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
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
MasterChef
MasterChef
The Chew
The Chew
Bizarre Foods
Bizarre Foods
Barefoot Contessa
Barefoot Contessa
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Cutthroat Kitchen
Cutthroat Kitchen
Hell's Kitchen
Hell's Kitchen
Holiday Baking Championship
Holiday Baking Championship
Beat Bobby Flay
Beat Bobby Flay
Best Baker in America
Best Baker in America
Zumbo's Just Desserts
Zumbo's Just Desserts
Chopped
Chopped
Cupcake Wars
Cupcake Wars
Farmhouse Rules
Farmhouse Rules
Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations
Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations
Good Eats
Good Eats
Carnival Eats
Carnival Eats
MasterChef Junior
Cake Wars
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Come Dine With Me
Cook's Country
Top Secret Recipe
The Great British Baking Show
Tia Mowry at Home
Family Ingredients
Mom's Cooking
Iron Chef Showdown
Guy's Ranch Kitchen
Halloween Wars
Guy's Grocery Games
The Bobby and Damaris Show
Southern and Hungry
I Hart Food
Christmas Cookie Challenge
Big Bad BBQ Brawl
Man's Greatest Food
Late Nite Eats
Iron Chef Gauntlet
The Next Iron Chef
Sweet Genius
Food: Delicious Science
Food: Fact or Fiction?
Chopped Junior
Food Porn
Restaurant Express
A Taste of History
Lidia's Italy
Great Chefs - Great Cities
The Farm
Paula's Home Cooking
Martha Bakes
Masterchef Canada
Recipe.TV
Giada's Holiday Handbook
Martha Stewart's Cooking School
Taste of Australia
Fast Food Mania
BBQ with Franklin
Gastro Blast
Flavours of Peru
Obsev Food - On The Rocks
I'll Have What Phil's Having
Food Fetish
Behind the Bar
Lidia's Kitchen
Cultural Flavors: Foods Of The World
Loving Spoonfuls
Real Food Real Kitchens
When Patrick Met Kylie: A Love of Food Story
Food Network Chef Guy Fieri
Mondovino: The Complete Series
Chopped: Alton's Challenge
Billy Connolly's Route 66
New York Live
The Chef
Chefs A'Field
Food Forward
Jacques Pepin Celebrates!
A Cook's Tour
America's Test Kitchen
The Everyday Gourmet: Essential Secrets of Spices in Cooking
At The Chef's Table
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
Nigellissima
Food: A Cultural Culinary History
Food For Thought
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
Food Network Thanksgiving
Chef's Table