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
The Chew
The Chew
Chopped
Chopped
America's Test Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen
Cupcake Wars
Cupcake Wars
Cook's Country
Cook's Country
A Chef's Life
A Chef's Life
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Hell's Kitchen
Hell's Kitchen
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Flip My Food with Chef Jeff
Flip My Food with Chef Jeff
Cutthroat Kitchen
Cutthroat Kitchen
Come Dine With Me
Come Dine With Me
BBQ Pitmasters
BBQ Pitmasters
Sweet Genius
Sweet Genius
Barefoot Contessa
Barefoot Contessa
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Lidia's Italy
Lidia's Italy
MasterChef Junior
MasterChef Junior
Good Eats
Good Eats
Epic Meal Empire
Epic Meal Empire
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Top Secret Recipe
Top Secret Recipe
Snack-Off
Snack-Off
Mom's Cooking
Mom's Cooking
New York Live
New York Live
Tasty Time With ZeFronk
Tasty Time With ZeFronk
BBQ Pit Wars
BBQ Pit Wars
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Bizarre Foods
Bizarre Foods
Denise Austin
Denise Austin
Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off
Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction
Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction
Kimchi Chronicles
Kimchi Chronicles
The Kitchen
The Kitchen
Carnival Eats
Carnival Eats
Katie Brown Workshop
Katie Brown Workshop
Ramsay's Best Restaurant
Ramsay's Best Restaurant
Happiness Is On The Plate
Happiness Is On The Plate
Hungry Investors
Hungry Investors
Food Forward
Food Forward
Spring Baking Championship
Spring Baking Championship
Brunch @ Bobby's
Brunch @ Bobby's
Kitchen Boss
Kitchen Boss
Deep Fried Masters
Deep Fried Masters
Guy's Grocery Games
Guy's Grocery Games
Southern At Heart
Southern At Heart
Beat Bobby Flay
Beat Bobby Flay
Mexican Made Easy
Mexican Made Easy
Marcel's Quantum Kitchen
Marcel's Quantum Kitchen
Restaurant Stakeout
Restaurant Stakeout
Kylie Kwong
Kylie Kwong
From Martha's Kitchen
From Martha's Kitchen
Bakery Boss
Bakery Boss
How to Live to 100
How to Live to 100
Recipe Rehab
Recipe Rehab
Farmhouse Rules
Farmhouse Rules
Food Factory USA
Food Factory USA
Unwrapped 2.0
Unwrapped 2.0
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
A Cook's Tour
A Cook's Tour
Rachael Ray's Week in a Day
Rachael Ray's Week in a Day
The Taste
The Taste
Bite This with Nadia G
Bite This with Nadia G
Jamie's 15 Minute Meals
Jamie's 15 Minute Meals
Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern
Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern
Cake Wars
Cake Wars
The Next Iron Chef
The Next Iron Chef
A Cook on the Wild Side
A Cook on the Wild Side
Gordon's Great Escape
Gordon's Great Escape
Two Fat Ladies
Two Fat Ladies
Extra Virgin
Extra Virgin
Crave
Crave
Julia Child
Julia Child
Food Network Game Time
Food Network Game Time
The French Chef with Julia Child
The French Chef with Julia Child
A Taste of Asia
A Taste of Asia
Secrets of a Restaurant Chef
Secrets of a Restaurant Chef
The Supersizers Go
The Supersizers Go
No Kitchen Required
No Kitchen Required
Best of Bizarre Foods
Best of Bizarre Foods
The Essence of Emeril
The Essence of Emeril
Bobby Flay Fit
Bobby Flay Fit
Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee
Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee
Appetite For Asia
Appetite For Asia
Cake Boss Specials
Cake Boss Specials
Supermarket Superstar
Supermarket Superstar
Bizarre Foods America
Bizarre Foods America
Dinner at Tiffani's
Dinner at Tiffani's
House of Food
House of Food
Rewrapped
Rewrapped
A Bite of China
A Bite of China
Chug
Chug
The Best of Man v Food
The Best of Man v Food
Tia Mowry at Home
Tia Mowry at Home
Craziest Restaurants in America
Craziest Restaurants in America
Broke Bites: What the Fung?!
Broke Bites: What the Fung?!
Guilty Pleasures
Guilty Pleasures