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
The Chew
The Chew
MasterChef
MasterChef
Chopped
Chopped
Cupcake Wars
Cupcake Wars
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Chopped Junior
Chopped Junior
Cake Wars
Cake Wars
Cutthroat Kitchen
Cutthroat Kitchen
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Farmhouse Rules
Farmhouse Rules
Bizarre Foods
Bizarre Foods
Hell's Kitchen
Hell's Kitchen
MasterChef Junior
MasterChef Junior
Barefoot Contessa
Barefoot Contessa
America's Test Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen
The Great British Baking Show
The Great British Baking Show
Guy's Grocery Games
Guy's Grocery Games
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Good Eats
Good Eats
The Kitchen
The Kitchen
Feed the Beast
Feed the Beast
The Supersizers Go
The Supersizers Go
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Come Dine With Me
Come Dine With Me
BBQ Pitmasters
BBQ Pitmasters
Beat Bobby Flay
Beat Bobby Flay
Rachael Ray's Kids Cook-Off
Rachael Ray's Kids Cook-Off
Flip My Food with Chef Jeff
Flip My Food with Chef Jeff
A Chef's Life
A Chef's Life
Avec Eric
Avec Eric
Mom's Cooking
Mom's Cooking
Brunch @ Bobby's
Brunch @ Bobby's
Chef's Table
Chef's Table
Katie Brown Workshop
Katie Brown Workshop
Unwrapped 2.0
Unwrapped 2.0
Giada in Italy
Giada in Italy
Lidia's Italy
Lidia's Italy
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Top Secret Recipe
Top Secret Recipe
Ramsay's Best Restaurant
Ramsay's Best Restaurant
Chefs A'Field
Chefs A'Field
Southern At Heart
Southern At Heart
Spring Baking Championship
Spring Baking Championship
Food Porn
Food Porn
Gordon's Great Escape
Gordon's Great Escape
Halloween Wars
Halloween Wars
From Martha's Kitchen
From Martha's Kitchen
The Farm
The Farm
Taco Trip
Taco Trip
Duff Till Dawn
Duff Till Dawn
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Cook's Country
Cook's Country
Denise Austin
Denise Austin
Recipe.TV
Recipe.TV
Kitchen Boss
Kitchen Boss
Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern
Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern
BBQ with Franklin
BBQ with Franklin
Giada's Weekend Getaways
Giada's Weekend Getaways
Paula's Home Cooking
Paula's Home Cooking
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
The Frugal Gourmet
The Frugal Gourmet
Cake Boss Specials
Cake Boss Specials
Dinner at Tiffani's
Dinner at Tiffani's
Carnival Eats
Carnival Eats
Masterchef Canada
Masterchef Canada
Jamie's 15 Minute Meals
Jamie's 15 Minute Meals
Cooks vs. Cons
Cooks vs. Cons
Molto Mario
Molto Mario
The Next Iron Chef
The Next Iron Chef
At the Table With...
At the Table With...
Two Fat Ladies
Two Fat Ladies
Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home
Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home
Julia Child
Julia Child
Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction
Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction
Everyday Italian
Everyday Italian
Quickies In My Kitchen
Quickies In My Kitchen
New York Live
New York Live
Mission Menu
Mission Menu
The French Chef with Julia Child
The French Chef with Julia Child
Secret Recipes
Secret Recipes
The Cook And The Chef
The Cook And The Chef
Sandwich King
Sandwich King
Billy Connolly's Route 66
Billy Connolly's Route 66
Giving You the Business
Giving You the Business
Grilling
Grilling
Loving Spoonfuls
Loving Spoonfuls
The Shed
The Shed
Tasty Time With ZeFronk
Tasty Time With ZeFronk
Sandra's Halloween Wonderland
Sandra's Halloween Wonderland
The Naked Chef
The Naked Chef
Cutthroat Kitchen: Alton's Best Sabotages
Cutthroat Kitchen: Alton's Best Sabotages
Best. Ever.
Best. Ever.
Breaking Borders
Breaking Borders
All-Star Academy
All-Star Academy
A Taste of History
A Taste of History
Live with Kelly & Michael
Live with Kelly & Michael
Cake Masters
Cake Masters
Heston's Feasts
Heston's Feasts
Holiday Baking Championship
Holiday Baking Championship