Video: ‘No Kitchen Required’ In New Zealand, ‘When Maori Attack’

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.

Reality television show Expedition Impossible debuts in June

A new reality television show entitled Expedition Impossible is set to make its debut on ABC this June, pitting 13 teams of three against one another in what looks to be an adrenaline fueled competition through remote regions of Morocco. The show, which seems to combine elements of The Amazing Race and the sport of adventure racing, comes to us courtesy of Mark Burnett, the mastermind behind Survivor.

The official website for the show offers little in the way of information about the competition, although I would expect that it will be updated as we get closer to when it first airs. But in the trailer video, which you’ll find below, we see teams not only trekking through the desert, rock climbing, and kayaking rushing rivers, but also solving puzzles and working through other challenges. The video actually conveys an intensity to the race that isn’t present in other realty shows of this type.

For Burnett, this looks to be somewhat of a return to his roots. Back in the 90’s he produced an adventure race known as the Eco-Challenge which had coed teams of four racing against one another on foot, mountain bike, and kayak through some of the most remote places on Earth. Expedition Impossible seems to have a similar theme, although it is much more approachable for the masses than Eco-Challenge ever was.

So? What do you think? Is this going to be worthwhile adventure television for the summer months? I guess we’ll find out on June 23 when the first episode airs.

Mark Burnett casting for new adventure travel show

Mark Burnett, the famous television producer responsible for such reality shows as Survivor and The Apprentice, is looking for teams of contestants to compete in a new race that will send them to remote places, where they’ll solve problems and compete in various challenges.

The new show is entitled Expedition Impossible and seems to resemble The Amazing Race, at least on a cursory level. The program will pit teams of three against one another as they race through deserts, up mountains, and across rivers. In all, there will be ten legs to the race, with a new one being revealed each week, as the contestants battle it out for the, as of yet, undisclosed prize.

The casting notice can be read in full by clicking here, but in a nutshell, the three people on each team will need to have the entire month of April free to compete in this race. All competitors must also be 18 years of age or older, be a resident of the United States and hold a valid U.S. passport that is good through the end of 2011.

To be considered for the show, teams will need to send the following information to David 






Expedition Impossible sounds a bit like a project that Burnett produced back in the mid-1990’s called Eco-Challenge, which saw teams of four racing non-stop against one another through a remote course in some of the most challenging environments on the planet. It’s doubtful that this new show will come anywhere close to being as challenging as that race, but it sounds interesting for adventurous travelers looking to compete in a reality television show. I can’t wait to hear more details about the race.

New Zealand surfer escapes tsunami

Surfers are constantly on the hunt for the “big one” – that epic wave they’ll be able to tell their grand kids about. But for New Zealand surfer Chris Nel, that epic wave turned into a nightmare. Nel was out surfing with five friends in the Samoan Islands last week when a catastrophic 8.3 magnitude earthquake struck, sending a towering tsunami of water rumbling his way.

Before they even realized it, the ocean around them was rushing back out to sea, sucking Chris and his friends along with it. Chris describes the scary feeling of doom as he was pulled towards the giant mass of water, powerless to do anything but ride out the waves. For the next 45 minutes, Nel and his friends struggled to stay afloat in the pounding tsunami surge, worried they would be smashed into the beach or jungle. Finally, the friends caught a lucky break, scrambling to safety back on land in between surges. However, the surf camp where he was staying was completely destroyed. Chris returned to New Zealand wearing nothing but a pair of jeans found in the jungle.

For all the tragedy that came from last week’s earthquakes and tsunamis, it’s heartening to hear of some good news. Despite the increasing availability of tsunami warning systems in the Pacific Ocean, it’s not likely Nel or his friends would have even had time to get out of the water, even if they learned of the wave in advance. Like any outdoor sport, surfing is not without its occasional risk – sometimes you just happen to get lucky.

$19 hotel room, bed not included

For $19, I wouldn’t expect much out of my hotel room. But a bed, lights and toilet paper are among the things I would consider to be basic necessities at any price. That’s not the case at the Rancho Bernardo Inn, where guests can elect to have different features of their hotel room removed in order to decrease the price.

The “Survivor Package” starts at $219 for deluxe accommodations and breakfast for two. Take out the breakfast and the price goes down to $199. Take out the AC or heat and you’re looking at $159. The removal of pillows, sheets, lights, linens, and toiletries decreases the price incrementally to just $39. Then things really get interesting. For $19, the resort will remove the bed and replace it with a tent. Basically, you’re paying for an indoor campsite.

The hotel’s manager says he wanted to do “something different” for a promotion. This gives guests on a budget a cheap, and memorable, way to enjoy the resort, which is set on 20,000 acres in San Diego. There’s a a golf course, three pools, three restaurants, and a spa that was named as the best by Conde Nast in 2008.

The deal has already been quite popular, with over 50 people making reservations for the $19 rooms. The promotion will run from August 16 to 31.

[via CNN]