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
Hell's Kitchen
Hell's Kitchen
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Halloween Wars
Halloween Wars
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
The Chew
The Chew
Lidia's Italy
Lidia's Italy
Chopped
Chopped
A Chef's Life
A Chef's Life
MasterChef
MasterChef
Top Chef Duels
Top Chef Duels
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off
Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off
Cutthroat Kitchen
Cutthroat Kitchen
Cupcake Wars
Cupcake Wars
Good Eats
Good Eats
Barefoot Contessa
Barefoot Contessa
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Flip My Food with Chef Jeff
Flip My Food with Chef Jeff
Mexican Made Easy
Mexican Made Easy
Mom's Cooking
Mom's Cooking
The Kitchen
The Kitchen
Rachael Ray's Week in a Day
Rachael Ray's Week in a Day
Beat Bobby Flay
Beat Bobby Flay
MasterChef Junior
MasterChef Junior
Recipe Rehab
Recipe Rehab
America's Test Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen
Guy's Grocery Games
Guy's Grocery Games
Restaurant Stakeout
Restaurant Stakeout
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Denise Austin
Denise Austin
Food Truck Face Off
Food Truck Face Off
Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee
Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee
The New York Times Dining
The New York Times Dining
Snack-Off
Snack-Off
Food Forward
Food Forward
Giada's Weekend Getaways
Giada's Weekend Getaways
Big Game Bash
Big Game Bash
Sweet Genius
Sweet Genius
Katie Brown Workshop
Katie Brown Workshop
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
The Next Iron Chef
The Next Iron Chef
Bizarre Foods
Bizarre Foods
Cook's Country
Cook's Country
Chopped Tournaments
Chopped Tournaments
Two Fat Ladies
Two Fat Ladies
30 Minute Meals
30 Minute Meals
Cool Kids Cooking
Cool Kids Cooking
The Supersizers Go
The Supersizers Go
Eating America With Anthony Anderson
Eating America With Anthony Anderson
Come Dine With Me
Come Dine With Me
The Farm
The Farm
Rewrapped
Rewrapped
Glamour Puds
Glamour Puds
Brunch @ Bobby's
Brunch @ Bobby's
Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction
Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction
Food Network Thanksgiving
Food Network Thanksgiving
New York Live
New York Live
Essential Pepin
Essential Pepin
A Cook's Tour
A Cook's Tour
101 More Amazing Places to Chowdown
101 More Amazing Places to Chowdown
Sandra's Money Saving Meals
Sandra's Money Saving Meals
Edible Island
Edible Island
In the Kitchen With Hannibal
In the Kitchen With Hannibal
A Taste of Asia
A Taste of Asia
Log On & Eat with Eden Grinshpan
Log On & Eat with Eden Grinshpan
Top Secret Recipe
Top Secret Recipe
Masterchef Canada
Masterchef Canada
The Frugal Gourmet
The Frugal Gourmet
Grilling
Grilling
Everyday Italian
Everyday Italian
Belly Up
Belly Up
Panna Origins
Panna Origins
Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home
Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home
Heartland Table
Heartland Table
wineFLIGHT
wineFLIGHT
Kimchi Chronicles
Kimchi Chronicles
New York Originals
New York Originals
Chopped Canada
Chopped Canada
Heston's Feasts
Heston's Feasts
Bite This with Nadia G
Bite This with Nadia G
Extra Virgin
Extra Virgin
Marcel's Quantum Kitchen
Marcel's Quantum Kitchen
Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie
Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie
BBQ Pit Wars
BBQ Pit Wars
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
Howcast Food & Drink
Howcast Food & Drink
Loving Spoonfuls
Loving Spoonfuls
Bakery Boss
Bakery Boss
Kylie Kwong
Kylie Kwong
Paula's Home Cooking
Paula's Home Cooking
World's Weirdest Restaurants
World's Weirdest Restaurants
The Best In Australia
The Best In Australia
Donut Showdown
Donut Showdown
Lyndey Milan's Food & Lifestyle
Lyndey Milan's Food & Lifestyle
Good Eats, Best of Snacks
Good Eats, Best of Snacks
Cake Boss Specials
Cake Boss Specials
The Chopping Block
The Chopping Block
The Occasional Cook
The Occasional Cook
Howdini Entertaining
Howdini Entertaining