Chef GORDON RAMSAY examines the devastation caused by the cocaine industry
The chef exposes a deadly trade in Gordon Ramsay on Cocaine
GORDON RAMSAY KNEW some people in the restaurant business used cocaine, but he never dreamed that his best friend and the head chef of his flagship Chelsea restaurant, David Dempsey, was one of them.
So Ramsay was left devastated when the father of three fell to his death from a block of flats following a cocaine binge in 2003.
‘I had dinner with David on the night he died,’ says Ramsay. ‘He seemed on edge, but never in my wildest dreams did I think he was on cocaine. I still kick myself for not recognising what was going on and stepping in.’
Britons snort 30 tonnes of cocaine per year – more than any other European country – and in this two-part series, Ramsay wants to dispel the myth that it’s a glamorous drug.
ON THE CASE
‘I saw cocaine early in my career,’ he explains. ‘I’ve been served it.
I’ve been given it. I’ve even been asked to dust cocaine on top of soufflés like icing sugar. Cocaine use is out of control and cocaine deaths are soaring, so I’m determined to understand the criminal business behind this deadly drug.’
In this week’s first episode, Ramsay accompanies the police as they pounce on a big-money cocaine deal, before heading deep into the Colombian jungle to find out how the drug is grown.
Some tense encounters along the way include meeting guntoting assassins in Honduras and being shot at by coca-leaf farmers in Colombia. But the TV chef ’s biggest shock came close to home.
‘I tested the toilets in my restaurant with a special wipe that turns blue if cocaine has been used recently,’ he explains. ‘Every one was positive, including the staff toilets! I was shocked by how much cocaine is being used in my own restaurant. I’m responsible for my staff and I don’t want to lose anyone else like I lost David.’
He hopes that, after watching the documentary, cocaine users think twice. ‘You may be taking it, but you’ve got no idea what goes into it,’ says Ramsay. ‘This stuff is made from sulphuric acid, battery acid, cement powder, gasoline… I’d rather people focus on that recipe over anything I’ve done in the last 20 years as a chef.’
GORDON LEARNS HOW COCA BECOMES COCAINE
CONFISCATED COCAINE IS TESTED BY SCIENTISTS GORDON WITH FRIEND DAVID DEMPSEY