Food TV Shows

About Food

Food has been a part of television from almost the beginning, and the TV chef has been a popular character in American culture for the better part of a century. Chef and cookbook author James Beard hosted the first network cooking show in the 1940s, establishing a genre that would eventually lead to entire cable networks devoted to the nuances of food preparation. The contemporary food show, however, is often much less about food than its ancestors were.

Early TV cooking shows were often concerned as much with advertising as they were with cooking instruction. Sponsors' products-kitchen appliances, gadgets and food products-were promoted openly and enthusiastically. By the time Julia Child hit the airwaves with her The French Chef in 1963, though, the cooking show had becomes a more serious mixture of entertainment and education, giving home cooks an enjoyable way to learn how to cook new dishes.

In recent years, the food genre has broadened to include a range of program types. The celebrity-chef cooking show remains popular, but the reality and game show genres have reached into the realm of food, as well. In competitive cooking shows, chefs work individually or in teams to create dishes which are evaluated by a panel of judges. In one type of reality food show, a celebrity chef helps to make over struggling restaurants; in these shows, the focus is generally on the interpersonal drama of the situations rather than on the details of food preparation.

Yet another food-TV genre merges the cooking show with a travelogue, as a host seeks out interesting dishes in far-flung locales; the culinary subjects may be regional delicacies, exotic cuisines or otherwise unusual fare. Some of these shows have an educational component, as the host looks on while the local chef shows the audience how to prepare the dishes.

About This Genre
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Chopped
Chopped
Epic Meal Empire
Epic Meal Empire
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
MasterChef Junior
MasterChef Junior
Hell's Kitchen
Hell's Kitchen
The Taste
The Taste
MasterChef
MasterChef
Good Eats
Good Eats
Supermarket Superstar
Supermarket Superstar
Chef Academy
Chef Academy
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
The Chew
The Chew
Cupcake Wars
Cupcake Wars
A Chef's Life
A Chef's Life
Come Dine With Me
Come Dine With Me
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Cutthroat Kitchen
Cutthroat Kitchen
BBQ Pitmasters
BBQ Pitmasters
Sweet Genius
Sweet Genius
A Cook's Tour
A Cook's Tour
Marcel's Quantum Kitchen
Marcel's Quantum Kitchen
Flip My Food with Chef Jeff
Flip My Food with Chef Jeff
Top Secret Recipe
Top Secret Recipe
Barefoot Contessa
Barefoot Contessa
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
America's Test Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen
The Kitchen
The Kitchen
Tia Mowry at Home
Tia Mowry at Home
Hungry Games
Hungry Games
Bizarre Foods
Bizarre Foods
Lidia's Italy
Lidia's Italy
Rachael Ray's Week in a Day
Rachael Ray's Week in a Day
Spring Baking Championship
Spring Baking Championship
Brunch @ Bobby's
Brunch @ Bobby's
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Big Game Bash
Big Game Bash
Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off
Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off
Guy's Grocery Games
Guy's Grocery Games
Snack-Off
Snack-Off
Farmhouse Rules
Farmhouse Rules
Mexican Made Easy
Mexican Made Easy
Beat Bobby Flay
Beat Bobby Flay
Mom's Cooking
Mom's Cooking
Kimchi Chronicles
Kimchi Chronicles
Restaurant Stakeout
Restaurant Stakeout
Cool Kids Cooking
Cool Kids Cooking
Man Finds Food
Man Finds Food
The Next Iron Chef
The Next Iron Chef
The Illegal Eater
The Illegal Eater
Jamie's 15 Minute Meals
Jamie's 15 Minute Meals
Breaking Borders
Breaking Borders
Big Chef Takes on Little Chef
Big Chef Takes on Little Chef
Denise Austin
Denise Austin
Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction
Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction
The Supersizers Go
The Supersizers Go
The Essence of Emeril
The Essence of Emeril
Cook's Country
Cook's Country
A Bite of China
A Bite of China
Late Nite Chef Fight
Late Nite Chef Fight
Edible Island
Edible Island
Grill It! with Bobby Flay
Grill It! with Bobby Flay
Two Fat Ladies
Two Fat Ladies
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
Fast Food Mania
Fast Food Mania
Bakery Boss
Bakery Boss
Log On & Eat with Eden Grinshpan
Log On & Eat with Eden Grinshpan
101 More Amazing Places to Chowdown
101 More Amazing Places to Chowdown
In the Kitchen With Hannibal
In the Kitchen With Hannibal
Katie Brown Workshop
Katie Brown Workshop
Unwrapped 2.0
Unwrapped 2.0
Gordon's Great Escape
Gordon's Great Escape
Made in Spain
Made in Spain
Extra Virgin
Extra Virgin
Chef's Table
Chef's Table
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Secret Recipes
Secret Recipes
Fast Foods Gone Global
Fast Foods Gone Global
Deep Fried Masters
Deep Fried Masters
Restaurant Takeover
Restaurant Takeover
Restaurant Express
Restaurant Express
Dinner at Tiffani's
Dinner at Tiffani's
Frankenfood
Frankenfood
Taco Trip
Taco Trip
The Chopping Block
The Chopping Block
Cake
Cake
Little Chocolatiers
Little Chocolatiers
Dear Food Network: Thanksgiving
Dear Food Network: Thanksgiving
Extreme Chef
Extreme Chef
Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa d'Arabian
Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa d'Arabian
Food Network Chef Guy Fieri
Food Network Chef Guy Fieri
New York Live
New York Live
The French Chef with Julia Child
The French Chef with Julia Child
Essential Pepin
Essential Pepin
Jamie's Meals in Minutes
Jamie's Meals in Minutes
Chefs A'Field
Chefs A'Field
The Frugal Gourmet
The Frugal Gourmet
From Martha's Kitchen
From Martha's Kitchen
Life After Top Chef
Life After Top Chef
Billy Connolly's Route 66
Billy Connolly's Route 66