05/08/2012 08:46 am ET Updated May 08, 2012

Around The World In 80 Plates: New Bravo Series Blends Cooking Competition And Travel Show (VIDEO)

You might be thinking "another week, another new series." And, while that might be true, don't rule this one out just yet.

"Around The World In 80 Plates" is a cooking competition meets travel show. Its basic premise is to drop chefs in various cities around the globe, put them through challenges to acquaint themselves with local culture and cuisine and force them to recreate those tastes for the palates of locals who will judge them.

In London, setting of the series premiere, two teams of chefs from across the U.S. race around town to down an assortment of traditional pub grub -- and chug more than a couple beers. From that brief introduction, the two teams take over pub kitchens, competing to see who can best recreate favorites like fish and chips and steak and kidney pie. Local taste testers then decide which team best executed their culinary treasures.

Here's the catch: The "judges" don't send anyone home. Instead, the losing team has to decide which one of its ranks is packing their bags, a la "Survivor." And, if this first episode is any indication, it's gonna get real catty and real backhanded real quick. Add some reality TV-quality characters (a favorite is the guy who was once a sorority house chef) and the prospect of leaving American city-dwellers alone to navigate through monkeys and cobras in a Moroccan street market, and you've got the makings of a guilty TV pleasure.

"You could tell ... the chefs who were trained in the school of hard knocks and had more street smarts when it came to some of the tasks," co-host chef Cat Cora told the press.

Cora co-hosts the show with Australian chef Curtis Stone.

Of the places the crew visited -- Argentina, China, Italy, Morocco, Spain, Thailand and Uruguay -- both Cora and Stone agreed that Thailand was a favorite destination. They hope to see Japan on a season two itinerary.

As for getting acquainted with a new locale: "A really good place to start is a local market because you can wander around and get a feel for the culture," said Stone. Steer clear of the hotel concierge, Cora adds, since they send tourists to tourist destinations. It's all about chatting with locals -- drivers, people on the street, guides, etc.

Oh, and stay away from restaurants that have menus in five languages, Cora adds.

"Around The World In 80 Plates" premieres Wednesday, May 9 at 10 p.m. Eastern on Bravo. Check out a preview above.