in Hoonah to learn how people live off the land.
Ready to go?
- Yeah - You wanna give me a hand tying off?
- Yes, please. - Alright.
Local fisherman, Captain Lewis, has offered to give me a ride.
Just gonna give us a little shove and we'll be off.
Yes, thank you.
Hoonah is located on the Chicagof Island, 30 miles west of Juneau
and is known to have more brown bears than people.
Just my luck.
I'm off to meet the most amazing Tlingit community,
they hunt and they fish
and that's how they've done it for many decades.
More importantly it is in
the middle of nowhere
and I'm hoping these seas remains somewhat flat,
if not we could be in for a rough ride.
Is it almost sort of pot luck
to how many boats get out this time of the year?
Yeah, I mean you, you have to be kind half crazy this time of year.
In the middle of winter,
there's always a threat of high winds and rough seas.
But so far, so good.
It can start blowing
and not stop for four or five days.
Wow, I suppose when you're snowed in you're embedded
but it just reaffirms
how remote and how difficult in the wilderness it is.
Yeah, absolutely.
You gotta have a plan.
- Yeah. - And a Plan B and a Plan C.
Yes, absolutely.
Before we go to Hoonah
I'm taking a quick detour to meet up with
a local forager Lionel introduced me to.
Of course, this guy asked me to meet him
at a place called Chimney Rock
because in Alaska this is how foragers roll, apparently.
How's it going?
Good, good.
- Good to see you. - Good to see too, bud.
What an amazing place.
Oh, it's beautiful isn't it?
Lionel said it would be an adventure
but he didn't tell me we were gonna climb.
- Bloody hell. - He didn't.
We're gonna ascend up some ropes
and go get some old man's beard at the top of this cliff right here.
Make some tea with it and it's very good.
And that's the only place up there that houses the old man?
That's the only place.
If Chef Lionel had told me
I was climbing a 60 foot cliff
I would've packed a 61 foot ladder.
You're nuts.
Nah, this is just what we do up here in Alaska you know.
First things first.
Alright I got a harness for you, grab this.
Put your left leg in here.
Gotta bring the hot water for the tea.
People usually take weeks to learn a new climbing technique,
I've had five minutes.
So right hand as high as it'll go.
Now lift up your left foot,
push your right arm up.
Yeah, there you go.
Now push up with your left foot.
Push up and get that right arm up there, you got it.
I'm at the end of my rope in more ways than one.
Yeah. You got it.
- It'd kinda like a burst of energy. - Yes.
- Explode with your left foot. - Yeah.
And keep your right arm up.
My left won't come up.
Feel good?
Yeah. I think.
Look at where we're at.
Isn't this awesome?
There's gotta be an easier way for a cup of tea.
This is the best way.
Quick breather for ten seconds.
That is a lot harder than you think.
Check this out.
We're almost halfway there.
Oh my .
- I've got an idea, let's swing over here. - Yeah.
I wonder if that'll help a little bit.
I'm struggling up at 60 foot cliff in Hoonah
foraging for a medicinal herb to make a hot drink with.
Afternoon tea clearly requires a lot more work around here.
You're ready to give it a go again?
Alright, let's do it.
Aright, so lean back away from the cliff
and you gotta get over this edge
and we're pretty much home free.
Look at this!
We're at the top!
Whoa! Give me high five.
That was amazing.
Like one of the most remote rock pillars in Southeast Alaska.
Isn't this frickin' awesome?
It is incredible.
I mean this is survival right up here, isn't it?
- Oh, yeah. - I mean
It is.
- I've gone to some - You've gotta be prepared
for anything coming at you.
- Look at this storm we got rolling in. - Yeah.
I was like relaxed because
I honestly thought I was gonna have to rappel down
cause the ascent was a little bit more difficult than I thought.
I've never been a quitter but um,
the adrenalin took over.
Good job, man.
- Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. - Yeah.
Look at that over there.
That's it there, the old man's beard.
Yeah, this is it.
It actually looks like a beard as well, doesn't it?
Yeah, it does.
In terms of, I mean beautiful.
I mean look. How's it look?
Exactly. We're growing a goatee.
Yeah. Just like that.
- Amazing. - Perfect. Alright.
This tea. Are you ready or what?
How old were you when you first started these kind of climbs?
Oh, I was like,
- I think I was 13 when I first - 13.
tried climbing for the first time.
I mean it was nothing gnarly but
you know I started getting in the mountains
and I got hooked.
So here I am.
It's amazing.
Cheers for the good job.
So that's a cross between
a sort of Baileys stroke mint
with a little touch of rosemary in there.
Alright, so big difference there.
Kinda tastes like it huh?
These are spruce tips right here.
Locals have been harvesting
these bitter lemony spruce branch tips for years.
That's amazing.
That's amazing, oh my God.
Are you about ready to go down?
Walk your way down, okay.
Put your left arm down.
I'm now getting a sense to
- how dangerous Alaska is. - Awesome.
if you don't know how to survive properly.
Bloody windy.
Nice work.
If you're not prepared, boy, it's gonna take you down.
But what an experience.
You know for someone who doesn't climb for a living
that was extraordinary.
Cheers for that.
Good luck here.
That's harder than you think, man.
- Oh, yeah. - Oh, great job.
That was awesome.
The good news is that I'm done with climbing.
But the bad news is
that spruce tips and old man's beard
aren't gonna be enough to satisfy the fishermen at our feast.
So, after taking the scenic route I'm in Hoonah,
homeland of the Tlingit community for over 250 years.
The Tlingit fish and hunt to survive
with seal a key part of their diet.
But only Alaskan natives can hunt them
which rules me out because in case you hadn't noticed
I'm not an Alaskan native.
Good job. Yeah.
- Thank you sir. - Thanks, bud. Thank you.
So I'm gonna meet a tribal elder at his smokehouse
to learn how to prepare this native staple.
Owen, good evening.
I'm very well, thank you.
An absolute pleasure to see you. Young lady, how are you?
Good, how are you?
Don't worry, I've had worse on my hands.
Gordon, good to see you. And your name is?
I'm Lia.
Lia. Tlingit elder, Owen,
has been hunting seal to help feed his community
since he was eight years old.
Are they difficult to catch?
Sounds like my grandad burping!
And they come up to the surface?
What are you doing there by way?
Braiding the intestines.
You're braiding the intestines.
Seriously. Into like a plait?
- Yes. - May I?
I'm sorry.
No thank you.
You just grab that, this part here.
And then you pull it back through.
I mean that is a beautiful braid.
And what do you use intestines for?
We'll hang it in the smoke house and smoke it through.
And when we're getting ready to cook the meat
we usually cook the intestines with it.
And then taste‐wise,
is it almost like a, a sort of jerky,
sort of pork texture?
Or is it a lot more strenuous?
Yeah. Amazing, it's a beautiful knot.
Is that how you braid your hair?
- No. - No. Awesome.
Alright, well I'm gonna have a little go.
So you got your fingers in there, right.
- Then you grab this. - Grab that bit.
Then you pull that through.
- Right. - Yes.
And then pull all the way through.
- Yes. - Gotcha. Okay.
And so, again.
So, pull that through and then push down.
That's incredible.
That's something that like we grew up with I should say.
- Yeah. - And
- And a delicacy beyond belief. - That's true.
- May I? - Yes.
Mind you there's a pungent smell coming from them, isn't there?
After seeing how creative Owen and Lia are
with the seals intestines
I'm curious to see what Owen's got going on in his smokehouse.
So you built this little smokehouse?
Yes I did.
Yeah, this is seal meat here.
You wanna center it and hang it on one of these sticks here.
And what cut is this?
The back flippers.
Back flipper.
- Yes. - Of course it is.
And long will you hang them?
I'll, I'll hang 'em for six to eight hours.
Wow and do you season it with anything,
- is there a rub, is there a salt, is there? - No.
- Nothing at all? - Nothing at all.
Just like hanging my grandma's washing.
And if you thought intestine braiding was fun,
wait till you see what they do with the lungs.
Stop it.
- That's right. - Blow in the lungs?
That is a big pair of lungs.
Big, big breath?
Just wipe a little bit of congealed blood at the top for me.
What's that?
Could you just wipe a little, wipe my, wipe my pipe.
Let's go for D minor.
I'm in Hoonah, Alaska
indulging in my new hobby
of blowing up seal lungs do oxidize the meat.
Once more.
Gotcha. Look at the color of these things.
What are you laughing at young lady? Come on.
No, no I'll finish off, I've, I've got this.
My mother would never forgive me
if I didn't complete a full pair of seal lungs, ready?
Almost, almost.
Got 'em.
Ha‐ha‐ha! Sweet. You got it.
Oh, my Lord, are we happy?
That is incredible.
Yes, this.
In the middle?
Oh, yes, please.
Beautiful, turn the gas up.
Amazing now the Tlingit community
that means a lot to you
and obviously you're at the helm,
but how far back does it go?
Well it goes back to nine generations.
My father's family now.
My father lived a good long life,
he was 108 years old when he passed.
Yes. And his father was 122 when he passed.
Yes, sir.
That's extraordinary.
And do you think that was because they were surviving
from the island and eating
Eating well from food off the land.
Yeah. That's incredible.
I can only hope to live that long.
I'd love to taste some.
To me it looks like a, almost like a stew.
- Yes. - Yeah.
Well why don't you try that first.
Thank you. I am looking forward to this.
Do you mind if I have a little bit of gravy?
Just a little bit, sorry, it's how chefs are.
So at first with my fork yeah, it's very tender.
How long has that been cooking?
Stop it, really?
It's salty, it's
almost a little bit anchovy, it's quite meaty.
Isn't it?
It is delicious.
Do you mind if I take some?
Thank you.
Oh, really.
That's an amazing treat, thank you.
And if I live to 100, trust me I've got you to thank.
Be well.
Hanging up this fatty meat in that smokehouse
didn't give me that kind of kickback
as if you're curing meat, pork.
But also when you start to taste it,
it's got this rich, fishy, ox taily, meaty texture
with this really sumptuous gravy.
I think I'll leave inflated seal lungs off the menu.
but I have a feeling
this seal bacon will be a big hit with the fishermen.
I still need a main course and with just two days until the cook
I'm running out of time.
But fortunately, Alaska has
two things in common with my native Scotland.
Salmon fishing is plentiful
and the weather is absolutely bloody freezing.
So it's time to get out the rod and reel.
Nice day though, at least we can see today.
It's beautiful.
Southeast Alaska is famed for its amazing king salmon.
Josh has been fishing these waters six days a week for 15 years.
But he assures me there's still plenty of fish left in the sea.
- So did you grow up fishing? - Oh, yeah, my whole life.
What's the biggest salmon you caught?
- 56 pounds dressed. - Stop it!
When you say "Dressed" What do you mean "Dressed"?
That's dressed, it means the gills are taken out,
- Okay. - the guts are taken out.
Catching king salmon is very difficult
but Josh agrees to share some trade secrets.
So I will show you a couple of baiting techniques.
- Sure, these are you own specialized techniques, - Yeah.
- so did your dad show you this? - Yeah, dad showed me it
- but dad does it different than I do. - Sure.
It's all about your relationship with a piece of bait.
So if we don't catch anything
- I'm gonna blame your technique. - Yeah, sure.
- Alrighty. - Come on.
Alright, we'll start with the threading here.
A firecracker, it's a red herring.
Have you ever seen anything like this before?
No, not this technique, no.
No. I'm gonna use it when I get back to Scotland.
Yeah, it might work.
- So now the fun begins. - Yeah.
So, I'm gonna thread that through.
When you put it through there you wanna be careful,
the hooks are sharp.
- Yes, ma'am. - You just wanna go nice and slow
and bring her through, see nice and easy, nice and easy.
Look at that.
Like a pro.
- It's a beautiful technique. - Alrighty.
You wanna grab that rod board,
I'll stop you when she's good.
A little bit more.
That's good.
I'm gonna set that way back
and see if something might come screaming.
- Come on baby. - Come on.
I need that fish. Josh, please.
- I know. - Come on.
Wild king, you make my rod sing.
Wild king, you make my rod sing.
After two hours of this
the only thing on the line is my fishing reputation.
So, we go inside to warm up
and Josh tells me what bears do in the woods.
No, no, no not that.
I'm fascinated by the numbers of bears,
you had an encounter with one recently.
Yes, I did actually. A couple of years back I was
mauled by a bear on top of a mountain while
- deer hunting in Hoonah, Alaska. - What happened?
Well we had been walking through some brushy area,
a sow came out and attacked me.
It ripped my head apart, my leg, my back, my side.
Mauled me up pretty good and
luckily my friend I had hunting with me was able to
shoot her off me and I was able to survive.
- You're lucky to be alive. - It's survival of the fittest,
- there's no room for the weak out here. - No.
Eventually we get our hands on a king salmon.
Unfortunately, it was one that Josh caught yesterday.
All right, so here is a genuine Alaskan winter king salmon.
Oh wow, that's a beauty.
Look at that, man.
And you can smell the oil.
- A distinctive smell. - That's beautiful.
- Shall I filet it, then? - Yes, sure, that would be great.
I can't wait to get a taste of this.
At least I know my cooking skills are way better than my fishing.
My God.
I'm going to take the scales off first.
Also, when you take the scales off it starts
to release the oil from that salmon first.
It looks like you've done this before a few times.
God, thousands of times.
Man, it cuts like butter.
Josh, the nice thing about this is that
none of that stuff goes to waste, right?
None of it.
So back in the UK an Alaskan king salmon like that,
we'd be buying them from you close to
£500 or £600 a fish.
Selling them between £80 and £90 per portion.
It's that rare.
I want to hear that noise, that crackling now.
- Oh yeah. - In. And see that.
And I'll finish that with a little touch of lemon.
Look at that sizzle, oh my God. Amazing.
I've got the best fisherman in Alaska on a boat,
so who better to cook for?
Look at that.
Oh my gosh, that smells so good.
Guys, jump in. Help yourself, please.
All right‐y.
Look at that, just the texture.
It tastes even better.
Oh man, it just melts in your mouth.
We may not have caught one this morning,
but what I do need is for you to stay out here
and catch one for me.
- I will. Most certainly. - Do you mind?
It's my promise.
I've got a big cook at the end of the week.
But that needs to be the centerpiece.
For me, sampling that magical
Alaskan white salmon was just incredible.
So fingers cross Josh is not going to come back empty handed.
I'm starting to understand
how hard is to find food during the Alaskan winter.
It really is survival of the fittest out here.
But after a hard day's fishing yesterday
I need a drink.
So I'm going to break the ice
with a woman who is turning the local glaciers into
somewhat of a delicacy.
Michelle, good morning. May I come aboard, madam?
- Yes, you may. - Thank you.
It's a 90‐minute ride to the Tracy Arm Fjord.
Michelle is going to show me
how to harvest free floating icebergs to turn
into pristine ice cubes.
I'm a big fan of cocktails.
But what's going to be the significant difference with the ice
coming from the glacier?
When you have this type of ice,
not only are you having the best ice in the world,
but you're having the whole experience of Alaska in a glass.
But it soon became apparent
that this particular Alaskan experience
wasn't going to be confined to that glass,
as we hit some seriously rough seas.
Where are we going, Gordon?
We're going to the , we're going
It feels like we're going under.
After a rough voyage,
we've arrived at the end of the Tracy Arm Fjord
to search for glacial ice.
- Oh my God, it's so gorgeous. - It's beautiful.
So we're looking for what size of ice cube?
So what we want to look for is something that's very rounded.
Right, what about that one?
That's a
No, Gordon, I don't think that one's going to work.
That's like your own private island.
Wow, look at that thing.
Let's try this one here to the left.
The white one at 11:00.
10,000 years in the making, these glaciers produce the
purest ice imaginable.
I like that one.
Perfect for cocktails.
So, the secret behind this is?
Screwing these into the big block?
And then after that we're going
to hook it up and we're going to hoist it on board.
Got you.
This is the most work I've ever done
for a ice cube in my entire life.
I hope this is going to make the best cocktail.
It's going to be fabulous, just trust me.
Right. You ready?
Yes. Okay, start screwing.
We're going to hook it up to a D ring,
and if it's not all the way in it's going to crack the ice.
You have to kind of be like over the water,
you know, so you're on top of it.
Let's just make sure they're really down deep.
Are you kidding me, Michelle?
They can't get any further in there.
Okay, let's just test.
Holy my fingers are freezing.
See, look, yours is coming out.
Mine's coming out?
Yeah, you've got to get that in deeper.
Yeah, you're not all the way in.
When we pull that up on the winch it's going to crack.
Stop, stop, stop. Good job.
That was fun.
So, you take that outer layer off.
And then you get to some of those ice diamonds.
Look at this.
- Oh, that's gorgeous. - That is so beautiful.
Look at that formation.
Shall we put that in a glass?
Shall we?
Drop it in there.
Oh, I like how that, and what do you think for a little scotch?
It's a good one.
And now we need a little vermouth.
I feel like one of the luckiest mixologists anywhere on the planet.
Oh my lord, look at that.
Look at the colors.
I think we've earned it.
Cheers, good health.
Look at that. What an ice cube. Oh my lord.
Holy, that's strong.
I think it's 110 proof.
- Cheers. - Amazing. Well done.
I have bars,
but I've never ever touched an ice cube that's that perfect.
And it just tasted so clean and fresh and
slightly effervescent in the way that it was almost lightly sort of, um,
And a great way, I think,
to toast the beginning of this incredible cook
with an amazing cocktail laced with glacier ice cubes.
There's only one day until the cook
and I still don't have a main course.
Josh hasn't caught a salmon yet.
But I need a meat dish,
so I've enlisted the help of a local hunter
who has been shooting game for over 40 years.
Now I have no luck with this Alaskan king salmon,
fingers crossed I'll catch a grouse.
Kenny, how are you, sir?
There you are.
Pleasure meeting you, man.
Very good to see you.
You good?
We're good.
I've shot pheasants, but I've never ever taken down a grouse.
What's the secret?
They're going to be very, very still and very hard to see,
so you'll be shooting upward likely,
hold slightly low.
Hold low.
I've brought you a real good sporters 12‐gauge,
- to load it. - Yeah.
Safety on. Finger off.
Up into the shoulder, firm, that goes up.
And then in the, beautiful gun.
Now talking about beauties, what's his name?
This is my very good friend Ash.
Ash, hey.
Hopefully we are in for a chance with a grouse, right?
We'll give it our very best.
In the evening, that setting here for us,
they like to roost and they like to call in the family.
And ironically in the morning
they don't want any part of their buddies.
You talk about grouse like an ex‐girlfriend.
I've messed with them as much.
After you, sir.
Here we go.
Go on.
In Scotland, sometimes the grouse lay low,
but are we looking here in the trees
or on the ground?
They'll be very high in a tree.
Got you.
Right, and they might move to investigate who we are.
If you see so much as a branch
wiggle, watch it very close.
They're very camouflaged and hard to see.
I've just spotted some spruce tips and old man's beard here as well.
So I climbed up that rock for old man's beard,
because he said it's the only place it's there.
And it's all here on the ground.
Look, look.
Hey old man's beard, there's a big beard over there.
Honestly, it's everywhere.
Lionel had me scale a 60‐foot cliff in Hoonah
to pick this stuff.
Clearly his warped idea of welcoming me to Alaska.
Terrifyingly, we aren't the only ones on the hunt for dinner.
Small moose tracks.
That's a small moose?
They've got bigger feet than me.
They're a large critter.
How big are the moose here?
They can be 1200 to 1500 pounds.
What do you do if we see one?
We'll just hope it runs away.
But if it runs towards us?
It's going to charge us.
I can run faster than you.
Back, kinda close to that tree.
Time for my first lesson in the Alaskan art of grouse hunting.
If it flies on the other side of these little trees,
just shoot it like those trees aren't even there.
In an effort to lure the grouse to us,
Kenny displays more of his impressive repertoire.
That would have been a good shot
had it been a grouse and not a branch.
Kenny is unique and that guy lives to hunt.
However, they didn't come down to roost
and that's what happens on these islands.
You you can't give up.
But with no meat and no fish
I might have to give up if Josh doesn't come through
with that salmon he promised me for tomorrow's big cook.
During my week in Alaska
I've excelled at not catching hypothermia,
fish or game.
But now it's time to meet Chef Lionel to prepare our feast.
Hopefully I'll have more success in the kitchen.
Gordon! Hey, you're alive!
- I made it, bud. - Oh, how was it?
- Oh my God. - How was Hoonah?
Crazy. No salmon yet.
- Apparently, Josh said he's on his way. - Okay.
But what an experience.
Yeah, what did you learn?
I scaled a chimney rock,
that was windy and waving, crumbling as well.
The most amazing glacier ice. And then,
you know, on this incredible hunt for grouse, salmon.
And then got to meet Owen from the Clinket community
who literally gave us this sort of A to Z of a seal.
I'm not too sure
if that's going to play in my restaurant in London,
but you never know.
Fingers crossed that salmon arrives soon
because it's freezing out here
and the guests will be arriving any minute.
Everyone keeps telling me that Alaska is all about survival.
I just hope I can make it through this cook.
I spent a week wrapping my head around the bounty of food
that Alaska has to offer.
Get that pestle and mortar in.
Now it's time to test my skills
and prepare a meal that compliments this rugged terrain.
Hey Gordon, how you doing?
Good to see you.
Am I happy to see you.
Yeah, I brought you the king that you have so desired.
Look at that beauty.
Thank god Josh came through with that salmon.
King salmon had to be the main staple for this cook
because when we get our hands on those back in Europe
it's a prize asset.
I'm serving this incredible wild salmon three ways.
Right, I'm going to cut them into the most amazing portions.
It's hours old, you know,
it's good enough to eat raw right there and then.
And look at that belly on there, my God.
Wow, that's some beautiful king you got there.
It's amazing, honestly.
Thank goodness for Josh.
But look at that.
Look at that, that's beautiful.
My first dish is gravlax.
I'm making a marinade of spruce tips, juniper berries and gin.
I'm actually going to cure that in the snow.
Who needs a fridge in this temperature?
Well, no, that's pretty ballsy.
Lionel makes a start on his first dish.
A traditional seafood chowder.
Really beautiful spot prawns.
Just peel them down to the tail.
I may have agreed to cook outside in brave Alaskan spirit,
but that doesn't mean I have to like it.
- Christ. - Oh, it's not too bad.
- That's not too bad? - Not too bad.
- Oh my God. - You'll be fine.
I'm going to have to keep on coming back in here
to defrost my fingers so I can feel them again, you know that.
Lionel continues preparing his chowder,
adding the halibut cheeks,
an octopus and searing them in pork fat.
As I prepare the cure for my gravlax.
So I made this really nice paste,
season it with salt and sugar.
Then Lionel heats up his homemade fish stock.
And my boozy marinade is ready to layer onto the salmon.
I'm just going to cover that on there.
I've got that really nice,sort of wild mountainy flavor in there.
One perk to cooking alfresco, this.
Stashing the salmon in the snow for an hour to chill.
For Lionel's second dish
he's smoking black cod in the smoke house,
for a harvest board of Alaskan treats.
Smart, smart. Nice.
So, I put my salmon belly on the bottom.
And for my second dish I'll be smoking the salmon belly to layer
onto my pumpernickel toast.
Unimpressed with my toast,
Lionel is now whipping up a homemade loaf to
go with his seafood stew.
So this is about ready to rock and roll.
I just wanted to show you, I'm going to go ahead and
shape it and then put it in the
So you're going to bake the bread in open fire?
- Yes. - Amazing. And will it be as crusty?
It will be really crusty.
His loaf may be delicious, but I've got the perfect ingredient,
guaranteed to get the Alaskan seal of approval.
Right, I'm going to toast my bread now.
So I'm going to literally
get this pumpernickel bread,
and I've got some of that seal fat.
Oh, exciting.
So I'm going to grill that on top of there.
It's lightly smoked as well, by the way.
Whilst Lionel checks the seasoning of his stew,
I'm making a spread for the toast
out of horseradish and crème fraiche.
I'm using some of that blood orange as well, okay?
Do you need help with anything?
No, you seem sort of calm and collected,
I'm the one running behind.
But we're getting there.
How's that bread?
Oh. Let's check it out.
Oh wow, look at that.
That is incredible.
You have got that crust on there, haven't you?
Nice and hot as well.
That is amazing.
I'm now cooking my final dish, and yep,
you've guessed it,
salmon again in a beurre blanc sauce,
served with potatoes, cooked with Owen's seal bacon.
So I've got some of this seal bacon from Owen.
What do you think?
That smells really good, Gordon.
Does it?
Thanks for being out here.
You're welcome. Honestly.
I know you're freezing your ass off.
I have frozen my ass off week man, oh my God.
Are you cold? Let me, here, here.
No, no, honestly, I'm fine!
- I wore my favorite shirt for you. - Trust me, no, no, no, honestly.
I'll get there. Stop it!
I'm serious.
Honestly, my mum's watching.
No, come on, here, here.
Honestly, I'll be fine.
It's okay. It's okay. It's okay.
I'm toughening up.
Okay, I'm taking it back because it's cold.
It is freezing.
Behave yourself!
Oh hey, the guests are here!
- What? - Hey guys!
Oh no, seriously?
I'm out of time.
- How's everyone doing? - Good.
So I need to distract the fishermen the only way I know how.
Let me get them a drink. Damn.
Can I help you with anything?
No, honestly I'll be fine.
All right.
So, to kick off a meal like that and
celebrate with an incredible gin,
local gin with those ice cubes harvested from that glacier,
it's the most perfect but simplest cocktail on that planet.
A little gin and tonic, help yourself please.
Cheers, by the way.
Time to plate up my salmon dishes.
Gravlax with honey mustard sauce,
smoked belly on pumpernickel toast
grilled salmon served with spruce tip beurre blanc,
and potatoes cooked with Owen's seal fat.
Up against Lionel's harvest board of smoked meats
and his fire cooked loaf with seafood stew.
Thank you.
Here we go.
Oh man. There.
Is it a little chilly for you, Chef?
It is freezing.
- Come on. - Thank you so much.
Tough one cooking for a table
of fishermen that really know their stuff.
Here we go.
Also, they get to taste this kind of ingredient on a daily basis.
I mean, all the stuff on the charcuterie tray;
there's a lot going on there.
Have you had the soup?
It's got that Umami thing going on.
All going well?
Yeah, I think everyone is enjoying and everyone is smiling.
Have you ever got salmon that is cooked to perfection,
where it's under cooked slightly
and you can see that orange in it?
You know you can leave it kind
of raw in the middle and serve it like tuna and
- it's like oh my God! - Delicious. Very good.
When he sees that salmon in so many ways,
for a guy that hunts on a daily basis for salmon,
yet he's still excited, it's so good to see.
To fresh fish, Alaskan fish!
It's judgement time.
Hey guys.
Good to see you. Honestly.
Man, I'm going to take my hat off for the first time all day.
We good?
Really good. Really enjoying it.
It's almost all gone.
We're just being polite.
That is a happy problem.
What did you think of the gravlax on the water cress?
- It was a little salty. - Right.
But focusing on the spruce tips really kind of
balanced that out a bit after I took a second helping.
How was the stew?
I just didn't feel like it really fit well.
Man, these guys are tough.
That stew was delicious.
And I was just the opposite.
I just felt like all of these different flavors came together,
it had that whole Umami thing going on.
And I just loved it.
How was the salmon?
Most of us never buy a salmon in a restaurant
because it's usually over cooked,
but that was cooked to perfection.
And that needs to be a feature somewhere.
It was amazing, it was amazing.
I think everybody appreciated that you didn't over cook it.
So do you guys feel like
he's captured the spirit of Alaska in the
time that he's been here?
Yes, absolutely.
Oh boy, I've had a fantastic week.
From a chef's point of view, getting that close to the source,
we say it on a daily basis,
the better the ingredient the little that needs doing it.
And Alaska has literally come up trumps from my culinary world.
So, can I come back?
Yes! Oh my gosh, please do.
To you! Cheers!
When you're closer to the action like I've been all week,
it makes it so much more magical.
But then the stories of being mauled by a bear and
hunting and surviving out here and
just how tough it is, it's pretty difficult.
But here in south east Alaska
they've learned to adapt
and I've witnessed an incredible culinary resourcefulness.
Embracing the native culture,
hunting and gathering, delicious wild ingredients.
They've made the best of a brutal environment.
Their sense of community
has allowed them to not only survive, but thrive.
Thank you. God bless.
- Thank you. - Chef, good to see you, man.
I'm coming back, okay? Hopefully when the snow is gone!
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