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
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
The Kitchen
The Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Hell's Kitchen
Hell's Kitchen
Chopped
Chopped
Cake Wars
Cake Wars
Come Dine With Me
Come Dine With Me
Cupcake Wars
Cupcake Wars
Cutthroat Kitchen
Cutthroat Kitchen
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Ayesha's Homemade
Ayesha's Homemade
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
The Chew
The Chew
A Cook's Tour
A Cook's Tour
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Chopped Junior
Chopped Junior
MasterChef
MasterChef
A Chef's Life
A Chef's Life
Beat Bobby Flay
Beat Bobby Flay
Barefoot Contessa
Barefoot Contessa
The Great American Baking Show
The Great American Baking Show
Bizarre Foods
Bizarre Foods
MasterChef Junior
MasterChef Junior
Tia Mowry at Home
Tia Mowry at Home
Texas Cake House
Texas Cake House
The Great British Baking Show
The Great British Baking Show
MasterChef Celebrity Showdown
MasterChef Celebrity Showdown
Cook's Country
Cook's Country
Good Eats
Good Eats
Top Secret Recipe
Top Secret Recipe
30 Minute Meals
30 Minute Meals
Patti LaBelle's Place
Patti LaBelle's Place
A Taste of History
A Taste of History
Guy's Grocery Games
Guy's Grocery Games
BBQ Pitmasters
BBQ Pitmasters
Restaurant Stakeout
Restaurant Stakeout
Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations
Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations
Man Vs. Child: Chef Showdown
Man Vs. Child: Chef Showdown
Sugar Showdown
Sugar Showdown
Two Fat Ladies
Two Fat Ladies
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
The American Baking Competition
The American Baking Competition
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Paula's Home Cooking
Paula's Home Cooking
Lidia's Italy
Lidia's Italy
Martha Bakes
Martha Bakes
Paula's Best Dishes
Paula's Best Dishes
The Farm
The Farm
Bread - Sourdough Bread Baking
Bread - Sourdough Bread Baking
Farmhouse Rules
Farmhouse Rules
Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern
Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern
Ginormous Food
Ginormous Food
Denise Austin
Denise Austin
Food Tech
Food Tech
Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home
Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home
Food Fetish
Food Fetish
Behind the Bar
Behind the Bar
Chefs A'Field
Chefs A'Field
Billy Connolly's Route 66
Billy Connolly's Route 66
The Chef
The Chef
Loving Spoonfuls
Loving Spoonfuls
Cultural Flavors: Foods Of The World
Cultural Flavors: Foods Of The World
Thirsty For...
Thirsty For...
A Bite of China
A Bite of China
Katie Brown Workshop
Katie Brown Workshop
The Everyday Gourmet: Essential Secrets of Spices in Cooking
The Everyday Gourmet: Essential Secrets of Spices in Cooking
The Everyday Gourmet: Rediscovering the Lost Art of Cooking
The Everyday Gourmet: Rediscovering the Lost Art of Cooking
The Everyday Gourmet: Baking Pastries and Desserts
The Everyday Gourmet: Baking Pastries and Desserts
Food: A Cultural Culinary History
Food: A Cultural Culinary History
Taste of Australia
Taste of Australia
Family Style with Chef Jeff
Family Style with Chef Jeff
Mondovino: The Complete Series
Mondovino: The Complete Series
When Patrick Met Kylie: A Love of Food Story
When Patrick Met Kylie: A Love of Food Story
Flavours of Peru
Flavours of Peru
Lidia's Kitchen
Lidia's Kitchen
Food For Thought
Food For Thought
Recipe.TV
Recipe.TV
Dinner at Tiffani's
Dinner at Tiffani's
BBQ Pit Wars
BBQ Pit Wars
Snack-Off
Snack-Off
Carnival Eats
Carnival Eats
Food Porn
Food Porn
Martin Yan's Hong Kong
Martin Yan's Hong Kong
Tyler's Ultimate
Tyler's Ultimate
Julia Child
Julia Child
Epicurious
Epicurious
New York Live
New York Live
Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello
Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello
Essential Pepin
Essential Pepin
Fodder
Fodder
The Essence of Emeril
The Essence of Emeril
Gordon Behind Bars
Gordon Behind Bars
Cake Boss Specials
Cake Boss Specials
Deep Fried Masters
Deep Fried Masters
Rachael Ray's 3 in the Bag
Rachael Ray's 3 in the Bag
Top Chef Duels
Top Chef Duels
Flip My Food with Chef Jeff
Flip My Food with Chef Jeff
Masterchef Canada
Masterchef Canada
Jamie's 15 Minute Meals
Jamie's 15 Minute Meals