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 Junior
MasterChef Junior
Lidia's Italy
Lidia's Italy
Hell's Kitchen
Hell's Kitchen
Cupcake Wars
Cupcake Wars
Flip My Food with Chef Jeff
Flip My Food with Chef Jeff
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Come Dine With Me
Come Dine With Me
The Kitchen
The Kitchen
Chopped
Chopped
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Live with Kelly & Michael
Live with Kelly & Michael
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
MasterChef
MasterChef
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Cutthroat Kitchen
Cutthroat Kitchen
Recipe.TV
Recipe.TV
Cook's Country
Cook's Country
New York Live
New York Live
The Great British Baking Show
The Great British Baking Show
America's Test Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen
Bizarre Foods
Bizarre Foods
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Barefoot Contessa
Barefoot Contessa
Sweet Genius
Sweet Genius
Tia Mowry at Home
Tia Mowry at Home
Good Eats
Good Eats
Beat Bobby Flay
Beat Bobby Flay
Tasty Time With ZeFronk
Tasty Time With ZeFronk
Cake Wars
Cake Wars
A Chef's Life
A Chef's Life
Guy's Grocery Games
Guy's Grocery Games
Chopped Junior
Chopped Junior
The Next Iron Chef
The Next Iron Chef
Rachael Ray's Kids Cook-Off
Rachael Ray's Kids Cook-Off
A Taste of History
A Taste of History
Essential Pepin
Essential Pepin
All You Can Eat
All You Can Eat
Masterchef Canada
Masterchef Canada
BBQ Pitmasters
BBQ Pitmasters
Brunch @ Bobby's
Brunch @ Bobby's
Rachael Ray's Week in a Day
Rachael Ray's Week in a Day
In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs
In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs
Katie Brown Workshop
Katie Brown Workshop
Two Fat Ladies
Two Fat Ladies
Extra Virgin
Extra Virgin
Ramsay's Best Restaurant
Ramsay's Best Restaurant
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Mexican Made Easy
Mexican Made Easy
Restaurant Stakeout
Restaurant Stakeout
Bakery Boss
Bakery Boss
Southern At Heart
Southern At Heart
Denise Austin
Denise Austin
Guilty Pleasures
Guilty Pleasures
Now Eat This! with Rocco DiSpirito
Now Eat This! with Rocco DiSpirito
Pig Goat Banana Cricket
Pig Goat Banana Cricket
Sandra's Money Saving Meals
Sandra's Money Saving Meals
Gordon Ramsay: Cookalong Live
Gordon Ramsay: Cookalong Live
Food Tech
Food Tech
Mom's Cooking
Mom's Cooking
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Top Secret Recipe
Top Secret Recipe
Secret Recipes
Secret Recipes
A Cook's Tour
A Cook's Tour
The Essence of Emeril
The Essence of Emeril
Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee
Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee
Top Chef Duels
Top Chef Duels
Farmhouse Rules
Farmhouse Rules
Taco Trip
Taco Trip
Best New Restaurant
Best New Restaurant
Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations
Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations
BBQ with Franklin
BBQ with Franklin
The Great Holiday Baking Show
The Great Holiday Baking Show
American Diner Revival
American Diner Revival
Chef Academy
Chef Academy
Big Chef Takes on Little Chef
Big Chef Takes on Little Chef
Blood, Sweat and Takeaways
Blood, Sweat and Takeaways
Chef's Table
Chef's Table
Everyday Italian
Everyday Italian
30 Minute Meals
30 Minute Meals
Food For Thought
Food For Thought
The Supersizers Go
The Supersizers Go
Kimchi Chronicles
Kimchi Chronicles
Organic Gardening
Organic Gardening
Sandwich King
Sandwich King
The New York Times Dining
The New York Times Dining
Grilling
Grilling
Heartland Table
Heartland Table
Rewrapped
Rewrapped
BBQ Pit Wars
BBQ Pit Wars
Snack-Off
Snack-Off
Carnival Eats
Carnival Eats
The Farm
The Farm
On the Menu
On the Menu
Hungry Games
Hungry Games
Cooking Channel TV Sampler
Cooking Channel TV Sampler
Pizza Masters
Pizza Masters
Best. Ever.
Best. Ever.
Man Vs. Child: Chef Showdown
Man Vs. Child: Chef Showdown