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
MasterChef Junior
MasterChef Junior
Chopped
Chopped
Cupcake Wars
Cupcake Wars
The Chew
The Chew
Good Eats
Good Eats
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
The Taste
The Taste
MasterChef
MasterChef
Hell's Kitchen
Hell's Kitchen
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
A Chef's Life
A Chef's Life
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Lidia's Italy
Lidia's Italy
Cutthroat Kitchen
Cutthroat Kitchen
Flip My Food with Chef Jeff
Flip My Food with Chef Jeff
America's Test Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Snack-Off
Snack-Off
Come Dine With Me
Come Dine With Me
Recipe Rehab
Recipe Rehab
Bizarre Foods
Bizarre Foods
The Kitchen
The Kitchen
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Guy's Grocery Games
Guy's Grocery Games
The Supersizers Go
The Supersizers Go
Top Secret Recipe
Top Secret Recipe
Barefoot Contessa
Barefoot Contessa
Giada's Weekend Getaways
Giada's Weekend Getaways
Two Fat Ladies
Two Fat Ladies
Cook's Country
Cook's Country
Mom's Cooking
Mom's Cooking
Kimchi Chronicles
Kimchi Chronicles
Beat Bobby Flay
Beat Bobby Flay
Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern
Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern
Sweet Genius
Sweet Genius
30 Minute Meals
30 Minute Meals
Mexican Made Easy
Mexican Made Easy
Big Game Bash
Big Game Bash
Restaurant Stakeout
Restaurant Stakeout
Farmhouse Rules
Farmhouse Rules
BBQ Pitmasters
BBQ Pitmasters
Chopped Canada
Chopped Canada
Best New Restaurant
Best New Restaurant
New York Live
New York Live
Denise Austin
Denise Austin
Brunch @ Bobby's
Brunch @ Bobby's
Made in Spain
Made in Spain
Cool Kids Cooking
Cool Kids Cooking
Ramsay's Best Restaurant
Ramsay's Best Restaurant
Katie Brown Workshop
Katie Brown Workshop
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Food Truck Face Off
Food Truck Face Off
The Illegal Eater
The Illegal Eater
Cake
Cake
Pizza Masters
Pizza Masters
Extra Virgin
Extra Virgin
Carnival Eats
Carnival Eats
Late Nite Chef Fight
Late Nite Chef Fight
Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee
Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee
Rewrapped
Rewrapped
A Cook's Tour
A Cook's Tour
Heston's Feasts
Heston's Feasts
Supermarket Superstar
Supermarket Superstar
101 More Amazing Places to Chowdown
101 More Amazing Places to Chowdown
House of Food
House of Food
In the Kitchen With Hannibal
In the Kitchen With Hannibal
The Chef
The Chef
Edible Island
Edible Island
Hungry Investors
Hungry Investors
From Martha's Kitchen
From Martha's Kitchen
On the Menu
On the Menu
Jamie's 15 Minute Meals
Jamie's 15 Minute Meals
Taco Trip
Taco Trip
Log On & Eat with Eden Grinshpan
Log On & Eat with Eden Grinshpan
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
Gordon Ramsay: Cookalong Live
Gordon Ramsay: Cookalong Live
Cake Boss Specials
Cake Boss Specials
Donut Showdown
Donut Showdown
Rachael Ray's Week in a Day
Rachael Ray's Week in a Day
Great Chefs: Specials
Great Chefs: Specials
Duet
Duet
Fast Foods Gone Global
Fast Foods Gone Global
Recipe.TV
Recipe.TV
Quick & Easy
Quick & Easy
Chug
Chug
Restaurant Redemption
Restaurant Redemption
5 Ingredient Fix
5 Ingredient Fix
Paula's Home Cooking
Paula's Home Cooking
Appetite For Asia
Appetite For Asia
Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction
Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction
Food Forward
Food Forward
Martha Stewart Weddings
Martha Stewart Weddings
Masterchef Canada
Masterchef Canada
A Bite of China
A Bite of China
Holiday Baking Championship
Holiday Baking Championship
The Farm
The Farm
Julia Child
Julia Child
Crave
Crave
The Perfect Party
The Perfect Party