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
The Chew
The Chew
Chopped
Chopped
A Chef's Life
A Chef's Life
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Bizarre Foods
Bizarre Foods
Cupcake Wars
Cupcake Wars
Lidia's Italy
Lidia's Italy
Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
Chef Academy
Chef Academy
Good Eats
Good Eats
MasterChef
MasterChef
America's Test Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen
Food Court Wars
Food Court Wars
House of Food
House of Food
BBQ Pitmasters
BBQ Pitmasters
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Barefoot Contessa
Barefoot Contessa
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Marcel's Quantum Kitchen
Marcel's Quantum Kitchen
Beat Bobby Flay
Beat Bobby Flay
Come Dine With Me
Come Dine With Me
The Taste
The Taste
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Cutthroat Kitchen
Cutthroat Kitchen
Big Game Bash
Big Game Bash
Kitchen Casino
Kitchen Casino
Hungry Girl
Hungry Girl
Avec Eric
Avec Eric
Howcast Food & Drink
Howcast Food & Drink
Restaurant Stakeout
Restaurant Stakeout
Two Fat Ladies
Two Fat Ladies
Giada's Weekend Getaways
Giada's Weekend Getaways
Cool Kids Cooking
Cool Kids Cooking
Kimchi Chronicles
Kimchi Chronicles
Top Secret Recipe
Top Secret Recipe
Heartland Table
Heartland Table
Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home
Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home
Denise Austin
Denise Austin
Emeril's Table
Emeril's Table
Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee
Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee
Confidential
Confidential
Chopped Canada
Chopped Canada
Tasty Time With ZeFronk
Tasty Time With ZeFronk
A Cook's Tour
A Cook's Tour
Bakery Boss
Bakery Boss
Foods of the Bible
Foods of the Bible
Southern At Heart
Southern At Heart
Martin Yan's Hong Kong
Martin Yan's Hong Kong
The Kitchen
The Kitchen
No Kitchen Required
No Kitchen Required
Log On & Eat with Eden Grinshpan
Log On & Eat with Eden Grinshpan
Edible Island
Edible Island
New York Originals
New York Originals
Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie
Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie
Chocolate Television
Chocolate Television
Dining Downunder
Dining Downunder
Bizarre Foods America
Bizarre Foods America
Emeril Green
Emeril Green
Chef's Table
Chef's Table
Simply Delicioso
Simply Delicioso
Epicurious
Epicurious
Summer Celebrations
Summer Celebrations
Last Call Food Brawl
Last Call Food Brawl
The Freshman Class
The Freshman Class
Halloween Wars
Halloween Wars
From Martha's Kitchen
From Martha's Kitchen
The Best In Australia
The Best In Australia
NapaStyle
NapaStyle
MasterChef Junior
MasterChef Junior
The Frugal Gourmet
The Frugal Gourmet
Mexican Made Easy
Mexican Made Easy
Mom's Cooking
Mom's Cooking
Martha Stewart Weddings
Martha Stewart Weddings
Real Food Real Kitchens
Real Food Real Kitchens
Pairings with Andrea
Pairings with Andrea
Howdini Entertaining
Howdini Entertaining
Life After Top Chef
Life After Top Chef
The French Chef with Julia Child
The French Chef with Julia Child
At The Chef's Table
At The Chef's Table
The Perfect Party
The Perfect Party
Surfing the Menu
Surfing the Menu
Chefs A'Field
Chefs A'Field
Food Network Thanksgiving
Food Network Thanksgiving
Behind the Bar
Behind the Bar
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Classy Ladies
Classy Ladies
Sweet Genius
Sweet Genius
Best of Bizarre Foods
Best of Bizarre Foods
Feed the Beast
Feed the Beast
World Cuisine of the Black Forest
World Cuisine of the Black Forest
Paula's Best Dishes
Paula's Best Dishes
Supermarket Superstar
Supermarket Superstar
Giving You the Business
Giving You the Business
Kitchen Boss
Kitchen Boss
The Shed
The Shed
Gordon's Great Escape
Gordon's Great Escape
Cake
Cake
The Occasional Cook
The Occasional Cook
Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction
Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction