Bravo’s New Queer Cast Goes Around the World in 80 Plates
BY Diane Anderson-Minshall
May 07 2012 1:41 PM ET
When Bravo premieres its appetizing new culinary competition, Around the World in 80 Plates, there will be not just two gay cheftestants but also a lesbian host. Around the World follows 12 chefs as they race across 10 countries — Argentina, Uruguay, China, France, Italy, Morocco, Spain, Thailand, the United States, and England — in just over 40 days, sampling local customs and cuisine and then re-creating local delicacies in their own team eateries.
“The show concept was dynamite,” says host (and Iron Chef winner) Cat Cora of what some are calling Bravo’s most ambitious production to date. “Also the opportunity to work with Bravo and [the Emmy-winning production company] Magical Elves was a big draw for me.”
The show premieres Wednesday at 10 p.m. Eastern/Pacific, with a pub crawl around London, and Cora is joined by cohost Curtis Stone and guest Nigella Lawson. Each week a a rotating cast of visiting celebrity chefs, such as Lawson, Wolfgang Puck, José Andrés, Narda Lepes, and Alvin Leung, will serve as “food ambassadors” to help the contestants understand local cuisine.
After 40 days you’d expect Cora, a super-busy lesbian mom and chef, to be exhausted. Not so, she says. “I was actually rejuvenated. It was the best production I've ever worked on and definitely one of the most exciting as well.”
We caught up with the two out gay chefs — Nicole Lou and Gary Walker — to get their take on Cora’s favorite part of Around the World (“The travel and people!” she says) to see what’s it’s like on the other side of the judge’s apron.