New BBC America cooking show combines travel and adventure

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?

The series premieres April 3rd.

[Photo credit: © Gilles Mingasson for BBC AMERICA]

Tommy Lee, travel guide?

Tommy Lee, travel guideFormer Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee will star in an investigative travel show for the Syfy network, Culture Shock with Tommy Lee. Lee will attempt to uncover rituals, symbols and other mysteries of secret societies around the world.

The unscripted series will have hour-long episodes produced by ITV Studios America featuring the ex-husband of both Heather Locklear and Pamela Anderson giving his opinion of bizarre things he finds around the world.

“This is the first show that I’ve been a part of that will blow our minds and reveal things that will explain almost all our questions,” Lee told Entertainment Weekly. “I’m very excited to be partnering with Syfy on this show. It’s going to be an amazing experience for all involved.”

We’re wondering if Tommy will start at SeaWorld in Orlando where he can investigate further his concern/anger over whale masturbation.

Certainly that qualifies as a ritual, symbol or mystery?

Flickr photo by MadMarlin