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
The Kitchen
The Kitchen
MasterChef
MasterChef
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Cutthroat Kitchen
Cutthroat Kitchen
Cook's Country
Cook's Country
Ayesha's Homemade
Ayesha's Homemade
Cake Wars
Cake Wars
MasterChef Junior
MasterChef Junior
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
The Great British Baking Show
The Great British Baking Show
Come Dine With Me
Come Dine With Me
Chopped
Chopped
Barefoot Contessa
Barefoot Contessa
Bizarre Foods
Bizarre Foods
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Chopped Junior
Chopped Junior
Beat Bobby Flay
Beat Bobby Flay
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Hell's Kitchen
Hell's Kitchen
Giada in Italy
Gordon's Great Escape
Ginormous Food
Guy's Grocery Games
Cupcake Wars
Gordon Ramsay's F Word
Iron Chef Gauntlet
Good Eats
Man Vs. Child: Chef Showdown
The Chew
BBQ Pitmasters
Cooks vs. Cons
Spring Baking Championship
Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern
Restaurant Stakeout
Tia Mowry at Home
Carnival Eats
A Taste of History
The F Word
Food Porn
30 Minute Meals
Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations
Denise Austin
The Great American Baking Show
Martha Bakes
Farmhouse Rules
Taste of Australia
Fast Food Mania
Flavours of Peru
Obsev Food - On The Rocks
Food Fetish
The Farm
Cultural Flavors: Foods Of The World
Paula's Best Dishes
Loving Spoonfuls
When Patrick Met Kylie: A Love of Food Story
Mondovino: The Complete Series
Billy Connolly's Route 66
The Chef
Chefs A'Field
America's Test Kitchen
The Everyday Gourmet: Essential Secrets of Spices in Cooking
At The Chef's Table
Paula's Home Cooking
The Everyday Gourmet: Rediscovering the Lost Art of Cooking
A Bite of China
The Everyday Gourmet: Baking Pastries and Desserts
Thirsty For...
Bread - Sourdough Bread Baking
Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home
Family Style with Chef Jeff
Food: A Cultural Culinary History
Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction
Masterchef Canada
Lidia's Italy
Moltissimo
Sweet Genius
Mom's Cooking
Hungry Girl
Gordon Ramsay: Cookalong Live
Samurai Gourmet
Behind the Bar
A Cook's Tour
The Next Iron Chef
Food For Thought
No Reservations
The American Baking Competition
TV Dinners
Dinner at Tiffani's
Recipe.TV
The Frugal Gourmet
Mumbai Railway
Heartland Table
In Defense of Food
Cake Boss Specials
Big Bad BBQ Brawl
Snack-Off
Recipe Rehab
Extra Virgin Americana
Martin Yan's Hong Kong