AceShowbiz - Gordon Ramsay is facing backlash online after trying to "elevate" Puerto Rican crispy rice dish called "pegao." In a new episode of his YouTube series "Scrambled: On the Road", the "Hell's Kitchen" star got schooled by some locals who pointed out that he mislabeled the food.
Filming on a Puerto Rican clifftop, the former "Kitchen Nightmares" star told in the clip uploaded on Sunday, June 27, "I'll show you a local, beautiful dish made with leftover rice. It's called pegao. Now, this is about how do you elevate that?" He added, "The beauty of this dish is that it's a staple - nothing fancy but the flavor profile is unique."
In the comment section of the post, many of The 54-year-old chef's local followers slammed his effort, saying pegao is not a dish itself but the word that's used for rice that sticks to the bottom of a pan and goes crispy.
"This isn't Pegao because Pegao isn't a dish you can make, Pegao is literally the crispy rice on the bottom of the pot from cooking Puerto Rican rice how we normally would," a Puerto Rican follower explained. The comment continued, "This is literally just some concoction he made that has crispy rice on the bottom. Real Puerto Ricans know the difference."
Another fan commented on his YouTube video by writing, "Pegao means 'stuck.' It's really good. When we make rice, it's the crispy rice stuck to the edges of the pot." A separate user also pointed out that Puerto Ricans simply "scrape" the rice that "lightly burns and crisps at the bottom of the pot" and mix it with the other rice when serving.
Some critics also took to their Twitter accounts to call out the celebrity chef. A user speculated that Gordon didn't seem to have consulted local chefs. "Did you even bother to consult with Puerto Rican chefs about this recipe?" the critic asked. Another claimed that his attempt to remake the dish was "a hate crime," and noted further, "This is not pegao. This is a hate crime."
In his video, Gordon first fried all of the ingredients in a pan before adding the rice and flipping it all over onto a plate almost like a frittata. "It's going to be done, almost like a sticky rice in a cast iron. The secret is beautiful sausage. I've got some cooked chicken in here first," he told viewers. He called the plate an "elevated" version of the Puerto Rican local dish in the YouTube caption, but it has since been changed to "Can Gordon Ramsay Make a Puerto Rican Crispy Rice Dish? Scrambled".