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
The Chew
The Chew
Flip My Food with Chef Jeff
Flip My Food with Chef Jeff
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Cupcake Wars
Cupcake Wars
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen
Cook's Country
Cook's Country
Chopped
Chopped
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Chopped Junior
Chopped Junior
Farmhouse Rules
Farmhouse Rules
All You Can Eat
All You Can Eat
Hell's Kitchen
Hell's Kitchen
Cutthroat Kitchen
Cutthroat Kitchen
Bizarre Foods
Bizarre Foods
Spring Baking Championship
Spring Baking Championship
Mexican Made Easy
Mexican Made Easy
Carnival Eats
Carnival Eats
Come Dine With Me
Come Dine With Me
MasterChef
MasterChef
The Kitchen
The Kitchen
Denise Austin
Denise Austin
Dinner at Tiffani's
Dinner at Tiffani's
Lidia's Italy
Lidia's Italy
Extra Virgin
Extra Virgin
Brunch @ Bobby's
Brunch @ Bobby's
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Southern At Heart
Southern At Heart
Live with Kelly & Michael
Live with Kelly & Michael
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
MasterChef Junior
MasterChef Junior
BBQ Pitmasters
BBQ Pitmasters
Beat Bobby Flay
Beat Bobby Flay
A Chef's Life
A Chef's Life
Restaurant Stakeout
Restaurant Stakeout
Good Eats
Good Eats
Top Secret Recipe
Top Secret Recipe
Sweet Genius
Sweet Genius
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
Gordon Ramsay: Cookalong Live
Gordon Ramsay: Cookalong Live
Feed the Beast
Feed the Beast
I'll Have What Phil's Having
I'll Have What Phil's Having
The Next Iron Chef
The Next Iron Chef
Ramsay's Best Restaurant
Ramsay's Best Restaurant
30 Minute Meals
30 Minute Meals
Guy's Grocery Games
Guy's Grocery Games
Everyday Italian
Everyday Italian
Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations
Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations
Giada in Italy
Giada in Italy
Heston's Feasts
Heston's Feasts
Rachael Ray's Kids Cook-Off
Rachael Ray's Kids Cook-Off
Kane's Kitchen
Kane's Kitchen
Barefoot Contessa
Barefoot Contessa
Confidential
Confidential
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
New York Live
New York Live
Recipe.TV
Recipe.TV
Tia Mowry at Home
Tia Mowry at Home
Julia Child
Julia Child
Organic Gardening
Organic Gardening
The Great British Baking Show
The Great British Baking Show
Mom's Cooking
Mom's Cooking
Giada's Weekend Getaways
Giada's Weekend Getaways
Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction
Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction
Essential Pepin
Essential Pepin
Sandwich King
Sandwich King
Rachael Ray's Week in a Day
Rachael Ray's Week in a Day
Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee
Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee
Great Chefs: Specials
Great Chefs: Specials
Best New Restaurant
Best New Restaurant
Fresh with Anna Olson
Fresh with Anna Olson
A Taste of History
A Taste of History
Cooks vs. Cons
Cooks vs. Cons
FoodMojo
FoodMojo
The Chef's Kitchen
The Chef's Kitchen
Big Chef Takes on Little Chef
Big Chef Takes on Little Chef
Food Tech
Food Tech
Hungry Girl
Hungry Girl
Kitchen Boss
Kitchen Boss
From Spain With Love
From Spain With Love
Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa d'Arabian
Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa d'Arabian
Heat Seekers
Heat Seekers
Ludo Bites America
Ludo Bites America
Food For Thought
Food For Thought
The Supersizers Go (US)
The Supersizers Go (US)
No Kitchen Required
No Kitchen Required
The Cook And The Chef
The Cook And The Chef
Food Network Specials
Food Network Specials
Billy Connolly's Route 66
Billy Connolly's Route 66
The Taste
The Taste
Spring Celebrations
Spring Celebrations
Food Court Wars
Food Court Wars
Grilling
Grilling
Loving Spoonfuls
Loving Spoonfuls
Belly Up
Belly Up
Tasty Time With ZeFronk
Tasty Time With ZeFronk
Restaurant Express
Restaurant Express
PEGGY K's Kitchen Cures
PEGGY K's Kitchen Cures
Restaurant Redemption
Restaurant Redemption