Photo: Big Fish Fight
We were pretty excited to hear the news that "The Big Fish Fight," a U.K.-based show featuring superstar chefs Jamie Oliver, Heston Blumenthal and Gordon Ramsay was taking on the dark side of the fishing industry. But the news got even juicier yesterday when bad-boy Gordon Ramsay told The Daily Mail that while in Costa Rica filming his episode on the illegal shark-fin trade, things got downright harrowing for the chef when he got close to a Taiwanese crew with a full load of fins and a stash of cocaine. The story continued to be a nail biter when he crossed paths with a shady character named Enrique, who is thought to be the third largest supplier of shark fins in the world.
The experience includes cars with ominously darkened windows, pointed steely rifles and chilling threats of bodily harm. In the backdrop? The sheer gruesomeness of sharks being shocked with electric prods, their fins sliced from their bodies, and then being thrown back into the sea to die.
"At one [point], I managed to shake off the people who were keeping us away, ran up some stairs to a rooftop and looked down to see thousands and thousands of fins, drying on rooftops for as far as the eye could see. When I got back downstairs, they tipped a barrel of petrol over me," Ramsay told The Daily Mail.
The show will address issues of bycatch, fish farming, underutilized species and the devastation of industrial trawling; all served with a side dish of sea cucumber sandwiches, jellyfish and chips, and chocolate starfish. Yummy.
End of the Line author Charles Clover says that these chefs weren't always so careful of the fish they served.
"Ramsay got a drubbing in my book, UK edition, for serving bluefin, but then dropped it. Jamie got a drubbing in our film for doing the same, but was much more apologetic about it and made amends by taking it off his programs and out of his books. Heston still scores red on Fish2Fork. We are in the process of re-scoring all their restaurants, but it looks like we've got them on the run," he told Slashfood.
"The Big Fish Fight" may not be "The Office" or "Britain's Got Talent," but this reality show has the potential to be striking and we're hoping it will land on American shores soon.