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
The Kitchen
The Kitchen
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
MasterChef Junior
MasterChef Junior
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Cupcake Wars
Cupcake Wars
A Taste of History
A Taste of History
Bizarre Foods
Bizarre Foods
Cake Wars
Cake Wars
Chopped
Chopped
Cutthroat Kitchen
Cutthroat Kitchen
Ayesha's Homemade
Ayesha's Homemade
MasterChef
MasterChef
The Chew
The Chew
Come Dine With Me
Come Dine With Me
Cook's Country
Cook's Country
Farmhouse Rules
Farmhouse Rules
The Great British Baking Show
The Great British Baking Show
Spring Baking Championship
Spring Baking Championship
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Good Eats
Hell's Kitchen
A Chef's Life
The Kindness Diaries
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Guy's Grocery Games
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
The Next Iron Chef
Carnival Eats
Giada in Italy
Kane's Kitchen
The Great American Baking Show
Chopped Junior
Top Secret Recipe
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
Man Vs. Child: Chef Showdown
Unwrapped 2.0
Tia Mowry at Home
Halloween Wars
Restaurant Stakeout
Martha Bakes
Lidia's Italy
Rachael Ray's Week in a Day
Denise Austin
Barefoot Contessa
A Cook's Tour
Gordon's Great Escape
Paula's Best Dishes
Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home
Paula's Home Cooking
Food Fetish
Behind the Bar
Chefs A'Field
Fast Food Mania
Billy Connolly's Route 66
The Chef
Loving Spoonfuls
Chefs A'Field: Kids On The Farm
Cultural Flavors: Foods Of The World
Thirsty For...
A Bite of China
Masterchef Canada
The Farm
The Everyday Gourmet: Essential Secrets of Spices in Cooking
The Everyday Gourmet: Rediscovering the Lost Art of Cooking
The Everyday Gourmet: Baking Pastries and Desserts
Food: A Cultural Culinary History
Taste of Australia
Family Style with Chef Jeff
Mondovino: The Complete Series
When Patrick Met Kylie: A Love of Food Story
Bread - Sourdough Bread Baking
Flavours of Peru
Katie Brown Workshop
Gourmet Detective
Lidia's Kitchen
Ms. Polly's Cakes
Anthony Bourdain - No Reservations, Best of Bourdain
Two Fat Ladies
Hungry Girl
Chef's Table
30 Minute Meals
New York Live
America's Test Kitchen
Mom's Cooking
Heston's Feasts
Food
Brunch @ Bobby's
Everyday Italian
Food Network Chef Bobby Flay
The French Chef with Julia Child
Recipe.TV
From Martha's Kitchen
The American Baking Competition
Cake Boss Specials
Donut Showdown
Cooking Specials
The Shed
Knife Fight
Dinner Party Wars