Doc­u­men­taries

Chef GOR­DON RAM­SAY ex­am­ines the dev­as­ta­tion caused by the co­caine in­dus­try

TV & Satellite Week - - Contents -

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.

EX­TREME MEA­SURES

‘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

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