Reality television continues to be endlessly fascinating to viewers, and one of the most popular categories is food. From simple recipe shows to celebrity chefs to cooking competitions, people can't seem to get enough of food programming on television. Popular shows like "Hell's Kitchen," "Chopped," and "Iron Chef America" have captured foodie and non-foodie imaginations alike. The newest entry in the competition subcategory is BBC America's "No Kitchen Required," which is a combination of travelogue, cooking competition, with a dash of "Survivor" thrown in.
The show features three celebrity chefs: American Michael Psilakis, Brit Madison Cowan, and New Zealander Kayne Raymond, who each week are transported to an exotic locale where they must meet the locals, learn their (typically unusual) cuisine, and then hunt and forage and cook for their hosts, who will then declare a winner.
Apart from the fabulous scenery and the interesting creatures that end up on the dining table, "No Kitchen Required" also has educational and feel-good elements. Most of the people and places visited are quite remote, and American viewers get to see that the world is a much bigger place than they might think. At the end of each episode the three chefs always present a gift to their village hosts, usually some books or other educational gift for the community.
The chefs have visited:
- The Caribbean island of Dominica, where the met and cooked for the Kalinago tribe
- New Zealand and the Maori people
- The Palong hill people of Chiang Dao, Thailand
- The island of Fiji, where the local Fijians once were cannibals
Host Dr. Shini Somara guides the chefs through each episode's challenge in typical reality show fashion, relaying the rules and starting each show off with a (sometimes silly) challenge that will determine who gets to pick the "best" protein. But there is still something different from other reality competition shows, in a good way, about "No Kitchen Required." The chefs' next stop is Hawaii, where octopus and wild boar are on the menu. Pray for good weather and enjoy the feast.