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Chef Cat Cora Co-Hosts New BRAVO Show

Cat Cora

In Bravo’s latest culinary competition show, Around the World in 80 Plates, 12 up-and-coming chefs crisscross the world, battling each other in challenges of both skill and strength. (Yes, it takes a certain type of strength to scarf down excessive amounts of kidney pie.) Here, co-host Cat Cora (the Iron Chef America star-cookbook author-restaurateur-philanthropist shares duties with Australian celeb chef Curtis Stone) dishes on the action-packed show, reveals her ideal family meal, and more.  

Q: How would you define Around the World in 80 Plates?

A: The competition is very much like Top Chef, but in a fresher sense. The challenge is in the style of Amazing Race, and the elimination part is Survivor. I think someone even threw in American Idol. It’s such a new take on a competition show that also there’s nothing like it out there.

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Does Don Draper Really Need a Break?

20120425_madmenjpg

Taken by surprise, but pleased with its crisp orange-and-blue star turn on Sunday’s episode of Mad Men, Howard Johnson is looking to extend its moment in the spotlight. Several properties in the hotel chain are offering a free night this summer to anyone legally named Don Draper. (For those of us named Roger, Sally, and anything else, the hotel will lop 20% off stays of three nights or more.) For more information on participating hotels or to book, please visit Wyndham Worldwide.

(The Mad Men episode was filmed at a former Howard Johnson near L.A., which through the digital magic of television, was revived to its snappy signature colors and placed amidst upstate NY late spring greenery instead of palm trees.)

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photo: Michael Yarish/AMC


Jeffrey Dean Morgan Heads to "Magic City"

Jeffrey Dean Morgan

The tall, dark, and handsome actor—who will always be Denny Duquette from Grey’s Anatomy to me—returns to the small screen in Starz’s latest original drama Magic City. Call it the Mad Men of Miami Beach. Set in 1958, the show (which has already been picked up for a second season) recreates a turbulent time, complete with mafia, CIA agents, and a flashy and ambitious hotelier named Ike Evans (played by Morgan). Here, the actor gives us a little history lesson, reveals why he thinks the show will be a success, and more.

Q: What made you want to get involved with the show?

A: First and foremost, as an actor, you want to go where the writing is. I read three or four episodes going into having lunch with Mitch Glazer, the writer and executive producer. Within 10 minutes of sitting down, I agreed to do it, and the rest, I hope, will be history.

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Q+A: "GCB" Star Miriam Shor Talks Travel and Her New ABC Show

The city of Dallas has been a prime time fixture—from the notorious 1980s soap of the same name to the recent Bravo reality series Most Eligible Dallas. This Sunday, ABC adds another to the list with the premiere of GCB from writer Robert Harling (Steel Magnolias) and producer Darren Star (Sex and the City). The show follows bible-toting Southern belles behaving badly and with a cast led by Kristen Chenoweth, Leslie Bibb, and Miriam Shor, GCB holds promise. T+L catches up with Shor, a bona fide globetrotter.

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Best Video-on-Demand Services

video on demand service

How do you watch your favorite programs while you’re on the road? Besides iTunes, the vast crop of on-demand services for your laptop, mobile, and tablet should keep you entertained.

Netflix ($7.99 per month) remains the undisputed leader, offering tens of thousands of TV shows (from classics to recently aired series) and movies (a healthy mix of blockbusters, obscure film-festival favorites, and more) for mostly seamless, advertising-free viewing.

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Q+A: Crime Novelist Marcus Sakey on His New Travel Channel Show

When researching his thrilling crime novels, acclaimed author Marcus Sakey stops at nothing to get the real story—he’s learned to make nerve gas, gone shooting with Special Forces soldiers, and shadowed homicide detectives. And as the host of the Travel Channel’s new show Hidden City, the former ad man visits 12 cities, digging up the dirt on some of the most notorious events in their histories. Here, Sakey reveals his most surprising discovery, his favorite crime story, and more.

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No Reservations? Tune in to "The Layover", Premiering Tonight

Here at T+L, beating jetlag is something of a sport. So we’re all pretty pumped for The Layover—the new show from globetrotting chef-author Anthony Bourdain, he of No Reservations notoriety—premiering at 9pm ET/PT tonight on the Travel Channel. In ten hour-long episodes, Tony travels everywhere from London to Hong Kong to Los Angeles in search of the best that each city has to offer.

Here’s the catch: the entire series was shot in 30 days, and he has only 24-48 hours in each place. The result? A whirlwind world tour that’s peppered with all the biting Bourdain commentary we’ve come to love and expect, even if it’s tempered with a dash of jetlag. I got a sneak peek at the first episode (spoiler alert!), in which Tony spends a day in Singapore.

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Explorer Richard Wiese on His New Adventure Show

Richard Wiese

By the age of 11, the average kid has learned how to climb a jungle gym. But not Richard Wiese. That was the age when the former Explorers Club president climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro for the first time—and he’s done it 15 more times since. The Emmy Award-winning journalist/adventurer/field scientist has also cross-country skied to the North Pole, tagged jaguars in the Yucatan jungles, and was a member of the largest medical expedition ever conducted on Mt. Everest. But his latest undertaking is as the host of the aptly named Born to Explore, a new syndicated ABC travel program that highlights cultures from around the world, including Aboriginals in the Northern Territory of Australia, Batwa pygmies in Uganda, and Mayans in Belize.

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Pan Am Debuts Sunday! Plus: Our Q&A with Show Creator Jack Orman

Imagine a time when air travel included white-gloved stewardesses (flight attendants, who?) serving caviar on board, giving bottles of champagne to fliers just for being nice, and gracing the cover of TIME.

In the modern world of exorbitant fees for checked bags and extra leg room, it’s nearly impossible to believe that a period like that ever existed, but ABC’s new show Pan Am—which debuts Sept. 25 at 10 p.m. and stars Christina Ricci—brings that 1960's Jet Age era of air travel to life. (Think of it as Mad Men, 30,000 feet in the air.)

Here, T+L gets on board with the show’s creator Jack Orman (of JAG and ER fame).

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New TV Show Helps Travelers Pass as Locals

Some say the mark of a true traveler is being able to pass for a local. But what does it take to become a global chameleon, truly? "Local Currency," a new series on the Plum TV hosted by Mark Ellwood (also a Travel + Leisure contributor) asks that very question—and takes viewers on a hilarious romp around Europe in search of the answer. Mark meets all kinds of opinionated natives, from rock stars to fashion designers, who riotously coach him on how to blend in. First stop: Antwerp, where we learn, among other things, that French fries go best with tartar sauce. Douse them in ketchup, and bingo—you’re branded a foreigner. For more local tips, tricks, and zany encounters, be sure to tune in to Plum this summer.

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