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
Cook's Country
Cook's Country
Cupcake Wars
Cupcake Wars
Farmhouse Rules
Farmhouse Rules
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
The Great British Baking Show
The Great British Baking Show
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Chopped
Chopped
The Chew
The Chew
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Chopped Junior
Chopped Junior
Barefoot Contessa
Barefoot Contessa
Cutthroat Kitchen
Cutthroat Kitchen
Hell's Kitchen
Hell's Kitchen
Good Eats
Good Eats
Cake Wars
Cake Wars
Beat Bobby Flay
Beat Bobby Flay
Snack-Off
Snack-Off
Come Dine With Me
Come Dine With Me
Bizarre Foods
Bizarre Foods
The Kitchen
The Kitchen
MasterChef Junior
MasterChef Junior
Feed the Beast
Feed the Beast
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Guy's Grocery Games
Guy's Grocery Games
BBQ with Franklin
BBQ with Franklin
30 Minute Meals
30 Minute Meals
Carnival Eats
Carnival Eats
Lidia's Italy
Lidia's Italy
Flip My Food with Chef Jeff
Flip My Food with Chef Jeff
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
A Chef's Life
A Chef's Life
BBQ Pitmasters
BBQ Pitmasters
Cooks vs. Cons
Cooks vs. Cons
Man Vs. Child: Chef Showdown
Man Vs. Child: Chef Showdown
In Defense of Food
In Defense of Food
Sweet Genius
Sweet Genius
Taco Trip
Taco Trip
Southern At Heart
Southern At Heart
Avec Eric
Avec Eric
The Next Iron Chef
The Next Iron Chef
Restaurant Stakeout
Restaurant Stakeout
Hungry Investors
Hungry Investors
Giada in Italy
Giada in Italy
Mexican Made Easy
Mexican Made Easy
Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction
Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction
The Supersizers Go
The Supersizers Go
A Cook's Tour
A Cook's Tour
The American Baking Competition
The American Baking Competition
Loving Spoonfuls
Loving Spoonfuls
Dinner at Tiffani's
Dinner at Tiffani's
Kitchen Casino
Kitchen Casino
Broke Bites: What the Fung?!
Broke Bites: What the Fung?!
Pig Goat Banana Cricket
Pig Goat Banana Cricket
Martha Bakes
Martha Bakes
America's Test Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Best. Ever.
Best. Ever.
Denise Austin
Denise Austin
New York Live
New York Live
Giada's Weekend Getaways
Giada's Weekend Getaways
Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern
Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern
Smoked
Smoked
Grill It! with Bobby Flay
Grill It! with Bobby Flay
Brunch @ Bobby's
Brunch @ Bobby's
Extra Virgin
Extra Virgin
Everyday Italian
Everyday Italian
Recipe.TV
Recipe.TV
Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee
Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee
Rachael Ray's Kids Cook-Off
Rachael Ray's Kids Cook-Off
Katie Brown Workshop
Katie Brown Workshop
A Taste of History
A Taste of History
First Class Chefs
First Class Chefs
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Cake
Cake
Chowdown Countdown
Chowdown Countdown
Big Chef Takes on Little Chef
Big Chef Takes on Little Chef
Garden Party
Garden Party
Two Fat Ladies
Two Fat Ladies
Hungry Girl
Hungry Girl
Chef's Table
Chef's Table
Crave
Crave
Ramsay's Best Restaurant
Ramsay's Best Restaurant
Paula's Home Cooking
Paula's Home Cooking
Secret Recipes
Secret Recipes
Chuck's Week Off
Chuck's Week Off
Essential Pepin
Essential Pepin
Fodder
Fodder
The Cook And The Chef
The Cook And The Chef
NapaStyle
NapaStyle
Bobby Flay Fit
Bobby Flay Fit
Cake Boss Specials
Cake Boss Specials
Belly Up
Belly Up
Tasty Time With ZeFronk
Tasty Time With ZeFronk
Restaurant Redemption
Restaurant Redemption
Food Rush
Food Rush
Chopped Tournaments
Chopped Tournaments
Deen of Lean
Deen of Lean
Masterchef Canada
Masterchef Canada
On the Menu
On the Menu