As was previously rumored, Top Chef season six winner and chef Michael Voltaggio (ink., ink sack, Los Angeles) is heading back to the small screen. Beyond Borders was officially picked up today as a thirteen-episode series. A press release confirms that Voltaggio and Peabody Award-winning correspondent Mariana van Zeller will host the show. The pair will travel to remote parts of the world to cook with the locals, and "uncover the personal stories, perspectives and rich cultures in well-known conflict zones..." Going beyond the food and into politics, the pair will "gather people from both sides of the conflict for an amazing meal and an animated discussion in search of common ground."
Is Travel Channel looking to fill the thoughtful, visionary hole that Parts Unknown's Anthony Bourdain left when he took his Zero Point Zero troop to CNN? Who could fault them for that. A representative for Voltaggio clarifies that the chef will be focused on learning to cook local dishes, and will not simply be tasting exotic food on screen.
Travel Channel also confirmed that they would be airing an extension of Andrew Zimmern's Bizarre Foods series, this one called Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations. It will premiere on Monday, January 26.