March 1, 2012

From The Producers Of Chopped And Survivor Comes No Kitchen Required

Adventure cooking competition series is BBC AMERICA’s first primetime original

New York, NY BBC AMERICA’s new original adventure cooking competition series, No Kitchen Required, follows three chefs as they are dropped into the most exotic and remote places on earth. There they must work with the locals to hunt, fish and forage for ingredients to create locally-inspired meals that will be judged by the communities.The three fearless chefs are Michelin-starred New York restaurateur Michael Psilakis, first ever Chopped Grand Championchef Madison Cowan, who has roots in London, Detroit and Jamaica, and elite personal chef from New Zealand, Kayne Raymond. The trio leave the comforts of their kitchens as they are dropped into ten locations around the world including Dominica, New Zealand, Belize, Fiji, Chiang Dao – Thailand, Koh Lanta – Thailand, Hawaii, New Mexico, Louisiana and Florida.  The series ishosted by British presenter Dr. Shini Somara (BBC’s The One Show, BBC World News’ The Health Show), who joins the chefs on the adventure. BBC AMERICA’s No Kitchen Required premieres Tuesday, April 3, 10:00pm ET/PT.

Integrating themselves in the communities, the chefs are exposed to all of the flavors and traditions of the locals. Challenged with the task of putting their own spin on the traditional cuisine, they are eagerly guided by locals who demonstrate the best techniques for catching their protein, including diving for crayfish and crabs, hunting for iguana with a slingshot, using a bow and arrow to hunt turkey and spear fishing for trout. It’s up to the chefs to combine their skills with the techniques and flavors of the locals to create a delectable feast for their hosts in just three hours. While all three chefs must face the hardships of the environment, only one can win the vote of their toughest critics – the locals.

Executive producer/director Chachi Senior (Chopped, Rocco’s Dinner Party) says: “No Kitchen Required is definitely the first of its kind. We’re introducing the viewing audience to cultures they may not be familiar with and using food as the vehicle for them to learn about these cultures.  Along the way they get to engage in a rocking adventure through the eyes of our chefs.”

No Kitchen Required completely redefines what reality television can and should do,” commented executive producer Kevin Greene (Survivor).  “In the process of combining cooking and extreme adventure, we documented amazing stories that will keep viewers riveted and wondering what’s going to happen next. I feel lucky to have shared the experience with the team at Notional and BBC AMERICA.”

No Kitchen Required joins BBC AMERICA’s stable of all-new original programming, along with Richard Hammond’s Crash Course, Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan and scripted drama Copper, which all premiere later this year.

Viewers who tune into the premiere episode of No Kitchen Required will have the opportunity to enter into a sweepstakes to win a trip for two to Hawaii.  A secret entry code will be revealed during the broadcast.  Entries may be submitted by text message or online at All rules and details will be available beginning March 12.


  • Madison Cowan
  • Michael Psilakis
  • Kayne Raymond

Host                                                       Dr. Shini Somara
Director and Executive Producer                            Chachi Senior (Chopped, Rocco’s Dinner Party)

Executive Producers

  • Kevin Greene (Survivor)
  • Dave Noll (Chopped, Rocco’s Dinner Party)
  • Cleve Keller(Bounce)

Co-Executive Producer                      Michael Psilakis

No Kitchen Required is a Notional production for BBC AMERICA.

In the first episode of the adrenaline inducing series, the chefs rappel into the lush land of the Caribbean island Dominica.  Equipped with only their knives and secret ingredients of choice, they are warmly welcomed by host Dr. Shini Somara and the Kalinago community. After a traditional performance by the locals and an exquisite feast, the chefs set out in search for the ingredients for their meals.  Before they can dish up the catch of the day, they must first master spearfishing, track a manicou, a possum-like animal, through the dense jungle, blindly hunt for crustaceans in dangerously murky water and forage for tropical fruits and root vegetables like coconuts and yams. Combining these ingredients to create a delectable feast for their hosts proves to be a daunting task against the wind and rain on the unpredictable island. The chefs struggle just to keep their fires going, not to mention creating a winning meal before time runs out. No Kitchen Required – Dominica – premieres Tuesday, April 3, 10:00pm ET/PT.

Order of episodes to be announced:
New Zealand
After arriving by canoe, the chefs must summon their inner warrior to win over the Maori people in rugged New Zealand. The pressure is on native son Kayne to prove himself and honor his Maori heritage. Commanding the difficult terrain and finding success on the hunting grounds proves to be only part of the challenge at hand for the chefs. When the ice-cold winds descend upon the cooking challenge, Michael and Madison really turn up the heat in order to best the hometown favorite.

The chefs speed across the South Seas on a skiff toward Fiji, a land where the locals were once feared as cannibals.  Once they disembark on the blindingly white shores, they are warmly greeted by the Fijians.  But, it isn’t long before the beautiful landscape becomes a backdrop for the obstacles that ensue –Kayne finds hunting on the reefs to be an unexpected challenge, Madison has to overcome emotional struggles while hunting and Michael almost loses a valuable appendage to a crab. The competition becomes fierce as the chefs battle to win the hearts of their Fijian hosts.

Chiang Dao – Thailand
The chefs battle a mighty language barrier and even mightier prey as they head to Chiang Dao, Thailand – home to the people of Palong Hill. The hunting and cooking methods of the Palong have remained the same for hundreds of years, but the chefs must do their best to put their own spin on ancient traditions if they hope to win.  Madison tests his fears exploring the dark abyss of an eerie bat cave while Kayne struggles to keep hold of his game. Meanwhile, Michael charms his way to a successful hunt. During the cooking challenge, emotions flare as one chef is accused of hoarding the hottest ingredient. The chefs must overcome their unfamiliarity with the local ingredients to find a way to create a winning meal.

The three chefs fly above the dynamic landscape of Hawaii’s Big Island before their chopper touches down on a beautiful bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The Hawaiians treat them to a traditional luau where they learn about the native culture and culinary traditions. They soak in the celebration before heading out in search of their latest ingredients – hunting for wild boar, casting nets into the surf for fish and diving deep underwater to spear octopus. After a thrilling hunt, the challenge really heats up as the chefs attempt to cook up the winning dinner for their hosts using the traditional earthen oven known as an imu, all while battling the elements.

The chefs find themselves in the backwater swamps of Louisiana where they must honor one of the most revered American culinary traditions: Cajun cooking. Their Cajun judges are tougher than any restaurant critic and much less likely to be impressed by their efforts. The dark allure of the bayou with its alligators and snakes proves seductive for the chefs, who risk life and limb to secure their ingredients.  At last, our three culinary creators put the hunt behind them and get down to cooking – hopefully it will be enough to impress the Cajuns.

Koh Lanta – Thailand
The chefs arrive in longboats on the shores of the island, home of the Uraklavoy Sea Gypsies, an ancient nomadic people who have survived for hundreds of years by fishing these waters. All three try their hands at traditional fishing techniques using handmade nets and traps.  For the first time, however, they must give up some of their catch to barter for the vegetables they need, just as they Uraklavoy do.  Finally, the chefs must endure brutal heat as they cook to win on the sandy shores of the Andaman Sea.

New Mexico
The chefs head into Apache country, arriving on horseback as they begin their quest to win over the fiercest Native American warriors. New Mexico is known as the land of enchantment, but as the temperature drops toward freezing the hunting grounds turn grim. Cold weather is only the beginning of their troubles when the chefs learn that they will be cooking with almost no extra ingredients. The cooking competition gets heated and the chefs find themselves fighting the clock just to finish their dishes. In the end, one chef is honored as a true Apache warrior.

Our three chefs chopper into the heart of the ancient Mayan world amidst the lush jungles of Belize, where the modern Mayans welcome them and treat them to traditional Mayan cuisine. The chefs tangle with local animals such as armadillos, iguanas and gibnut using the traditional methods of the locals: knives, machetes and slingshots. The cooking competition finds all three chefs battling not only each other, but also the native ingredients that have never crossed their plates before. The Mayans prove to be tough critics at the tasting and the chefs can only hope they’ve done enough to win them over.

The Chefs travel back in time to test their culinary skills with the Native American Seminoles.  Prehistoric danger awaits them in the swamps of the Florida Everglades where they encounter a fish with scales like armor, an alligator and weaponry that dates back thousands of years. Confronted with the perils of dangerous territory and unpredictable prey, the hunt leaves one chef unable join the others for the forage.  As the clock winds down, the extreme Florida sun isn’t the only challenge the group must face as they struggle to overcome the inherent challenges of an unknown culture and foreign ingredients.

British born chef, Madison Cowan, brings his international experiences to BBC AMERICA’s No Kitchen Required.  While featured on Food Network’s Chopped, Madison earned the title as the first-ever ChoppedGrand Champion.  He will appear in an upcoming episode of Food Network’s Iron Chef America later this year.

Madison has gained international experience in London, Detroit, Jamaica, New York, France, Holland and Japan. Having overcome homelessness twice in his life in order to realize his dream of becoming a chef, Madison credits his mother’s influence for his culinary techniques and as the spring-board to his soulful style.

Madison is currently writing his first cookbook Soul Voyage, about cooking proper soul food from the heart. He also runs Madison Cowan LLC, a global culinary production company that oversees operations in licensing and consulting, cookery demonstration, television appearances and mobile clandestine dining that has reached throughout Africa, Europe, Japan and South America.  Madison currently resides in New York with his wife, daughter and their dog.

Twitter: @Madisons_Ave

New York chef and restaurateur Michael Psilakis takes his skills outside of the kitchen in BBC AMERICA’s No Kitchen Required.  In addition to owning acclaimed restaurants Kefi and Fish Tag in New York City, Psilakis has appeared on Food Network’s Iron Chef and Ultimate Recipe Showdown. His accolades include Esquire Magazine’s Chef of the Year, Food & Wine’s Best New Chef and Bon Appetit’s Chef of the Year distinctions. In 2008, he was awarded a coveted Michelin Star, making him one of only two Greek chefs in the world to hold that honor.

Inspired by his traditional Greek family, Psilakis learned the techniques of classic Greek cooking at a young age. His father taught him to roast whole lambs on a spit and his mother, who remains his greatest influence in the kitchen, taught him everything about the flavors he uses in his dishes.

In addition to a notable career in the New York restaurant industry, Psilakis has also published his first cookbook How to Roast a Lamb: New Greek Classic Cooking. The book is a culinary tribute to Psilakis’ Greek heritage and has gone on to win countless awards including the Gourmand World Cookbook Award for Best Foreign Cuisine. Psilakis currently resides in Long Island, New York where he opened his newest restaurant MP Taverna.

Twitter: @MPsilakis

Chef Kayne Raymond brings his passion for cooking to BBC AMERICA’s No Kitchen Required.  With appearances on Food Network’s Chopped, Raymond has served as the Private Executive Chef to a slew of exclusive clients, including the CEO of Oracle.

After extensive training in his hometown of Auckland, New Zealand, Raymond took his talents across the globe, cooking in kitchens throughout Australia, England, and the US. Raymond has worked with some of the culinary world’s best and brightest including celebrated New Zealand chef Peter Gordon, Henry Harris and Simon Fawcett of Fifth Floor Harvey Nichols of London, OXO Tower at the River Thames and Hugo’s Bondi Beach.

Raymond currently resides in San Francisco, California with his wife and daughter.

Twitter: @KayneRaymond

British presenter Dr. Shini Somara brings her love of adventure to BBC AMERICA’s new original cooking competition No Kitchen Required. With credits that include BBC World News’ The Health Show, BBC One’s WatchdogThe One Show and Inside Out London, Shini effortlessly transforms the complex world of cutting-edge science and emerging technology into fascinating primetime television.

By the age of 25, Shini had completed her doctoral thesis while working full-time as a mechanical engineer. Yet, she found time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and dabble in the world of fashion as a model. Shini also has a degree in classical ballet from the Royal Academy of Dance.

Shini is passionate about discovering and understanding the world around her. She is very eager to sample new foods throughout her journey and learn new recipes that she can bring back home to London.

Twitter: @ShiniSomara

KEVIN GREENE – Executive Producer
Kevin Greene serves as executive producer and director on BBC AMERICA’s No Kitchen Required.  With an extensive resume in production, his most recent credits include the Emmy® Award-winning series Survivor and Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race.

Greene began his career in commercials and feature films, including Academy Award®-winning film Gladiator,before transitioning into unscripted television.  He has produced numerous series including: Masterchef AustraliaOutback Jack and CBS’s Cupid.

No stranger to working in unique locations, Greene has produced shows all over the world including: Spain, Morocco, Kenya, Borneo, Australia, China and Fiji.  He currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.

CHACHI SENIOR – Executive Producer/Director
Emmy® Award-winner Chachi Senior serves as executive producer and director on BBC AMERICA’s No Kitchen Required.  With an expansive history in television, Senior’s credits include Bravo’s Rocco’s Dinner Party and Food Network’s Chopped. As head of development at Notional, Senior has developed and sold content both nationally and internationally to numerous networks, including: Endemol, Comedy Central, Travel, and truTV.

Prior to joining Notional, Senior spent two years at City Lights Media where he created and produced content for brands and networks, including: ABC Family, Barnes & Noble, Glamour, Hearst, Kohler, Lifetime, MTV,Reader’s Digest, and TLC. During his tenure Senior won two Emmy® Awards for the digital series Book Obsessed, which he executive-produced.  He also served as producer on Unknown Soldier, a Los Angeles Film Festival winner and Independent Spirit Award nominee.

Senior currently resides in Santa Monica, California and New Jersey with his beautiful wife Adriana and their two daughters.

Twitter: @ChachiSenior

Twitter: @BBCAMERICA Hashtag: #NoKitchenRequired