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
The Kitchen
The Kitchen
Cook's Country
Cook's Country
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
MasterChef Junior
MasterChef Junior
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
A Taste of History
A Taste of History
Cake Wars
Cake Wars
Chopped
Chopped
The Chew
The Chew
Ayesha's Homemade
Ayesha's Homemade
Chopped Junior
Chopped Junior
Hell's Kitchen
Hell's Kitchen
Come Dine With Me
Come Dine With Me
Bizarre Foods
Bizarre Foods
Farmhouse Rules
Farmhouse Rules
A Cook's Tour
A Cook's Tour
MasterChef
MasterChef
Cutthroat Kitchen
Cutthroat Kitchen
Cupcake Wars
Cupcake Wars
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
The Great American Baking Show
The Great American Baking Show
Good Eats
Good Eats
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Barefoot Contessa
Barefoot Contessa
Tia Mowry at Home
Tia Mowry at Home
Guy's Grocery Games
Guy's Grocery Games
A Chef's Life
A Chef's Life
Hungry Investors
Hungry Investors
Chopped Canada
Chopped Canada
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Top Secret Recipe
Top Secret Recipe
Beat Bobby Flay
Beat Bobby Flay
Cooks vs. Cons
Cooks vs. Cons
The Next Iron Chef
The Next Iron Chef
Donut Showdown
Donut Showdown
Frankenfood
Frankenfood
Snack-Off
Snack-Off
Martha Bakes
Martha Bakes
Lidia's Italy
Lidia's Italy
Rachael Ray's Week in a Day
Rachael Ray's Week in a Day
America's Test Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen
Billy Connolly's Route 66
Billy Connolly's Route 66
The Chef
The Chef
Loving Spoonfuls
Loving Spoonfuls
The Everyday Gourmet: Baking Pastries and Desserts
The Everyday Gourmet: Baking Pastries and Desserts
Denise Austin
Denise Austin
Mom's Cooking
Mom's Cooking
Ginormous Food
Ginormous Food
Paula's Best Dishes
Paula's Best Dishes
Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home
Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home
Paula's Home Cooking
Paula's Home Cooking
Food Fetish
Food Fetish
Behind the Bar
Behind the Bar
Chefs A'Field
Chefs A'Field
Cultural Flavors: Foods Of The World
Cultural Flavors: Foods Of The World
Thirsty For...
Thirsty For...
A Bite of China
A Bite of China
The Farm
The Farm
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
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
Bread - Sourdough Bread Baking
Bread - Sourdough Bread Baking
Flavours of Peru
Flavours of Peru
Restaurant Stakeout
Restaurant Stakeout
Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern
Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern
Gourmet Detective
Gourmet Detective
BBQ Pitmasters
BBQ Pitmasters
Chef's Table
Chef's Table
Julia Child
Julia Child
Food Network Chef Guy Fieri
Food Network Chef Guy Fieri
Food For Thought
Food For Thought
Recipe.TV
Recipe.TV
Duet
Duet
Lidia's Kitchen
Lidia's Kitchen
The Great British Baking Show
The Great British Baking Show
Molto Mario
Molto Mario
Gordon's Great Escape
Gordon's Great Escape
Avec Eric
Avec Eric
Two Fat Ladies
Two Fat Ladies
Hungry Girl
Hungry Girl
Marcel's Quantum Kitchen
Marcel's Quantum Kitchen
Food Network Chef Bobby Flay
Food Network Chef Bobby Flay
Heat Seekers
Heat Seekers
Sweet Genius
Sweet Genius
New York Live
New York Live
Essential Pepin
Essential Pepin
The Cook And The Chef
The Cook And The Chef
From Martha's Kitchen
From Martha's Kitchen
The Essence of Emeril
The Essence of Emeril
Grilling
Grilling
Belly Up
Belly Up
Recipe Rehab
Recipe Rehab
Carnival Eats
Carnival Eats
The Naked Chef
The Naked Chef