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
MasterChef
MasterChef
America's Test Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen
Chopped
Chopped
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Cook's Country
Cook's Country
The Great British Baking Show
The Great British Baking Show
Cupcake Wars
Cupcake Wars
Cutthroat Kitchen
Cutthroat Kitchen
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
The Chew
The Chew
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Farmhouse Rules
Farmhouse Rules
Hell's Kitchen
Hell's Kitchen
Come Dine With Me
Come Dine With Me
Chopped Junior
Chopped Junior
Giada in Italy
Giada in Italy
Bizarre Foods
Bizarre Foods
A Chef's Life
A Chef's Life
Cake Wars
Cake Wars
How to Live to 100
How to Live to 100
30 Minute Meals
30 Minute Meals
Cooks vs. Cons
Cooks vs. Cons
MasterChef Junior
MasterChef Junior
Beat Bobby Flay
Beat Bobby Flay
Snack-Off
Snack-Off
BBQ Pitmasters
BBQ Pitmasters
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Top Secret Recipe
Top Secret Recipe
Tia Mowry at Home
Tia Mowry at Home
Lidia's Italy
Lidia's Italy
Food
Food
Good Eats
Good Eats
Brunch @ Bobby's
Brunch @ Bobby's
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
Heston's Feasts
Heston's Feasts
Halloween Wars
Halloween Wars
In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs
In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs
Best. Ever.
Best. Ever.
Kane's Kitchen
Kane's Kitchen
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Martha Bakes
Martha Bakes
Rachael Ray's Week in a Day
Rachael Ray's Week in a Day
Flip My Food with Chef Jeff
Flip My Food with Chef Jeff
New York Live
New York Live
Barefoot Contessa
Barefoot Contessa
Denise Austin
Denise Austin
Everyday Italian
Everyday Italian
Chef's Table
Chef's Table
Paula's Home Cooking
Paula's Home Cooking
Recipe.TV
Recipe.TV
Carnival Eats
Carnival Eats
Mom's Cooking
Mom's Cooking
Two Fat Ladies
Two Fat Ladies
Giada's Weekend Getaways
Giada's Weekend Getaways
Julia Child
Julia Child
Sweet Genius
Sweet Genius
Billy Connolly's Route 66
Billy Connolly's Route 66
Panna Recipes
Panna Recipes
Recipe Rehab
Recipe Rehab
Masterchef Canada
Masterchef Canada
Chug
Chug
Chef's Table: France
Chef's Table: France
Cake
Cake
Confidential
Confidential
Mexican Made Easy
Mexican Made Easy
At the Table With...
At the Table With...
Grill It! with Bobby Flay
Grill It! with Bobby Flay
Extra Virgin
Extra Virgin
Food Network Holidays
Food Network Holidays
Mission Menu
Mission Menu
Food For Thought
Food For Thought
Essential Pepin
Essential Pepin
Restaurant Stakeout
Restaurant Stakeout
NapaStyle
NapaStyle
Big Food
Big Food
Chrissy Teigen: So Delushious!
Chrissy Teigen: So Delushious!
Feed the Beast
Feed the Beast
Bakery Boss
Bakery Boss
Cake Boss Specials
Cake Boss Specials
All You Can Eat
All You Can Eat
Duet
Duet
Restaurant Express
Restaurant Express
On the Rocks
On the Rocks
PEGGY K's Kitchen Cures
PEGGY K's Kitchen Cures
Restaurant Redemption
Restaurant Redemption
Chopped Canada
Chopped Canada
Dinner at Tiffani's
Dinner at Tiffani's
America's Best Cook
America's Best Cook
The Naked Chef
The Naked Chef
Katie Brown Workshop
Katie Brown Workshop
Hungry Games
Hungry Games
Nigellissima
Nigellissima
Jamie's 15 Minute Meals
Jamie's 15 Minute Meals
Cooking Channel TV Sampler
Cooking Channel TV Sampler
Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern
Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern
Fresh with Anna Olson
Fresh with Anna Olson
A Taste of History
A Taste of History
Junk Food Flip
Junk Food Flip
Live with Kelly & Michael
Live with Kelly & Michael