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
MasterChef
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Chopped
Chopped
Hell's Kitchen
Hell's Kitchen
The Chew
The Chew
A Chef's Life
A Chef's Life
Lidia's Italy
Lidia's Italy
Restaurant Stakeout
Restaurant Stakeout
Cupcake Wars
Cupcake Wars
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off
Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off
Top Chef Duels
Top Chef Duels
Cutthroat Kitchen
Cutthroat Kitchen
Barefoot Contessa
Barefoot Contessa
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Mexican Made Easy
Mexican Made Easy
Panna Origins
Panna Origins
Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
Good Eats
Good Eats
America's Test Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen
Top Secret Recipe
Top Secret Recipe
Beat Bobby Flay
Beat Bobby Flay
Sweet Genius
Sweet Genius
King of Cones
King of Cones
MasterChef Junior
MasterChef Junior
Rewrapped
Rewrapped
Underground BBQ Challenge
Underground BBQ Challenge
Hungry Investors
Hungry Investors
Lyndey Milan's Food & Lifestyle
Lyndey Milan's Food & Lifestyle
The Kitchen
The Kitchen
Snack-Off
Snack-Off
Bizarre Foods
Bizarre Foods
Big Game Bash
Big Game Bash
Epic Meal Empire
Epic Meal Empire
Eating America With Anthony Anderson
Eating America With Anthony Anderson
Giada's Weekend Getaways
Giada's Weekend Getaways
Sandra's Money Saving Meals
Sandra's Money Saving Meals
Denise Austin
Denise Austin
Chopped Tournaments
Chopped Tournaments
Guy's Grocery Games
Guy's Grocery Games
Essential Pepin
Essential Pepin
House of Food
House of Food
Cool Kids Cooking
Cool Kids Cooking
Kitchen Casino
Kitchen Casino
Cake Boss Specials
Cake Boss Specials
30 Minute Meals
30 Minute Meals
New York Live
New York Live
Deep Fried Masters
Deep Fried Masters
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
BBQ Pitmasters
BBQ Pitmasters
Two Fat Ladies
Two Fat Ladies
The Taste
The Taste
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Recipe Rehab
Recipe Rehab
Halloween Wars
Halloween Wars
Bakery Boss
Bakery Boss
In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs
In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs
Log On & Eat with Eden Grinshpan
Log On & Eat with Eden Grinshpan
The Supersizers Go
The Supersizers Go
World Cuisine of the Black Forest
World Cuisine of the Black Forest
Edible Island
Edible Island
Come Dine With Me
Come Dine With Me
Mom's Cooking
Mom's Cooking
The Next Iron Chef
The Next Iron Chef
In the Kitchen With Hannibal
In the Kitchen With Hannibal
Extra Virgin
Extra Virgin
American Grilled
American Grilled
Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie
Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie
Chef's Table
Chef's Table
Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa d'Arabian
Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa d'Arabian
Brunch @ Bobby's
Brunch @ Bobby's
Food Court Wars
Food Court Wars
Emeril's Table
Emeril's Table
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
Heston's Feasts
Heston's Feasts
New York Originals
New York Originals
The Shed
The Shed
Surfing the Menu
Surfing the Menu
Epicurious
Epicurious
The New York Times Dining
The New York Times Dining
Kylie Kwong
Kylie Kwong
Loving Spoonfuls
Loving Spoonfuls
Extreme Chef
Extreme Chef
Howdini Entertaining
Howdini Entertaining
Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee
Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee
Behind the Bar
Behind the Bar
Food Network Thanksgiving
Food Network Thanksgiving
The Perfect Party
The Perfect Party
Pairings with Andrea
Pairings with Andrea
Howcast Food & Drink
Howcast Food & Drink
Rachael Ray's Week in a Day
Rachael Ray's Week in a Day
The Frugal Gourmet
The Frugal Gourmet
All You Can Eat
All You Can Eat
The Occasional Cook
The Occasional Cook
Restaurant Express
Restaurant Express
Marcel's Quantum Kitchen
Marcel's Quantum Kitchen
Avec Eric
Avec Eric
Gordon's Great Escape
Gordon's Great Escape
Panna Recipes
Panna Recipes