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
Holiday Baking Championship
Holiday Baking Championship
Chopped
Chopped
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Come Dine With Me
Come Dine With Me
Guy's Grocery Games
Guy's Grocery Games
MasterChef
MasterChef
Cutthroat Kitchen
Cutthroat Kitchen
Baked
Baked
Beat Bobby Flay
Beat Bobby Flay
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Cake Wars
Cake Wars
Good Eats: Reloaded
Good Eats: Reloaded
The Great British Baking Show
The Great British Baking Show
Halloween Wars
Halloween Wars
The Great American Baking Show
The Great American Baking Show
Hell's Kitchen
Hell's Kitchen
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
MasterChef Junior
MasterChef Junior
Top Secret Recipe
Top Secret Recipe
Cupcake Wars
Cupcake Wars
Gordon Ramsay's 24 Hours to Hell & Back
Gordon Ramsay's 24 Hours to Hell & Back
Bake It Like Buddy
Bake It Like Buddy
Nailed It
Nailed It
Chef's Table
Chef's Table
Christmas Cookie Challenge
Christmas Cookie Challenge
Good Eats
Good Eats
Iron Chef Gauntlet
Iron Chef Gauntlet
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Barefoot Contessa
Barefoot Contessa
The Kitchen
The Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen
Cooks vs. Cons
Cooks vs. Cons
Girl Meets Farm
Girl Meets Farm
Bizarre Foods
Bizarre Foods
Man's Greatest Food
Man's Greatest Food
Spring Baking Championship
Spring Baking Championship
American Diner Revival
American Diner Revival
Giada's Holiday Handbook
Giada's Holiday Handbook
Carnival Eats
Carnival Eats
Chopped Junior
Chopped Junior
Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern
Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern
Rotten
Rotten
Family Style with Chef Jeff
Family Style with Chef Jeff
Man Vs. Child: Chef Showdown
Man Vs. Child: Chef Showdown
Late Nite Eats
Late Nite Eats
The Farm
The Farm
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Raj Rasoi Aur Anya Kahaniyan
Raj Rasoi Aur Anya Kahaniyan
Ugly Delicious
Ugly Delicious
Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations
Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations
A Taste of History
A Taste of History
The Homecoming
The Homecoming
Baked in Vermont
Baked in Vermont
Thieves, Inc.
Thieves, Inc.
Buy This Restaurant
Buy This Restaurant
Bite Club (2018)
Bite Club (2018)
The Chew
The Chew
All-Star Academy
All-Star Academy
Farmhouse Rules
Farmhouse Rules
Incredible Edible America with the Dunhams
Incredible Edible America with the Dunhams
Fast Food Mania
Fast Food Mania
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
The Zimmern List
The Zimmern List
Hungry Investors
Hungry Investors
Gordon's Great Escape
Gordon's Great Escape
Tia Mowry at Home
Tia Mowry at Home
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Craziest Restaurants in America
Craziest Restaurants in America
Southern and Hungry
Southern and Hungry
The F Word
The F Word
Guy & Hunter's European Vacation
Guy & Hunter's European Vacation
Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking
Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking
America's Best Cook
America's Best Cook
Ludo Bites America
Ludo Bites America
Sweet Genius
Sweet Genius
Giada in Italy
Giada in Italy
Deep Fried Masters
Deep Fried Masters
The American Baking Competition
The American Baking Competition
The Next Iron Chef
The Next Iron Chef
Martha Stewart's Cooking School
Martha Stewart's Cooking School
Lidia's Italy
Lidia's Italy
Bizarre Foods America
Bizarre Foods America
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Crave
Crave
BBQ Pitmasters
BBQ Pitmasters
MasterChef Celebrity Showdown
MasterChef Celebrity Showdown
Denise Austin
Denise Austin
Martha Bakes
Martha Bakes
Rachael Ray's Week in a Day
Rachael Ray's Week in a Day
The Bobby and Damaris Show
The Bobby and Damaris Show
Unwrapped 2.0
Unwrapped 2.0
Martha Stewart Weddings
Martha Stewart Weddings
Guy's Ranch Kitchen
Guy's Ranch Kitchen
Wedding Cake Championship
Wedding Cake Championship
Milk Street Television
Milk Street Television
Food Network Chef Bobby Flay
Food Network Chef Bobby Flay
Everyday Italian
Everyday Italian
Culinary Genius
Culinary Genius
Cook's Country
Cook's Country
Positively Paula
Positively Paula