On Location With Mariana van Zeller

Travel along with well-seasoned journalist and host Mariana van Zeller as she takes us behind the scenes of Breaking Borders .
By: Mariana van Zeller

Photo By: Mariana Van Zeller

Photo By: Mariana Van Zeller

Photo By: Mariana Van Zeller

Photo By: Mariana Van Zeller

Photo By: Mariana Van Zeller

Photo By: Mariana Van Zeller

Photo By: Mariana Van Zeller

Photo By: Mariana Van Zeller

Photo By: Mariana Van Zeller

Photo By: Mariana Van Zeller

Photo By: Mariana Van Zeller

Photo By: Mariana Van Zeller

Photo By: Mariana Van Zeller

Photo By: Mariana Van Zeller

Photo By: Mariana Van Zeller

Photo By: Mariana Van Zeller

Photo By: Mariana Van Zeller

A Mediterranean Fish Fry

After a day spent in the charming Mediterranean city of Byblos, Lebanon, I had no other fish to fry. I ate all of them.

Lebanese Cuisine

An extreme close-up of a Lebanese meze. Unfortunately, my photo skills don't do it justice. Lebanese food is famous all over the world, and rightfully so. It's definitely on my top 5 list of best places to eat.

Old Jerusalem

Pickle seller in Old Jerusalem. Michael Voltaggio and I spent our first and last day in Jerusalem roaming around Souk Khan El-Zeit. We both love to eat and shop, and this open-air market in the Old City was the perfect place for both. Related: Mother of All Conflicts

Oskar Schindler

The Mount Zion Catholic Cemetery, where Oskar Schindler is buried. Schindler was a member of the Nazi Party responsible for saving the lives of 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust. His story was portrayed in Steven Spielberg's 1993 movie Schindler's List.

West Bank City of Hebron

Palestinian men in the West Bank city of Hebron. More than any other place on our trip, this is where we really felt the anger and resentment on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It's another city divided, with around 80% controlled by the Palestinian Authority and the other 20% administered by Israel.

Great Pyramids of Giza

The mandatory "look at me at the pyramids" photo. At least one of us is looking in the right direction. Related: Detained in Egypt

Cairo

The view from my hotel bedroom in Cairo. The Nile is indeed a river in Egypt, and the longest in the world.

Traveling in Style

I travel a lot, usually to places no one wants to go. But then sometimes, I get lucky. In this case, WE (the chef and I) got lucky. I could do away with the camel riding, but no one's taking the Pyramids of Giza from us. Over 4,500 years of pure wonder that will stay with us forever.

Egypt's Spice Rack

A spice shop in the Khan el-Khalili Souk in Cairo.

Cooking in Extreme Conditions

Michael Voltaggio has cooked in some pretty cool places for this show, but I think he'll agree with me that this one hit the high note. He had just a few hours to cook large amounts of incredibly awesome food, while I tried to make myself useful, but every few minutes, we'd both look up and gasp.

Belfast, Northern Ireland

The "Peace Wall" in Belfast still separates Northern Ireland's Catholic and Protestant communities. It was built following the start of the conflict known as "The Troubles" and has stood for 45 years, longer than the Berlin Wall. Tourists from all over the world write messages on it, as did Michael and I. Can you guess what we wrote? Hint: best show on TV. Also, "peace" in my mother tongue. Related: A History Tour of Ireland

Shankill Road, Belfast

Michael in front of a loyalist memorial on Shankill Road in Belfast. Shankill (which means "the old church") was a center for Protestant paramilitarism during the Troubles and was the target of several bomb and gun attacks by the Irish Republican Army, or IRA.

Picturesque Sarajevo

The beautiful location of our "big meal" — the Hedona Wine Club in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

Mostar, Bosnia

The stunning Stari Most (which means "old bridge") in Mostar was built by the Ottomans in the 16th century. It was completely destroyed during the Bosnian War but was rebuilt in 2004, and it now stands as a symbol of reconciliation and peace.

Roadside Roasted Lamb

Our amazing guide Sabina told us that we had to stop at this roadside restaurant on the way back from Mostar to try the famous Bosnian roasted lamb on a spit. Apparently, these restaurants have become so popular here that they now call this region "the Silence of the Lambs."

Chef Michael Voltaggio

Michael will kill me for telling you this, but he's super afraid of heights. However, he came with me all the way up to the top of a minaret in Mostar. So proud of you, Chef!

A Chef's Mind

Michael usually starts jotting down some ideas for the big meal the day before. In Bosnia, I got lucky and got to see his brilliant mind at work. He did all this during our last shoot of the day, at an old bar in Sarajevo. It's a possible list of dishes, ingredients and some food presentation ideas. Wish I'd stolen the original copy. It might well be worth millions one day! :-)