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
Live with Kelly & Michael
Live with Kelly & Michael
Hell's Kitchen
Hell's Kitchen
Lidia's Italy
Lidia's Italy
The Chew
The Chew
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Cupcake Wars
Cupcake Wars
Flip My Food with Chef Jeff
Flip My Food with Chef Jeff
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Chopped
Chopped
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
America's Test Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen
Farmhouse Rules
Farmhouse Rules
Spring Baking Championship
Spring Baking Championship
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Cook's Country
Cook's Country
Good Eats
Good Eats
Come Dine With Me
Come Dine With Me
MasterChef Junior
MasterChef Junior
MasterChef
MasterChef
Barefoot Contessa
Barefoot Contessa
Chopped Junior
Chopped Junior
Bizarre Foods
Bizarre Foods
BBQ Pitmasters
BBQ Pitmasters
Cutthroat Kitchen
Cutthroat Kitchen
Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations
Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations
Top Secret Recipe
Top Secret Recipe
A Chef's Life
A Chef's Life
Beat Bobby Flay
Beat Bobby Flay
All-Star Academy
All-Star Academy
In Defense of Food
In Defense of Food
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
All You Can Eat
All You Can Eat
Dinner at Tiffani's
Dinner at Tiffani's
I'll Have What Phil's Having
I'll Have What Phil's Having
Mexican Made Easy
Mexican Made Easy
Denise Austin
Denise Austin
Extra Virgin
Extra Virgin
New York Live
New York Live
A Taste of History
A Taste of History
Sweet Genius
Sweet Genius
30 Minute Meals
30 Minute Meals
A Cook's Tour
A Cook's Tour
Rachael Ray's Kids Cook-Off
Rachael Ray's Kids Cook-Off
The Kitchen
The Kitchen
Cake Wars
Cake Wars
The Great British Baking Show
The Great British Baking Show
Restaurant Stakeout
Restaurant Stakeout
Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee
Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee
Tasty Time With ZeFronk
Tasty Time With ZeFronk
Guy's Grocery Games
Guy's Grocery Games
Snack-Off
Snack-Off
Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern
Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern
Uncorked
Uncorked
Mom's Cooking
Mom's Cooking
Gordon's Great Escape
Gordon's Great Escape
Heston's Feasts
Heston's Feasts
Avec Eric
Avec Eric
Brunch @ Bobby's
Brunch @ Bobby's
Two Fat Ladies
Two Fat Ladies
Paula's Best Dishes
Paula's Best Dishes
Julia Child
Julia Child
Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction
Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction
The French Chef with Julia Child
The French Chef with Julia Child
Essential Pepin
Essential Pepin
Recipe.TV
Recipe.TV
From Martha's Kitchen
From Martha's Kitchen
Bakery Boss
Bakery Boss
Supermarket Superstar
Supermarket Superstar
Deep Fried Masters
Deep Fried Masters
Southern At Heart
Southern At Heart
Rewrapped
Rewrapped
Carnival Eats
Carnival Eats
Katie Brown Workshop
Katie Brown Workshop
Man Vs. Child: Chef Showdown
Man Vs. Child: Chef Showdown
Giada in Italy
Giada in Italy
Extra Virgin Americana
Extra Virgin Americana
Cooks vs. Cons
Cooks vs. Cons
Food Porn
Food Porn
Molto Mario
Molto Mario
The Chef's Kitchen
The Chef's Kitchen
The Next Iron Chef
The Next Iron Chef
Cake
Cake
Rocco Gets Real
Rocco Gets Real
Gordon Ramsay: Cookalong Live
Gordon Ramsay: Cookalong Live
Dear Food Network: Thanksgiving
Dear Food Network: Thanksgiving
Kitchen Boss
Kitchen Boss
Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home
Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home
Ramsay's Best Restaurant
Ramsay's Best Restaurant
Extreme Chef
Extreme Chef
Halloween Wars
Halloween Wars
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
Secrets of a Restaurant Chef
Secrets of a Restaurant Chef
The Supersizers Go
The Supersizers Go
Behind the Bar
Behind the Bar
Chefs A'Field
Chefs A'Field
Surfing the Menu
Surfing the Menu
Rachael Ray's Week in a Day
Rachael Ray's Week in a Day
Life After Top Chef
Life After Top Chef