Food TV Shows

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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
MasterChef
MasterChef
Chopped
Chopped
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
The Chew
The Chew
Lidia's Italy
Lidia's Italy
Hell's Kitchen
Hell's Kitchen
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Restaurant Stakeout
Restaurant Stakeout
Cutthroat Kitchen
Cutthroat Kitchen
Cupcake Wars
Cupcake Wars
Frankenfood
Frankenfood
Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
Top Chef Duels
Top Chef Duels
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
A Chef's Life
A Chef's Life
Barefoot Contessa
Barefoot Contessa
Hungry Investors
Hungry Investors
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
MasterChef Junior
MasterChef Junior
Guy's Grocery Games
Guy's Grocery Games
America's Test Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen
Mexican Made Easy
Mexican Made Easy
Good Eats
Good Eats
Come Dine With Me
Come Dine With Me
Giada's Weekend Getaways
Giada's Weekend Getaways
The Kitchen
The Kitchen
Beat Bobby Flay
Beat Bobby Flay
King of Cones
King of Cones
Rewrapped
Rewrapped
30 Minute Meals
30 Minute Meals
Denise Austin
Denise Austin
Panna Origins
Panna Origins
The Next Iron Chef
The Next Iron Chef
Top Secret Recipe
Top Secret Recipe
Bizarre Foods
Bizarre Foods
Lyndey Milan's Food & Lifestyle
Lyndey Milan's Food & Lifestyle
Sweet Genius
Sweet Genius
Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction
Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction
The Supersizers Go
The Supersizers Go
Big Game Bash
Big Game Bash
Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off
Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off
Extra Virgin
Extra Virgin
BBQ Pitmasters
BBQ Pitmasters
Epic Meal Empire
Epic Meal Empire
Chopped Tournaments
Chopped Tournaments
Cool Kids Cooking
Cool Kids Cooking
Kitchen Casino
Kitchen Casino
Food Court Wars
Food Court Wars
New York Originals
New York Originals
Rachael Ray's Week in a Day
Rachael Ray's Week in a Day
House of Food
House of Food
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
Brunch @ Bobby's
Brunch @ Bobby's
Eating America With Anthony Anderson
Eating America With Anthony Anderson
In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs
In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs
The Taste
The Taste
Cake Boss Specials
Cake Boss Specials
Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee
Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee
Edible Island
Edible Island
Underground BBQ Challenge
Underground BBQ Challenge
Log On & Eat with Eden Grinshpan
Log On & Eat with Eden Grinshpan
Cake
Cake
The Frugal Gourmet
The Frugal Gourmet
Essential Pepin
Essential Pepin
In the Kitchen With Hannibal
In the Kitchen With Hannibal
Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa d'Arabian
Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa d'Arabian
Paula's Home Cooking
Paula's Home Cooking
Bakery Boss
Bakery Boss
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Chef's Table
Chef's Table
Heartland Table
Heartland Table
Rachael Ray's 3 in the Bag
Rachael Ray's 3 in the Bag
Martha Stewart Weddings
Martha Stewart Weddings
The New York Times Dining
The New York Times Dining
Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie
Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie
Recipe Rehab
Recipe Rehab
Deep Fried Masters
Deep Fried Masters
Loving Spoonfuls
Loving Spoonfuls
Little Chocolatiers
Little Chocolatiers
Howdini Entertaining
Howdini Entertaining
All You Can Eat
All You Can Eat
Bite This with Nadia G
Bite This with Nadia G
Gordon's Great Escape
Gordon's Great Escape
Heston's Feasts
Heston's Feasts
Southern At Heart
Southern At Heart
The Perfect Party
The Perfect Party
Confidential
Confidential
Howcast Food & Drink
Howcast Food & Drink
Sandra's Money Saving Meals
Sandra's Money Saving Meals
Kimchi Chronicles
Kimchi Chronicles
American Grilled
American Grilled
Food Network Thanksgiving
Food Network Thanksgiving
Burger Land
Burger Land
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Thirsty For...
Thirsty For...
The Occasional Cook
The Occasional Cook
Surfing the Menu
Surfing the Menu
Extreme Chef
Extreme Chef
Pairings with Andrea
Pairings with Andrea
Avec Eric
Avec Eric