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
America's Test Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
The Kitchen
The Kitchen
Ayesha's Homemade
Ayesha's Homemade
Hell's Kitchen
Hell's Kitchen
Chopped
Chopped
Cupcake Wars
Cupcake Wars
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Cake Wars
Cake Wars
Farmhouse Rules
Farmhouse Rules
MasterChef
MasterChef
Holiday Baking Championship
Holiday Baking Championship
Chopped Junior
Chopped Junior
Come Dine With Me
Come Dine With Me
A Taste of History
A Taste of History
Cutthroat Kitchen
Cutthroat Kitchen
MasterChef Junior
MasterChef Junior
The Great American Baking Show
The Great American Baking Show
The Chew
The Chew
30 Minute Meals
30 Minute Meals
The Great British Baking Show
The Great British Baking Show
Bizarre Foods
Bizarre Foods
The American Baking Competition
The American Baking Competition
A Chef's Life
A Chef's Life
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Giada in Italy
Giada in Italy
Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern
Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern
BBQ Pitmasters
BBQ Pitmasters
Denise Austin
Denise Austin
Good Eats
Good Eats
In Defense of Food
In Defense of Food
Cooks vs. Cons
Cooks vs. Cons
The Next Iron Chef
The Next Iron Chef
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
Giada's Holiday Handbook
Giada's Holiday Handbook
Sugar Showdown
Sugar Showdown
Cook's Country
Cook's Country
Lidia's Italy
Lidia's Italy
Guy's Grocery Games
Guy's Grocery Games
Restaurant Stakeout
Restaurant Stakeout
The Taste
The Taste
Bakery Boss
Bakery Boss
Dinner at Tiffani's
Dinner at Tiffani's
Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations
Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations
Tia Mowry at Home
Tia Mowry at Home
Pig Goat Banana Cricket
Pig Goat Banana Cricket
Kane's Kitchen
Kane's Kitchen
Barefoot Contessa
Barefoot Contessa
Martha Bakes
Martha Bakes
Paula's Home Cooking
Paula's Home Cooking
Behind the Bar
Behind the Bar
Loving Spoonfuls
Loving Spoonfuls
The Everyday Gourmet: Baking Pastries and Desserts
The Everyday Gourmet: Baking Pastries and Desserts
Masterchef Canada
Masterchef Canada
Food Tech
Food Tech
Paula's Best Dishes
Paula's Best Dishes
Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home
Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home
Food Fetish
Food Fetish
Chefs A'Field
Chefs A'Field
Billy Connolly's Route 66
Billy Connolly's Route 66
The Chef
The Chef
Chefs A'Field: Kids On The Farm
Chefs A'Field: Kids On The Farm
Cultural Flavors: Foods Of The World
Cultural Flavors: Foods Of The World
Thirsty For...
Thirsty For...
The Farm
The Farm
The Everyday Gourmet: Essential Secrets of Spices in Cooking
The Everyday Gourmet: Essential Secrets of Spices in Cooking
The Everyday Gourmet: Rediscovering the Lost Art of Cooking
The Everyday Gourmet: Rediscovering the Lost Art of Cooking
Food: A Cultural Culinary History
Food: A Cultural Culinary History
Taste of Australia
Taste of Australia
Family Style with Chef Jeff
Family Style with Chef Jeff
Mondovino: The Complete Series
Mondovino: The Complete Series
Jacques Pepin Celebrates!
Jacques Pepin Celebrates!
When Patrick Met Kylie: A Love of Food Story
When Patrick Met Kylie: A Love of Food Story
Bread - Sourdough Bread Baking
Bread - Sourdough Bread Baking
Flavours of Peru
Flavours of Peru
The Chef's Kitchen
The Chef's Kitchen
Food Network Holidays
Food Network Holidays
Recipe.TV
Recipe.TV
Rachael Ray's Week in a Day
Rachael Ray's Week in a Day
Cake
Cake
Mom's Cooking
Mom's Cooking
Two Fat Ladies
Two Fat Ladies
Julia Child
Julia Child
Food Network Thanksgiving
Food Network Thanksgiving
New York Live
New York Live
Essential Pepin
Essential Pepin
The Supersizers Go
The Supersizers Go
Christmas Celebrations
Christmas Celebrations
All You Can Eat
All You Can Eat
Rachael Ray's Kids Cook-Off
Rachael Ray's Kids Cook-Off
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Katie Brown Workshop
Katie Brown Workshop
Guilty Pleasures
Guilty Pleasures
Chopped: Impossible
Chopped: Impossible
Lidia's Kitchen
Lidia's Kitchen
Patti LaBelle's Place
Patti LaBelle's Place
A Cook's Tour
A Cook's Tour