On Location With Michael Voltaggio

Host and chef Michael Voltaggio shares his favorite pictures from his travels while filming Breaking Borders.

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A classic car and a Sonoran hotdog food truck called Chuyitos
Chevy 1955 Bel Air and Sonoran Hot Dogs

Chevy 1955 Bel Air and Sonoran Hot Dogs

Michael (Voltaggio) is obsessed with classic American cars. In fact, he owns this exact same model — a Chevy 1955 Bel Air. He wanted to drive it down to Arizona, but since we had to make sure he actually arrived in time for the shoot, we decided to rent one instead. Our first stop was a truck that sells the famous Sonoran hot dogs, which Michael insisted we eat several feet away from the car so as not to get it dirty.  That whole morning, I felt like we'd been transported 60 years back in time! 960 1280

Mariana van Zeller  

US-Mexico $2 Billion Border Fence

US-Mexico $2 Billion Border Fence

I've been reporting on border and immigration issues for years, but this was the first time I got to see the $2 billion border fence from above. Border Patrol says it's been effective in preventing the movement of illegal goods and people from Mexico into the US, but opponents call it a boondoggle. They say that all it does is drive immigrants to more dangerous (fenceless) terrain, which means more deaths along the border for those pursuing a better life for themselves and their families. 960 1280

Mariana van Zeller  

649-Mile Fence

649-Mile Fence

The brown line you see is part of the 649-mile fence. Since it's not a continuous fence, it covers less than a third of the 1,954-mile US-Mexican border.   960 1280

Mariana van Zeller  

The Border From Above

The Border From Above

Flying over the US-Mexican border on a 4-seat Cessna. I look calm and collected, but this is where I learned that having a chef as the co-pilot is never a good idea. You can't be good at everything, Voltaggio! 960 1280

Mariana van Zeller  

View From the Other Side

View From the Other Side

This photo was taken in Nogales, AZ. On the other side of the 18-foot fence is Nogales, Sonora, in Mexico. I've been here on reporting trips before, but the sheer size of the fence never ceases to surprise me.     960 1280

Mariana van Zeller  

'Breaking Bad'?

'Breaking Bad'?

It ain't Breaking Bad; it's Breaking Borders. Oh, and it airs every Sunday at 9|8c on Travel Channel. 960 1280

Mariana van Zeller  

Michael Voltaggio, Excited for Cuisine & Compliments

Michael Voltaggio, Excited for Cuisine & Compliments

Michael is excited to try authentic Mexican food in Nogales, Sonora. Or perhaps it's because a 70-year-old Mexican lady just said, "Qué gringo más guapo!" (“What a handsome gringo!”)   960 1280

Mariana van Zeller  

Bottoms Up!

Bottoms Up!

Yes, they were all for me — 10 shots of pure gold. What happens in the field stays in the field. 960 1280

Mariana van Zeller  

Mountain Minutemen

Mountain Minutemen

In Arizona, we spent a few hours one night with members of the Mountain Minutemen, a group of armed men and women who camp out in the desert, hunting for illegal border crossers. This man asked us not to show his face or reveal his identity, but the leader of the group, Robert Crooks, was one of our dinner guests on the episode. 960 1280

Mariana van Zeller  

Photos

Walking Along the Malecon

Walking Along the Malecon

Journalist Mariana van Zeller, chef Michael Voltaggio and local guide/fixer Rolando Almirante walk through Old Havana, Cuba, along the Malecon, an oceanfront walkway. 960 1280

Ashley Gilbertson  

Cuba's Vintage Cars

Cuba's Vintage Cars

One of Cuba's many vintage cars. Mariana, Michael and Rolando ride inside on the way to Santy Restaurant. Related: Why We Love the Cubans 960 1280

Ashley Gilbertson  

A Drink with Ernest Hemingway at Floridita

A Drink with Ernest Hemingway at Floridita

Michael "speaks" with Ernest Hemingway at the Floridita, a bar frequented by the famous American author. 960 1280

Ashley Gilbertson  

Roasted Pig at Paraiso Farm Restaurant

Roasted Pig at Paraiso Farm Restaurant

A beautiful roasted pig is carved for serving at the Paraiso Farm Restaurant in Vinales. 960 1280

Ashley Gilbertson  

Lunch is Served!

Lunch is Served!

Mariana and Michael can hardly hold back their excitement over the roasted pig. 960 1280

Ashley Gilbertson  

Toast to Cuba!

Toast to Cuba!

Mariana and Michael take a moment at the Paraiso Farm to toast their arrival in Cuba. 960 1280

Ashley Gilbertson  

Pass the Cuban!

Pass the Cuban!

Michael enjoys a Cuban cigar alongside Daniel Luis Alvarez, Mariana and a local tobacco farmer in Vinales.  960 1280

Ashley Gilbertson  

Cuba's Famous Cigars

Cuba's Famous Cigars

Resting cigars at Chef Justo Restaurant in Old Havana. 960 1280

Ashley Gilbertson  

Horseback to the Tobacco Farm

Horseback to the Tobacco Farm

Mariana, Michael and a local guide ride horseback to a tobacco farm in Vinales.  960 1280

Ashley Gilbertson  

Prepared Dishes at Chef Justo Restaurant

Prepared Dishes at Chef Justo Restaurant

Prepared dishes at Chef Justo Restaurant in Old Havana. 960 1280

Ashley Gilbertson  

Sushi at Santy Restaurant

Sushi at Santy Restaurant

Mariana and Michael continue their food tour of Cuba at Santy Restaurant, which serves gorgeous and delicious sushi. 960 1280

Ashley Gilbertson  

Sushi at Santy Restaurant

Sushi at Santy Restaurant

More fresh fish on the table at Santy Restaurant. 960 1280

Ashley Gilbertson  

Produce at a Local State Market

Produce at a Local State Market

Mariana and Michael grab fresh produce from a local state market. Michael will use these ingredients to prepare the final meal for his and Mariana’s guests. 960 1280

  

Chef Voltaggio at Work

Chef Voltaggio at Work

Chef Michael Voltaggio at work, cutting away at a taro root. 960 1280

  

What's for Dinner?

What's for Dinner?

Taro with chips and guacamole, one of the many dishes that Michael has prepared for the final meal. Other dishes include a pork shoulder smoked with cigar leaves, Michael’s take on a Cuban sandwich, fried snapper and paella made out of pasta with a coconut shrimp stock. 960 1280

  

The Final Dinner

The Final Dinner

Mariana and Michael toast with their guests — a chef, a tour guide from Vinales and an ex-Cuban diplomat. 960 1280

  

Mount of Olives

Mount of Olives

Journalist Mariana van Zeller and chef Michael Voltaggio look out to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, which holds religious prominence in the Jewish community. It's believed that, at the base of the mountain, where Jews are buried, God will redeem the deceased when the Messiah returns. 960 1280

  

Welcome to Palestine

Welcome to Palestine

A welcome sign greets locals, tourists and pilgrims who are visiting the West Bank from Jerusalem. 960 1280

  

Falafel for Lunch

Falafel for Lunch

Mariana takes a bite out of a falafel sandwich, a lunch staple in Israel that is served by countless street vendors and restaurants throughout the city. Related: Taste of Jerusalem 960 1280

  

Grocery Shopping in Jerusalem

Grocery Shopping in Jerusalem

Michael and local fixer Sameer visit a local vegetable stand in Jerusalem. Michael took the day to shop for ingredients to prepare for the big dinner later that evening, when Israelis and Palestinians would dine together and talk about the age-old problems that face their 2 populations. Related Video: Michael Voltaggio Reflects on Jerusalem 960 1280

  

Israel’s Peace Now

Israel’s Peace Now

Mariana receives an overview of the latest happenings in Israel from Yariv Oppenheimer of Peace Now, an organization whose main goal is to promote peace in the country. 960 1280

  

Israel's Hummus

Israel's Hummus

Michael and Mariana enjoy a popular local dish, hummus. Later that day, they trek over to the Palestinian territory to sample hummus once more and see if there is any real difference. Related Video: Jerusalem's Hummus Conflict 960 1280

  

Jaffa Gate

Jaffa Gate

Built in 1538, the Jaffa Gate is the main entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem. 960 1280

  

Jewish Cemetery

Jewish Cemetery

Michael and Mariana visit the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives, which was established 3,000 years ago and is home to more than 70,000 tombs. 960 1280

  

Overlooking the Mount of Olives

Overlooking the Mount of Olives

Michael gets a closer look at the Mount of Olives. 960 1280

  

The Wall

The Wall

Sameer explains the conflict to Michael and Mariana as they stand outside the wall separating Israel from Palestinian territory. 960 1280

  

Visiting the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx of Giza

Visiting the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx of Giza

Mariana van Zeller and Michael Voltaggio visit the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx of Giza in style. 960 1280

  

History Lesson in Cairo

History Lesson in Cairo

Local fixer Ahmed Seddik speaks to Mariana and Michael about the history of the pyramids. Experts estimate that they were constructed anywhere between 2550 and 2490 BC. 960 1280

  

Great Sphinx of Giza

Great Sphinx of Giza

Beauty shot of the Great Sphinx of Giza. For centuries, archaeologists have studied the iconic structure, but no one is certain when it was built (estimates put it at more than 4,000 years ago) or for what or whom it stands. 960 1280

  

Shopping for Plates in Giza

Shopping for Plates in Giza

Michael and Mariana shop for plates that will be used for their dinner amid a backdrop of the beautiful Giza pyramids. Dinner guests will include people with opposing views on the Muslim Brotherhood, Middle East democracy and the future of Egypt. 960 1280

  

The Nile River

The Nile River

Viewed from the rooftop of the Kempinski Hotel, the Nile River curves its way through downtown Cairo. 960 1280

  

Fresh Breads of Cairo's Central

Fresh Breads of Cairo's Central

Michael, Mariana and Ahmed taste freshly baked bread in Cairo’s central bazaar, Souk El Tawfikia. Bread like this is traditionally served stuffed with honey, cheese and compressed dates. 960 1280

  

Sailing on The Nile River

Sailing on The Nile River

Sailboats come into port on the Nile River. 960 1280

  

Cairo's Spice Market

Cairo's Spice Market

A view of the bustling bazaar from inside the spice market. 960 1280

  

A Walk Through Khan El-Khalili Market

A Walk Through Khan El-Khalili Market

Mariana, Michael and Ahmed walk through Cairo's busy Khan El-Khalili market, located off Tahrir Square, to Felfela Restaurant. 960 1280

  

Egyptian Lamps

Egyptian Lamps

Beautiful handcrafted lamps for sale in Cairo's market. 960 1280

  

Lunch at Felfela Restaurant

Lunch at Felfela Restaurant

Ahmed, Mariana and Michael prepare to dig in to their lunch at Felfela Restaurant. They sample a little bit of everything, including meatballs (similar to Italian meatballs), steamed peppers, falafel and more.  960 1280

  

More Peace for Egypt

More Peace for Egypt

Political graffiti on a wall in Cairo depicts a "gas tank" filled with more peace than war. Related Video: If These Walls Could Talk 960 1280

  

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