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
MasterChef
MasterChef
Chopped
Chopped
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Lidia's Italy
Lidia's Italy
Restaurant Stakeout
Restaurant Stakeout
The Chew
The Chew
Cupcake Wars
Cupcake Wars
America's Test Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen
A Chef's Life
A Chef's Life
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Cutthroat Kitchen
Cutthroat Kitchen
Barefoot Contessa
Barefoot Contessa
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
Frankenfood
Frankenfood
Hungry Investors
Hungry Investors
The Kitchen
The Kitchen
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Good Eats
Good Eats
MasterChef Junior
MasterChef Junior
Denise Austin
Denise Austin
Panna Origins
Panna Origins
Guy's Grocery Games
Guy's Grocery Games
Bizarre Foods
Bizarre Foods
Bakery Boss
Bakery Boss
Giada's Weekend Getaways
Giada's Weekend Getaways
Come Dine With Me
Come Dine With Me
Mexican Made Easy
Mexican Made Easy
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Heartland Table
Heartland Table
Brunch @ Bobby's
Brunch @ Bobby's
Two Fat Ladies
Two Fat Ladies
Hungry Girl
Hungry Girl
Lyndey Milan's Food & Lifestyle
Lyndey Milan's Food & Lifestyle
Cake Boss Specials
Cake Boss Specials
Big Game Bash
Big Game Bash
In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs
In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs
BBQ Pitmasters
BBQ Pitmasters
Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee
Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee
Chopped Tournaments
Chopped Tournaments
The Taste
The Taste
Kimchi Chronicles
Kimchi Chronicles
Cool Kids Cooking
Cool Kids Cooking
Sweet Genius
Sweet Genius
New York Live
New York Live
Deep Fried Masters
Deep Fried Masters
The Frugal Gourmet
The Frugal Gourmet
House of Food
House of Food
Essential Pepin
Essential Pepin
30 Minute Meals
30 Minute Meals
Rachael Ray's 3 in the Bag
Rachael Ray's 3 in the Bag
Top Secret Recipe
Top Secret Recipe
Food Court Wars
Food Court Wars
Log On & Eat with Eden Grinshpan
Log On & Eat with Eden Grinshpan
The Shed
The Shed
Everyday Italian
Everyday Italian
Bizarre Foods America
Bizarre Foods America
Gordon's Great Escape
Gordon's Great Escape
Edible Island
Edible Island
In the Kitchen With Hannibal
In the Kitchen With Hannibal
A Bite of China
A Bite of China
The Next Iron Chef
The Next Iron Chef
5 Ingredient Fix
5 Ingredient Fix
Crave
Crave
Recipe.TV
Recipe.TV
Cooking Up A Story
Cooking Up A Story
Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off
Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off
Cake
Cake
Belly Up
Belly Up
Secrets of a Restaurant Chef
Secrets of a Restaurant Chef
Martha Stewart Weddings
Martha Stewart Weddings
The Supersizers Go
The Supersizers Go
Mom's Cooking
Mom's Cooking
Heston's Feasts
Heston's Feasts
Paula's Home Cooking
Paula's Home Cooking
Grill It! with Bobby Flay
Grill It! with Bobby Flay
Uncorked
Uncorked
Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie
Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie
Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa d'Arabian
Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa d'Arabian
Rachael Ray's Week in a Day
Rachael Ray's Week in a Day
Chef's Table
Chef's Table
The Essence of Emeril
The Essence of Emeril
The Chef
The Chef
Christmas Celebrations
Christmas Celebrations
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Extreme Chef
Extreme Chef
Howcast Food & Drink
Howcast Food & Drink
Little Chocolatiers
Little Chocolatiers
Halloween Wars
Halloween Wars
The Occasional Cook
The Occasional Cook
The Perfect Party
The Perfect Party
Cook's Country
Cook's Country
Giving You the Business
Giving You the Business
Gordon Ramsay: Cookalong Live
Gordon Ramsay: Cookalong Live
Burger Land
Burger Land
Emeril's Table
Emeril's Table
Panna Recipes
Panna Recipes
Pairings with Andrea
Pairings with Andrea
Surfing the Menu
Surfing the Menu