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
Halloween Wars
Halloween Wars
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Lidia's Italy
Lidia's Italy
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
The Chew
The Chew
A Chef's Life
A Chef's Life
Chopped
Chopped
Cutthroat Kitchen
Cutthroat Kitchen
Cupcake Wars
Cupcake Wars
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Barefoot Contessa
Barefoot Contessa
Beat Bobby Flay
Beat Bobby Flay
MasterChef
MasterChef
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Top Chef Duels
Top Chef Duels
Good Eats
Good Eats
Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off
Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off
Mexican Made Easy
Mexican Made Easy
Flip My Food with Chef Jeff
Flip My Food with Chef Jeff
America's Test Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen
The Kitchen
The Kitchen
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Mom's Cooking
Mom's Cooking
MasterChef Junior
MasterChef Junior
Top Secret Recipe
Top Secret Recipe
Recipe Rehab
Recipe Rehab
Guy's Grocery Games
Guy's Grocery Games
Food Truck Face Off
Food Truck Face Off
Restaurant Stakeout
Restaurant Stakeout
Rachael Ray's Week in a Day
Rachael Ray's Week in a Day
Cook's Country
Cook's Country
Bizarre Foods
Bizarre Foods
Katie Brown Workshop
Katie Brown Workshop
Sweet Genius
Sweet Genius
Giada's Weekend Getaways
Giada's Weekend Getaways
Food Forward
Food Forward
Big Game Bash
Big Game Bash
New York Live
New York Live
Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee
Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee
The New York Times Dining
The New York Times Dining
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
The Next Iron Chef
The Next Iron Chef
Rewrapped
Rewrapped
The Supersizers Go
The Supersizers Go
Food Network Thanksgiving
Food Network Thanksgiving
Chopped Tournaments
Chopped Tournaments
Cool Kids Cooking
Cool Kids Cooking
Glamour Puds
Glamour Puds
Masterchef Canada
Masterchef Canada
Snack-Off
Snack-Off
Brunch @ Bobby's
Brunch @ Bobby's
Come Dine With Me
Come Dine With Me
Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home
Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home
Two Fat Ladies
Two Fat Ladies
30 Minute Meals
30 Minute Meals
Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction
Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction
Denise Austin
Denise Austin
Eating America With Anthony Anderson
Eating America With Anthony Anderson
In the Kitchen With Hannibal
In the Kitchen With Hannibal
Organic Gardening
Organic Gardening
Essential Pepin
Essential Pepin
Log On & Eat with Eden Grinshpan
Log On & Eat with Eden Grinshpan
Edible Island
Edible Island
101 More Amazing Places to Chowdown
101 More Amazing Places to Chowdown
A Taste of Asia
A Taste of Asia
Heartland Table
Heartland Table
Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa d'Arabian
Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa d'Arabian
wineFLIGHT
wineFLIGHT
Grilling
Grilling
Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie
Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie
Everyday Italian
Everyday Italian
Food Court Wars
Food Court Wars
Midnight Feast
Midnight Feast
Chopped Canada
Chopped Canada
Made in Spain
Made in Spain
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
Bite This with Nadia G
Bite This with Nadia G
Paula's Best Dishes
Paula's Best Dishes
From Martha's Kitchen
From Martha's Kitchen
Panna Origins
Panna Origins
World's Weirdest Restaurants
World's Weirdest Restaurants
Kimchi Chronicles
Kimchi Chronicles
Secrets of a Restaurant Chef
Secrets of a Restaurant Chef
The Shed
The Shed
The Perfect Party
The Perfect Party
Behind the Bar
Behind the Bar
Epicurious
Epicurious
The Frugal Gourmet
The Frugal Gourmet
The Taste
The Taste
Loving Spoonfuls
Loving Spoonfuls
Surfing the Menu
Surfing the Menu
The Best In Australia
The Best In Australia
Kylie Kwong
Kylie Kwong
Howcast Food & Drink
Howcast Food & Drink
Pairings with Andrea
Pairings with Andrea
Bakery Boss
Bakery Boss
Life After Top Chef
Life After Top Chef
The Occasional Cook
The Occasional Cook