Food - the preparation and consumption of it - is a great conduit for things such as a sense of community, the continuance of cultural traditions and, for Gordon Ramsay and Stefan Gates (right), careers in television. Ramsay has been called many things, among them a celeb chef, a failed footballer, a self-made multimillionaire, a macho pit bull and a walking expletive; if you want to define 'potty-mouth', his name will do. So imagine the surprise when Channel Hop was handed a profanity-light episode of The F Word (BBC Lifestyle; Tuesdays at 8pm) for review. Perhaps, now that it's in its fourth season, the show's star is finally mellowing out. For the first time in his televisual history and in the presence of the no-nonsense, traditionally minded Mrs Guru-Murthy (in episode two), Ramsay stops himself from using his favourite word. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the format, each episode of The F Word features a family whose teamwork is tested in the show's eponymous restaurant. Clearly Ma Guru-Murthy is a force to be reckoned with. The family brigade - as it's called - has to cook a pre-determined three-course menu for 50 diners, who then decide whether they will pay for the meal. At least 45 must do so for the team to succeed or, rather, avoid a barrage of verbal abuse from Ramsay. In the absence of the 'f' word, we are treated to a lot of bulls**t; a regular part of the show is Ramsay's friend Janet Street-Porter chronicling her adventures in raising a couple of baby bulls in the countryside, which are cooked by Ramsay at the end of each season. One minute the audience is watching the family brigade assemble a mango zabaglione, the next, calves producing prolific amounts of dung. Other segments include a one-on-one cook-off between Ramsay and a British television personality, the chef teaching a binge-dieting boxer how to cook healthily and father-and-son bonding time when our Gordon takes son Jack to hunt rabbits. It is the perfect show for foodies with mild attention-deficit disorder - there would be an utter lack of continuity if it were not for Ramsay's big head in almost every frame. Where Ramsay entertains with his megalomania, food adventurer Gates counters with self-deprecating humour and empathy. His ability to get to the heart - and stomach - of cultures surviving in desolate, hostile or little-known parts of the world shines in the second season of Cooking in the Danger Zone (BBC World News; Saturdays at 5.10pm), which sees him travelling to Ukraine, India, Venezuela, Myanmar and the Arctic. Twenty-three years after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, Gates ventures into the Zone of Alienation surrounding the devastated power station to experience the hospitality of a plucky octogenarian resident, who feeds him a lovely pork soup full of homely warmth and radioactivity. As he partakes of moonshine and joins in a post-meal singalong with his hosts, Gates muses, 'Even in this toxic environment, the enjoyment of food seems to conquer its effects. Alcohol certainly helps; [locals] believe that alcohol flushes radiation out of the system. Maybe when you live in the shadow of Chernobyl, radiation is just one of the things you have to learn to live with.' A sobering thought.