Food TV Shows

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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 Junior
MasterChef Junior
Hell's Kitchen
Hell's Kitchen
Chopped
Chopped
The Chew
The Chew
MasterChef
MasterChef
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Cupcake Wars
Cupcake Wars
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Good Eats
Good Eats
Food Network Holidays
Food Network Holidays
The Taste
The Taste
Cutthroat Kitchen
Cutthroat Kitchen
A Chef's Life
A Chef's Life
Flip My Food with Chef Jeff
Flip My Food with Chef Jeff
Sweet Genius
Sweet Genius
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Beat Bobby Flay
Beat Bobby Flay
Barefoot Contessa
Barefoot Contessa
On the Menu
On the Menu
Bizarre Foods
Bizarre Foods
America's Test Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen
The Kitchen
The Kitchen
Come Dine With Me
Come Dine With Me
Guy's Grocery Games
Guy's Grocery Games
Holiday Baking Championship
Holiday Baking Championship
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Snack-Off
Snack-Off
Restaurant Stakeout
Restaurant Stakeout
Top Secret Recipe
Top Secret Recipe
Farmhouse Rules
Farmhouse Rules
Lidia's Italy
Lidia's Italy
Mom's Cooking
Mom's Cooking
Two Fat Ladies
Two Fat Ladies
Masterchef Canada
Masterchef Canada
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
New York Live
New York Live
Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa d'Arabian
Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa d'Arabian
The Supersizers Go
The Supersizers Go
Katie Brown Workshop
Katie Brown Workshop
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Big Game Bash
Big Game Bash
Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off
Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off
Mexican Made Easy
Mexican Made Easy
Cook's Country
Cook's Country
Made in Spain
Made in Spain
In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs
In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs
Brunch @ Bobby's
Brunch @ Bobby's
Cool Kids Cooking
Cool Kids Cooking
Hungry Games
Hungry Games
Denise Austin
Denise Austin
Food Network Thanksgiving
Food Network Thanksgiving
Carnival Eats
Carnival Eats
Crave
Crave
The Illegal Eater
The Illegal Eater
The New York Times Dining
The New York Times Dining
House of Food
House of Food
Rewrapped
Rewrapped
Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee
Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee
Giada's Weekend Getaways
Giada's Weekend Getaways
BBQ Pitmasters
BBQ Pitmasters
Kitchen Inferno
Kitchen Inferno
Kimchi Chronicles
Kimchi Chronicles
The Essence of Emeril
The Essence of Emeril
Log On & Eat with Eden Grinshpan
Log On & Eat with Eden Grinshpan
The Next Iron Chef
The Next Iron Chef
In the Kitchen With Hannibal
In the Kitchen With Hannibal
Rachael Ray's 3 in the Bag
Rachael Ray's 3 in the Bag
Emeril's Table
Emeril's Table
101 More Amazing Places to Chowdown
101 More Amazing Places to Chowdown
Edible Island
Edible Island
A Cook's Tour
A Cook's Tour
Cake
Cake
Rachael Ray's Week in a Day
Rachael Ray's Week in a Day
30 Minute Meals
30 Minute Meals
Southern At Heart
Southern At Heart
Halloween Wars
Halloween Wars
Jamie's 15 Minute Meals
Jamie's 15 Minute Meals
Quick & Easy
Quick & Easy
Appetite For Asia
Appetite For Asia
Epic Meal Empire
Epic Meal Empire
Paula's Home Cooking
Paula's Home Cooking
Tyler's Ultimate
Tyler's Ultimate
Top Chef Duels
Top Chef Duels
Extra Virgin
Extra Virgin
Recipe Rehab
Recipe Rehab
Fast Foods Gone Global
Fast Foods Gone Global
Grilling
Grilling
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
Heartland Table
Heartland Table
The Feed
The Feed
The Farm
The Farm
Confidential
Confidential
Classy Ladies
Classy Ladies
Food Network Competition Shows TV Sampler
Food Network Competition Shows TV Sampler
Gaiam TV What's Really In Our Food?
Gaiam TV What's Really In Our Food?
Good Eats, Best of Desserts
Good Eats, Best of Desserts
The Chef
The Chef
The Chopping Block
The Chopping Block
The French Chef with Julia Child
The French Chef with Julia Child