Newest Travel Channel Asia show brings people together
In Breaking Borders, each episode is helmed by Chef Michael Voltaggio—a renowned restaurateur—and Mariana Van Zeller—a multi-awarded journalist.
The two visit places that have been plagued by years of broken factions and deeply ingrained issues. Once there, they immerse themselves, and the audience, in the rich history of the area.
The highlight of each episode is when the hosts bring together a few locals to share a meal prepared by Chef Michael, while openly discussing their thoughts and opinions on the conflict surrounding them.
Each meal’s participants are, of course, the two hosts and a few locals from the different sides of the spectrum. These guests are from opposing sides, and there comes the challenge.
Chef Michael said that each meal he prepares isn’t just about the taste. It’s about the people behind it. In each morsel of food, he tries to capture at least a smidge of their essence as a people, and hopefully, this translates to a happy and open atmosphere.
“My biggest concern was being able to use food to connect people around the world in a way where they would feel comfortable enough to share their life experiences,” explains Chef Michael.
The food served is inspired by the local cuisine and the stories the pair hear around town in preparation for the sit-down. The familiar and warm setting of the dining table covered with hearty dishes encourages the participants to feel at ease and therefore serves as the foundation for Mariana’s thought-provoking questions.
Premiering this month, Breaking Borders brings together people from different sides of issues and unites them around a delicious meal.
“In each place we visited, we provided an opportunity for two sides to confront each other. Although some were more heated than the others, the end goal was always to agree on something, even if it was to agree to disagree,” shared Chef Michael. “That experience provided me the opportunity to connect with each individual guest on an intimate level to get a better understanding from where they came. Food brings people together every second of every day.”