Food TV Shows

X
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
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
The Chew
The Chew
Hell's Kitchen
Hell's Kitchen
Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off
Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off
Chopped
Chopped
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
A Chef's Life
A Chef's Life
Lidia's Italy
Lidia's Italy
Restaurant Stakeout
Restaurant Stakeout
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Cutthroat Kitchen
Cutthroat Kitchen
Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
Top Chef Duels
Top Chef Duels
Mom's Cooking
Mom's Cooking
Good Eats
Good Eats
America's Test Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Beat Bobby Flay
Beat Bobby Flay
Cupcake Wars
Cupcake Wars
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Barefoot Contessa
Barefoot Contessa
Mexican Made Easy
Mexican Made Easy
Recipe Rehab
Recipe Rehab
Hungry Investors
Hungry Investors
Come Dine With Me
Come Dine With Me
Giada's Weekend Getaways
Giada's Weekend Getaways
Halloween Wars
Halloween Wars
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Denise Austin
Denise Austin
Snack-Off
Snack-Off
Sweet Genius
Sweet Genius
Big Game Bash
Big Game Bash
MasterChef Junior
MasterChef Junior
Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee
Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee
Rachael Ray's Week in a Day
Rachael Ray's Week in a Day
Bizarre Foods
Bizarre Foods
Essential Pepin
Essential Pepin
Kimchi Chronicles
Kimchi Chronicles
Chopped Tournaments
Chopped Tournaments
Ramsay's Best Restaurant
Ramsay's Best Restaurant
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
Cool Kids Cooking
Cool Kids Cooking
Food Network Chef Guy Fieri
Food Network Chef Guy Fieri
Grilling
Grilling
Top Secret Recipe
Top Secret Recipe
Guy's Grocery Games
Guy's Grocery Games
Bakery Boss
Bakery Boss
The Naked Chef
The Naked Chef
Rewrapped
Rewrapped
30 Minute Meals
30 Minute Meals
Underground BBQ Challenge
Underground BBQ Challenge
Cook's Country
Cook's Country
Hungry Girl
Hungry Girl
Bite This with Nadia G
Bite This with Nadia G
Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home
Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home
Heston's Feasts
Heston's Feasts
Extra Virgin
Extra Virgin
In the Kitchen With Hannibal
In the Kitchen With Hannibal
Sandra's Money Saving Meals
Sandra's Money Saving Meals
Log On & Eat with Eden Grinshpan
Log On & Eat with Eden Grinshpan
Epic Meal Empire
Epic Meal Empire
Edible Island
Edible Island
Two Fat Ladies
Two Fat Ladies
Everyday Italian
Everyday Italian
BBQ Pitmasters
BBQ Pitmasters
Confidential
Confidential
101 More Amazing Places to Chowdown
101 More Amazing Places to Chowdown
Carnival Eats
Carnival Eats
A Taste of Asia
A Taste of Asia
The Next Iron Chef
The Next Iron Chef
The Kitchen
The Kitchen
Secrets of a Restaurant Chef
Secrets of a Restaurant Chef
The Supersizers Go
The Supersizers Go
Tyler's Ultimate
Tyler's Ultimate
Masterchef Canada
Masterchef Canada
Eating America With Anthony Anderson
Eating America With Anthony Anderson
Bizarre Foods America
Bizarre Foods America
Panna Origins
Panna Origins
The New York Times Dining
The New York Times Dining
Chopped Canada
Chopped Canada
The Essence of Emeril
The Essence of Emeril
The Feed
The Feed
Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie
Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie
Chef's Table
Chef's Table
Loving Spoonfuls
Loving Spoonfuls
Restaurant Express
Restaurant Express
Panna Recipes
Panna Recipes
The French Chef with Julia Child
The French Chef with Julia Child
New York Live
New York Live
The Perfect Party
The Perfect Party
Kitchen Casino
Kitchen Casino
American Grilled
American Grilled
Donut Showdown
Donut Showdown
Thirsty For...
Thirsty For...
New York Originals
New York Originals
A Cook's Tour
A Cook's Tour
Kylie Kwong
Kylie Kwong
Surfing the Menu
Surfing the Menu
The Frugal Gourmet
The Frugal Gourmet