A report by Tangerine Clarke for Caribbean Life.
Guyana’s popular chef, Delven Adams, proprietor of Georgetown’s Backyard Cafe, will debut his unique traditional cuisine this Sunday, July 5, on the second season of the National Geographic TV series Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted.
The episode will be aired on NatGo 10 pm, 9 Central.
The charismatic Adams, a remigrant, whose culinary tours have mesmerized foodies, and attracted tourists from around the world, told Caribbean Life in an exclusive interview via Facebook, that the National Geographic episode is more about showcasing Guyana.
“We want Guyanese to be open minded because Gordon Ramsay is a superstar, and if we went this big, then there will be others like him, ready to visit Guyana,” Adams said excitedly about the British-born chef, known for his explosive hosting of TV shows, Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, Master Chef, and Master Chef Jr.
“When you watch the show there is a lot to take in. The fact is Gordon did not change anything that is Guyanese. He is taking what he learned to the world, by saying, “I got this from Guyana.” “Him mentioning Guyana to the world is what we wanted all along,” said Adams, an award-winning chef.
The exciting adventure was bittersweet for the “farm to table” chef, who, while mourning the loss of his father received a Whatsapp message from an American producer who questioned him about his unique cooking style, and culinary Georgetown tour.
“I was still grieving the death of my father, who had spent Christmas with me in Guyana, and died when he returned to the U.S.,” recalled Adams, who found the strength to move past his sadness, and continued to communicate with the Hollywood, California scout for Ramsay, who owns restaurants in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Cornwall Dubai, Doha, Qatar, Hong Kong, Singapore, and London.
The one-hour episode will showcase Rewa, a small Amerindian community located in the North Rupununi of Central Guyana. While there the chef learned indigenous cooking methods, using cassareep, a main ingredient in Pepperpot, one of Guyana’s popular Christmas dishes.
“We take pride and joy in our First People,” said chef Adams. “Get in the jungle, hunt, fish, and you can learn their ways,” he told NatGo.
Adams said, Ramsay enjoyed many of the diverse cuisine of the South American country, and recalled the chef being in awe at the way dumpling melted in his mouth when he sampled the Guyanese creole dish Metemgee.
The Hollywood crew arrived in Guyana in February 2020, after one year of planning. Adams in the meantime, who was sworn-to-secrecy, had the most amazing experience working beside the brilliant chef, who used a technique to help Adams, perfect his lines during the four-day filming.
“I didn’t know who I would be working with until November 2019. I was selected for the episode after someone over-heard a conversation about the Backyard Café, at Iwokrama rainforest,” he shared.
“The guest gave the Backyard Café high marks, and complimented me on the way I explained the cultural significance to Guyanese cuisine,” said Adams, who boosts tourism and entrepreneurship as ways of positively impacting his community.
He expressed gratitude to Ramsay for making him feel comfortable during the historic taping of the extreme food show.
The Backyard Café, rated 4.5 of 5 on travel blog, Tripadvisor, and ranked #19 of 107 restaurants in Georgetown, featured on Lonely Planet, and described as a culinary treasure — is located at Adam’s childhood home in West Ruimveldt, where he serves his distinctive, one-of-a-kind cuisine.
Adams thanked his competent partners, Malini Jaikaran, creator of SweetFix Caketique, Sous-chef, Lynette Patricia James, Andy Jaikaran, Surajpaul Jaikaran, and Parbattie Niranjan, for their dedication and hard work, that made the taping of the show a success.