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
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
MasterChef Junior
MasterChef Junior
I'll Have What Phil's Having
I'll Have What Phil's Having
Lidia's Kitchen
Lidia's Kitchen
Chopped
Chopped
Baked in Vermont
Baked in Vermont
Hell's Kitchen
Hell's Kitchen
Iron Chef Gauntlet
Iron Chef Gauntlet
The Chew
The Chew
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Cook's Country
Cook's Country
Food Forward
Food Forward
Paula's Home Cooking
Paula's Home Cooking
MasterChef
MasterChef
Cutthroat Kitchen
Cutthroat Kitchen
Cupcake Wars
Cupcake Wars
BBQ Pitmasters
BBQ Pitmasters
Beat Bobby Flay
Beat Bobby Flay
Bizarre Foods
Bizarre Foods
Cake Wars
Cake Wars
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Spring Baking Championship
Spring Baking Championship
Come Dine With Me
Come Dine With Me
The Great British Baking Show
The Great British Baking Show
Guy's Grocery Games
Guy's Grocery Games
Cooks vs. Cons
Cooks vs. Cons
Ramsay's Best Restaurant
Ramsay's Best Restaurant
Bizarre Foods America
Bizarre Foods America
Best Baker in America
Best Baker in America
Ridiculous Cakes
Ridiculous Cakes
Chef's Table
Chef's Table
Patti LaBelle's Place
Patti LaBelle's Place
Holiday Baking Championship
Holiday Baking Championship
Patricia Heaton Parties
Patricia Heaton Parties
Sweet Genius
Sweet Genius
Food Porn
Food Porn
America's Test Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen
The Zimmern List
The Zimmern List
Snack-Off
Snack-Off
Giada in Italy
Giada in Italy
Ayesha's Home Kitchen
Ayesha's Home Kitchen
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
Texas Cake House
Texas Cake House
Man Vs. Child: Chef Showdown
Man Vs. Child: Chef Showdown
Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations
Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations
A Chef's Life
A Chef's Life
Donut Showdown
Donut Showdown
Chopped Junior
Chopped Junior
Gordon's Great Escape
Gordon's Great Escape
All You Can Eat
All You Can Eat
Dish
Dish
Martha Bakes
Martha Bakes
Good Eats
Good Eats
BBQ with Franklin
BBQ with Franklin
Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking
Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking
Paula's Best Dishes
Paula's Best Dishes
Barefoot Contessa
Barefoot Contessa
A Taste of History
A Taste of History
At The Chef's Table
At The Chef's Table
Worth It
Worth It
Farmhouse Rules
Farmhouse Rules
Confidential
Confidential
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Positively Paula
Positively Paula
A Bite of China
A Bite of China
The Great American Baking Show
The Great American Baking Show
Lidia's Italy
Lidia's Italy
Taste of Australia
Taste of Australia
Gastronomad: Cooking With Style
Gastronomad: Cooking With Style
Jack of All Tastes
Jack of All Tastes
Fast Food Mania
Fast Food Mania
It's Easy To Be Vegan: A Step-by-Step Guide To A Healthy Vegan Lifestyle And Plant Based Eating For The Whole Family, Be
It's Easy To Be Vegan: A Step-by-Step Guide To A Healthy Vegan Lifestyle And Plant Based Eating For The Whole Family, Be
Gastro Blast
Gastro Blast
Flavours of Peru
Flavours of Peru
Great Chefs - Great Cities
Great Chefs - Great Cities
Obsev Food - On The Rocks
Obsev Food - On The Rocks
K-Pop Tasty Road
K-Pop Tasty Road
The Next Iron Chef
The Next Iron Chef
Food Fetish
Food Fetish
Behind the Bar
Behind the Bar
The Farm
The Farm
Cultural Flavors: Foods Of The World
Cultural Flavors: Foods Of The World
Loving Spoonfuls
Loving Spoonfuls
Real Food Real Kitchens
Real Food Real Kitchens
When Patrick Met Kylie: A Love of Food Story
When Patrick Met Kylie: A Love of Food Story
Mondovino: The Complete Series
Mondovino: The Complete Series
The Chef
The Chef
Chefs A'Field
Chefs A'Field
Jacques Pepin Celebrates!
Jacques Pepin Celebrates!
The Everyday Gourmet: The Joy of Mediterranean Cooking
The Everyday Gourmet: The Joy of Mediterranean Cooking
The Everyday Gourmet: Essential Secrets of Spices in Cooking
The Everyday Gourmet: Essential Secrets of Spices in Cooking
The Everyday Gourmet: Rediscovering the Lost Art of Cooking
The Everyday Gourmet: Rediscovering the Lost Art of Cooking
The Everyday Gourmet: Baking Pastries and Desserts
The Everyday Gourmet: Baking Pastries and Desserts
Thirsty For...
Thirsty For...
Bread - Sourdough Bread Baking
Bread - Sourdough Bread Baking
Family Style with Chef Jeff
Family Style with Chef Jeff
Top Secret Recipe
Top Secret Recipe
Food: A Cultural Culinary History
Food: A Cultural Culinary History