Days at the beach are, for many, the most righteous execution of freedom beneath the summer sun–especially if that beach is in a place like Fiji. A lot of people spend their summers doing something that I haven’t yet learned how or even tried to do: surf. Somewhere along the line, I realized that the ocean is kind of terrifying and that the sun can cause skin cancer. I’ve since let these fears usher me under shady beach umbrellas while admiring the surfing folks beyond. But when those surfing folks are little girls, I feel a bit outdone. This video of these little girls surfing in Fiji uploaded by Sean Hiller has not really been seen. With 6 total views on Vimeo as I write this, I think these courageous and adorable little girls deserve a little more attention than they’re getting. (My new mantra: this summer will be the summer I try surfing, this summer will be the summer I try surfing. My new goal: surfing in Fiji).
Here at Gadling, we’ve been keeping tabs on the new BBC America reality show “No Kitchen Required,” which is taking cooking competitions to new highs (and lows). Battling for fame and glory are award-winning chef Michael Psilakis of New York’s Fish Tag and Kefi; private executive chef Kayne Raymond; and former “Chopped” champ Madison Cowan.
The chefs hunt and gather ingredients to prepare regional cuisine in various locations, including Dominica, Belize, Fiji, Thailand, South Africa, Hawaii, New Mexico and Louisiana. The show is a cross between “Survivor” and “Top Chef,” with a dash of over-the-top, Bear Grylls-style drama thrown in, but it’s all in good fun and provides a fascinating cultural and culinary tour of little known destinations and cuisines.
Here, we have a teaser clip from New Zealand that features the chefs watching a haka, or traditional Maori warrior dance, prior to having the local community judge their respective meals. Here’s hoping they didn’t give anyone food poisoning.
Tropical storms have battered Fiji in recent days, causing flash floods that have stranded tourists, forced mass evacuations and caused upwards of three deaths. Now, the Pacific island nation braces itself as a tropical cyclone approaches the main island of Viti Levu with forecasted gusts of 68 miles per hour and the certainty of even more damage. Already, the government has declared a state of emergency. Sometimes, you just can’t catch a break.
Apart from causing widespread destruction, floods in the main tourist towns of Suva and Nadi have also wreaked havoc on Fiji’s tourism industry. Thousands of visitors were forced to remain in their hotels with limited resources until the waters receded and the air embargo was lifted on Monday. They now face chaos at the Nadi International Airport trying to secure flights back home. Australian and New Zealand news sources describe frantic scenes straight from a natural disaster flick.
The photo gallery below offers a glimpse at the current scene on the ground.
It was only a matter of time before all the eating of rats and scorpions on “Survivor” grew tiresome. Perhaps that’s why producer Kevin Greene and “Chopped” producer Chachi Senior created a new cooking series for BBC America that combines exotic locales with dodgy outdoor adventures. There’s just one little catch: there’s no kitchen.
“No Kitchen Required” takes 2008 Food & Wine “Best New Chef” Michael Psilakis of New York’s FISHTAG and Kefi, private executive chef Kayne Raymond (aka the resident beefcake), and former “Chopped” champ Madison Cowan, and drops them into ten remote locations to perform some serious hunting and gathering.
After being plunked down in Dominica; Belize; New Zealand; Fiji; Thailand; Hawaii; New Mexico; Louisiana, and Florida, each chef is handed a knife (“Pack your knives and go,” is not a sentence you’ll hear uttered on this series) and a few key ingredients. They’re then left to fish, hunt, forage, and otherwise scrounge up the remaining ingredients to “create a locally-inspired meal that will be judged by the community.”
Despite the gimmicky and somewhat contrived nature of the challenges, there’s a lot to love about this show. It’s fun, innovative, and despite my raging addiction to “Top Chef,” I’m happy to see a cooking show that finally requires the use of local/seasonal ingredients (let’s hope there’s no blow-darting of endangered monkeys or serving of shark fin). Weaving the regional and cultural element into the concept is genius. Braised nutria, anyone?
One of our favorite parts about hit ABC television series The Bachelor / Bachelorette is the final few weeks. This is not because it showcases the show’s main contestant falling in love with multiple men and women, or because of the cheesy “fantasy suite” overnights. It’s because of the far-flung and romantic locations the contestants visit that give us inspiration for our own honeymoons … whenever that may be.
Tonight’s episode takes place at luxe resort Namale in Savusavu, Fiji, which, like many of its romance-ready counterparts in the 20-something seasons before, offers private villas, walks around the grounds to nearby rushing waterfalls, private dinners and luxurious spa treatments – a formula that will make it easy for the Bachelorette and one of her finalists to fall in love.
Previous seasons have taken place in Anguilla (CuisinArt Resort), Tahiti (where Carrie Underwood honeymooned after the show wrapped), New Zealand and more. In tonight’s episode, castmates head to Namale, located on the edge of the Koro Sea. Should you wish to plan a romantic getaway to the island in the vein of The Bachelorette, the resort has created a 7-Night Getaway Package, which includes accommodations at a bure or villa and the following amenities:
Inter-island transportation for two
A chilled bottle of champagne at arrival and a basket of South Pacific fruits upon arrival
A Dolphin Day Tour to Natewa Bay
Couples Ultimate Fusion Spa Treatment
Horseback riding to Namale’s privately owned waterfall with 3 course lunch served at the base of the falls
Private candlelight dinner over the Koro Sea and under a bed of stars
Lunch where the Bachelorette dined at the Walu Deck (or choose from Hanging Bed at beach, Veidomoni Deck, Blowhole Deck, Lasalasa, Main Bure private deck)
Romantic themed turndown service on the eve of departure
The all-inclusive resort features:
All meals (champagne breakfast, 3 course lunches and 5 course dinners)
All beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) with no limitations on beers, spirits, house wines and house champagnes
Daily replenishable mini bar
Daily laundry services
Nightly turndown services
Complimentary access to fitness center and indoor entertainment center
Activities such as snorkeling, horseback riding, Fijian village visits and more
The Bachelorette Inspired Romantic 7-Night Getaway Package to Namale will be offered for 90 days after the July 25 episode airs, and travel dates are August 2011 through the end of March 2012. The inter-island transport is only offered for packages purchased before August 12th 2011.
Yep, we think we’d fall in love in a setting like that too. Where can we sign up to be the next Bachelorette?