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
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Chopped
Chopped
MasterChef
MasterChef
The Kitchen
The Kitchen
Gordon Ramsay's 24 Hours to Hell & Back
Gordon Ramsay's 24 Hours to Hell & Back
Cutthroat Kitchen
Cutthroat Kitchen
The Chew
The Chew
Guy's Grocery Games
Guy's Grocery Games
MasterChef Junior
MasterChef Junior
Baked in Vermont
Baked in Vermont
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
BBQ Pitmasters
BBQ Pitmasters
Carnival Eats
Carnival Eats
Cupcake Wars
Cupcake Wars
Hell's Kitchen
Hell's Kitchen
Spring Baking Championship
Spring Baking Championship
Cake Wars
Cake Wars
Beat Bobby Flay
Beat Bobby Flay
Chef's Table
Chef's Table
Nailed It
Nailed It
Bizarre Foods
Bizarre Foods
Ayesha's Home Kitchen
Ayesha's Home Kitchen
The Great British Baking Show
The Great British Baking Show
Good Eats
Good Eats
Giada on the Beach
Giada on the Beach
The Zimmern List
The Zimmern List
Barefoot Contessa
Barefoot Contessa
Lidia's Kitchen
Lidia's Kitchen
Dessert Games
Dessert Games
Iron Chef Gauntlet
Iron Chef Gauntlet
Cooks vs. Cons
Cooks vs. Cons
Top Secret Recipe
Top Secret Recipe
Ridiculous Cakes
Ridiculous Cakes
Favorite Foods USA
Favorite Foods USA
A Cook's Tour
A Cook's Tour
Snack-Off
Snack-Off
The F Word
The F Word
America's Test Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen
Lords and Ladles
Lords and Ladles
The Next Iron Chef
The Next Iron Chef
Man Vs. Child: Chef Showdown
Man Vs. Child: Chef Showdown
Farmhouse Rules
Farmhouse Rules
Best Baker in America
Best Baker in America
Food Porn
Food Porn
Holiday Baking Championship
Holiday Baking Championship
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
Pressure Cooker
Pressure Cooker
Ayesha's Homemade
Ayesha's Homemade
A Chef's Life
A Chef's Life
Love at First Bite
Love at First Bite
Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations
Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations
The Ice Cream Show
The Ice Cream Show
Restaurant Stakeout
Restaurant Stakeout
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Heartland Table
Heartland Table
American Diner Revival
American Diner Revival
Craziest Restaurants in America
Craziest Restaurants in America
I Hart Food
I Hart Food
Patti LaBelle's Place
Patti LaBelle's Place
Uncorked
Uncorked
Frankenfood
Frankenfood
Unwrapped 2.0
Unwrapped 2.0
Man's Greatest Food
Man's Greatest Food
Fast Food Mania
Fast Food Mania
Dinner at Tiffani's
Dinner at Tiffani's
In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs
In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs
Midnight Feast
Midnight Feast
A Taste of History
A Taste of History
Come Dine With Me
Come Dine With Me
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Confidential
Confidential
Martha Bakes
Martha Bakes
Cook's Country
Cook's Country
Gordon's Great Escape
Gordon's Great Escape
Lidia's Italy
Lidia's Italy
Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern
Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern
Gourmet Detective
Gourmet Detective
Milk Street Television
Milk Street Television
Recipe.TV
Recipe.TV
The Great American Baking Show
The Great American Baking Show
Food For Thought
Food For Thought
Guy's Big Project
Guy's Big Project
Food Network Star: Comeback Kitchen
Food Network Star: Comeback Kitchen
Zumbo's Just Desserts
Zumbo's Just Desserts
Everyday Italian
Everyday Italian
Flip My Food with Chef Jeff
Flip My Food with Chef Jeff
Martha Stewart Weddings
Martha Stewart Weddings
Chopped Junior
Chopped Junior
Rotten
Rotten
Crazy Delicious
Crazy Delicious
Ramsay's Best Restaurant
Ramsay's Best Restaurant
Somebody Feed Phil
Somebody Feed Phil
Sweet Smarts
Sweet Smarts
Sweet Genius
Sweet Genius
Martha Stewart's Cooking School
Martha Stewart's Cooking School
The Supersizers Go
The Supersizers Go
Positively Paula
Positively Paula
No Reservations
No Reservations