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
Hell's Kitchen
Hell's Kitchen
MasterChef
MasterChef
Chopped
Chopped
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Cutthroat Kitchen
Cutthroat Kitchen
The Chew
The Chew
Cupcake Wars
Cupcake Wars
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Beat Bobby Flay
Beat Bobby Flay
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
BBQ Pitmasters
BBQ Pitmasters
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Guy's Grocery Games
Guy's Grocery Games
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Bizarre Foods
Bizarre Foods
MasterChef Junior
MasterChef Junior
Come Dine With Me
Come Dine With Me
Food Network Star
Food Network Star
Good Eats
Good Eats
Barefoot Contessa
Barefoot Contessa
Snack-Off
Snack-Off
Top Secret Recipe
Top Secret Recipe
The Taste
The Taste
Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction
Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction
Epic Meal Empire
Epic Meal Empire
Flip My Food with Chef Jeff
Flip My Food with Chef Jeff
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Sweet Genius
Sweet Genius
America's Test Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen
Brunch @ Bobby's
Brunch @ Bobby's
Supermarket Superstar
Supermarket Superstar
Two Fat Ladies
Two Fat Ladies
The Supersizers Go
The Supersizers Go
Tia Mowry at Home
Tia Mowry at Home
Southern At Heart
Southern At Heart
Marcel's Quantum Kitchen
Marcel's Quantum Kitchen
A Chef's Life
A Chef's Life
Craziest Restaurants in America
Craziest Restaurants in America
Mom's Cooking
Mom's Cooking
Lidia's Italy
Lidia's Italy
Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off
Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off
New York Live
New York Live
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Restaurant Stakeout
Restaurant Stakeout
Dinner at Tiffani's
Dinner at Tiffani's
Farmhouse Rules
Farmhouse Rules
Food Factory USA
Food Factory USA
Hungry Games
Hungry Games
Man Finds Food
Man Finds Food
Spring Baking Championship
Spring Baking Championship
A Cook on the Wild Side
A Cook on the Wild Side
Tasty Time With ZeFronk
Tasty Time With ZeFronk
The Kitchen
The Kitchen
Recipe Rehab
Recipe Rehab
Katie Brown Workshop
Katie Brown Workshop
Denise Austin
Denise Austin
Crave
Crave
Bakery Boss
Bakery Boss
Cake Boss Specials
Cake Boss Specials
The Next Iron Chef
The Next Iron Chef
Mexican Made Easy
Mexican Made Easy
Extra Virgin
Extra Virgin
Ramsay's Best Restaurant
Ramsay's Best Restaurant
Everyday Italian
Everyday Italian
A Cook's Tour
A Cook's Tour
Kylie Kwong
Kylie Kwong
Rachael Ray's Week in a Day
Rachael Ray's Week in a Day
Cook's Country
Cook's Country
Food Tech
Food Tech
Grill It! with Bobby Flay
Grill It! with Bobby Flay
Food Network Holidays
Food Network Holidays
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
Recipe.TV
Recipe.TV
Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee
Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee
Thieves, Inc.
Thieves, Inc.
Chopped Canada
Chopped Canada
Bizarre Foods America
Bizarre Foods America
BBQ Pit Wars
BBQ Pit Wars
Bite This with Nadia G
Bite This with Nadia G
On the Menu
On the Menu
Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations
Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations
BBQ with Franklin
BBQ with Franklin
Guilty Pleasures
Guilty Pleasures
The Chopping Block
The Chopping Block
5 Ingredient Fix
5 Ingredient Fix
Cake
Cake
Gordon's Great Escape
Gordon's Great Escape
Avec Eric
Avec Eric
Made in Spain
Made in Spain
Aarti Party
Aarti Party
Hungry Girl
Hungry Girl
Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home
Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home
Julia Child
Julia Child
Paula's Home Cooking
Paula's Home Cooking
Halloween Wars
Halloween Wars
30 Minute Meals
30 Minute Meals
Chef Hunter
Chef Hunter
Food For Thought
Food For Thought
Eating Wild
Eating Wild
Essential Pepin
Essential Pepin