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
Halloween Wars
Halloween Wars
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
MasterChef
MasterChef
Chopped
Chopped
Hell's Kitchen
Hell's Kitchen
Top Secret Recipe
Top Secret Recipe
Guy's Grocery Games
Guy's Grocery Games
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
The Great British Baking Show
The Great British Baking Show
Cake Wars
Cake Wars
Good Eats
Good Eats
Bake It Like Buddy
Bake It Like Buddy
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Cutthroat Kitchen
Cutthroat Kitchen
Beat Bobby Flay
Beat Bobby Flay
Cupcake Wars
Cupcake Wars
BBQ Pitmasters
BBQ Pitmasters
Nailed It
Nailed It
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
The Kitchen
The Kitchen
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Carnival Eats
Carnival Eats
Bizarre Foods
Bizarre Foods
Cooks vs. Cons
Cooks vs. Cons
Barefoot Contessa
Barefoot Contessa
Spring Baking Championship
Spring Baking Championship
Ramsay's Best Restaurant
Ramsay's Best Restaurant
Snack-Off
Snack-Off
Gordon's Great Escape
Gordon's Great Escape
Iron Chef Gauntlet
Iron Chef Gauntlet
The American Baking Competition
The American Baking Competition
Southern and Hungry
Southern and Hungry
Cajun Aces
Cajun Aces
Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations
Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations
The Taste
The Taste
Baked in Vermont
Baked in Vermont
Burger Land
Burger Land
Late Nite Eats
Late Nite Eats
Gordon Ramsay's 24 Hours to Hell & Back
Gordon Ramsay's 24 Hours to Hell & Back
Uncorked
Uncorked
Deep Fried Masters
Deep Fried Masters
Reality Cupcakes
Reality Cupcakes
Bakery Boss
Bakery Boss
Ginormous Food
Ginormous Food
Food: Delicious Science
Food: Delicious Science
Food: Fact or Fiction?
Food: Fact or Fiction?
All You Can Eat
All You Can Eat
Restaurant Express
Restaurant Express
Junk Food Flip
Junk Food Flip
Milk Street Television
Milk Street Television
Come Dine With Me
Come Dine With Me
Chef's Table
Chef's Table
MasterChef Junior
MasterChef Junior
Lidia's Italy
Lidia's Italy
Lidia's Kitchen
Lidia's Kitchen
Martha Bakes
Martha Bakes
Sugar Rush
Sugar Rush
Salt Fat Acid Heat
Salt Fat Acid Heat
Farmhouse Rules
Farmhouse Rules
Chopped Junior
Chopped Junior
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers
Girl Meets Farm
Girl Meets Farm
Recipe.TV
Recipe.TV
The Chew
The Chew
Mom's Cooking
Mom's Cooking
Brunch @ Bobby's
Brunch @ Bobby's
Cook's Country
Cook's Country
America's Test Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen
Halloween Wars: Hayride of Horror
Halloween Wars: Hayride of Horror
Zumbo's Just Desserts
Zumbo's Just Desserts
Best Cake Wins
Best Cake Wins
The Bobby and Damaris Show
The Bobby and Damaris Show
Martha Stewart's Cooking School
Martha Stewart's Cooking School
Positively Paula
Positively Paula
Raj Rasoi Aur Anya Kahaniyan
Raj Rasoi Aur Anya Kahaniyan
Ayesha's Home Kitchen
Ayesha's Home Kitchen
Ugly Delicious
Ugly Delicious
Gourmet Detective
Gourmet Detective
The Zimmern List
The Zimmern List
Two Fat Ladies
Two Fat Ladies
The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell
The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell
The Supersizers Go
The Supersizers Go
Million Pound Menu
Million Pound Menu
Holiday Baking Championship
Holiday Baking Championship
Rotten
Rotten
Food Exposed with Nelufar Hedayat
Food Exposed with Nelufar Hedayat
The Great American Baking Show
The Great American Baking Show
Knife Fight
Knife Fight
BBQ with Franklin
BBQ with Franklin
The French Chef with Julia Child
The French Chef with Julia Child
Baked
Baked
Food Network Thanksgiving
Food Network Thanksgiving
Lords and Ladles
Lords and Ladles
Cooking on High
Cooking on High
The Next Iron Chef
The Next Iron Chef
Spice of Life with Bal Arneson
Spice of Life with Bal Arneson
Sweet Genius
Sweet Genius
Ridiculous Cakes
Ridiculous Cakes
Poh and Co.
Poh and Co.
Cake Boss Specials
Cake Boss Specials