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
A Chef's Life
A Chef's Life
Chopped
Chopped
MasterChef
MasterChef
Food Court Wars
Food Court Wars
Chef Academy
Chef Academy
Hungry Girl
Hungry Girl
Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home
Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home
Lidia's Italy
Lidia's Italy
The Taste
The Taste
Cupcake Wars
Cupcake Wars
Kimchi Chronicles
Kimchi Chronicles
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Cutthroat Kitchen
Cutthroat Kitchen
Come Dine With Me
Come Dine With Me
Marcel's Quantum Kitchen
Marcel's Quantum Kitchen
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
New York Originals
New York Originals
Big Game Bash
Big Game Bash
Barefoot Contessa
Barefoot Contessa
Avec Eric
Avec Eric
Beat Bobby Flay
Beat Bobby Flay
Howcast Food & Drink
Howcast Food & Drink
Top Secret Recipe
Top Secret Recipe
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Cool Kids Cooking
Cool Kids Cooking
BBQ Pitmasters
BBQ Pitmasters
Bakery Boss
Bakery Boss
Restaurant Stakeout
Restaurant Stakeout
Emeril Green
Emeril Green
Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
The Kitchen
The Kitchen
A Cook's Tour
A Cook's Tour
Mom's Cooking
Mom's Cooking
Good Eats
Good Eats
Emeril's Table
Emeril's Table
House of Food
House of Food
America's Test Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen
Cake
Cake
Log On & Eat with Eden Grinshpan
Log On & Eat with Eden Grinshpan
The Frugal Gourmet
The Frugal Gourmet
Bizarre Foods
Bizarre Foods
From Martha's Kitchen
From Martha's Kitchen
Edible Island
Edible Island
Foods of the Bible
Foods of the Bible
NapaStyle
NapaStyle
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
No Kitchen Required
No Kitchen Required
The Best In Australia
The Best In Australia
Martin Yan's Hong Kong
Martin Yan's Hong Kong
Southern At Heart
Southern At Heart
Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie
Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie
Everyday Italian
Everyday Italian
Epicurious
Epicurious
Summer Celebrations
Summer Celebrations
Last Call Food Brawl
Last Call Food Brawl
Deep Fried Masters
Deep Fried Masters
Chef's Table
Chef's Table
Food Network Thanksgiving
Food Network Thanksgiving
The Occasional Cook
The Occasional Cook
Giada's Weekend Getaways
Giada's Weekend Getaways
Pairings with Andrea
Pairings with Andrea
The Perfect Party
The Perfect Party
At The Chef's Table
At The Chef's Table
Extreme Chef
Extreme Chef
Dining Downunder
Dining Downunder
Real Food Real Kitchens
Real Food Real Kitchens
Feed the Beast
Feed the Beast
Life After Top Chef
Life After Top Chef
Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction
Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction
Giving You the Business
Giving You the Business
Martha Stewart Weddings
Martha Stewart Weddings
The French Chef with Julia Child
The French Chef with Julia Child
In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs
In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs
Denise Austin
Denise Austin
Heston's Feasts
Heston's Feasts
Gordon's Great Escape
Gordon's Great Escape
World Cuisine of the Black Forest
World Cuisine of the Black Forest
The Shed
The Shed
Paula's Best Dishes
Paula's Best Dishes
Bizarre Foods America
Bizarre Foods America
The Freshman Class
The Freshman Class
Guy's Grocery Games
Guy's Grocery Games
Howdini Entertaining
Howdini Entertaining
Kylie Kwong
Kylie Kwong
Rock Star Kitchen
Rock Star Kitchen
Food: Enjoy Your Meal
Food: Enjoy Your Meal
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Sandwich King
Sandwich King
Caribbean Moments
Caribbean Moments
The Cook And The Chef
The Cook And The Chef
Christmas Celebrations
Christmas Celebrations
Billy Connolly's Route 66
Billy Connolly's Route 66
Chefs A'Field
Chefs A'Field
Buy This Restaurant
Buy This Restaurant
Blythe Raw Live
Blythe Raw Live
Surfing the Menu
Surfing the Menu
Rachael Ray's Week in a Day
Rachael Ray's Week in a Day
Wolfgang Puck
Wolfgang Puck