Cooking Show

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A program devoted to the preparation and presentation of food, occasionally venturing into nutritional advice in the process. Recipes — sometimes but not always on a theme, or collected as part of a larger meal — are presented by demonstration.

The chefs who host such shows can become major celebrities — Julia Child was one of the first, and more recently Wolfgang Puck and Emeril Lagasse have hosted shows that have enjoyed widespread popularity.

Examples of Cooking Show include:
  • Americas Test Kitchen and Cook's Country taste-test and refine recipes until they have one presentable for the viewer. Like Good Eats, they often explain the science behind their cooking methods. They also rate commercially available ingredients and kitchen equipment. They have a handful of chefs who present the recipes on screen while the eternally skeptical Chris Kimball barrages them with clarifying questions on behalf of the audience.
  • Barefoot Contessa , with Ina Garten.
  • Emeril Lagasse , the flagship chef of Food Network before Rachael Ray came along, had two shows: The Essence Of Emeril and Emeril Live, the latter of which has since been moved to the Fine Living Network (Food Network's sibling) in reruns.
  • The French Chef, featuring Julia Child.
  • The Frugal Gourmet with Jeffrey Smith.
  • Future Food on Planet Green.
  • The Galloping Gourmet with Graham Kerr, and later The Graham Kerr Show when he revised his recipes on healthier lines.
  • Good Eats with Alton Brown provides a unique perspective — something along the lines of an engineer or scientist's cooking show, as produced by the cast of Saturday Night Live.
    • Brown, a former television producer, became a chef and started his own cooking show specifically because he felt that most cooking shows airing at the time weren't giving their audience enough information. These shows would tell the audience what to do in a recipe, but not why they were doing it. Hence Brown's emphasis on the physics and chemistry of cooking.
  • Great British Menu, a competition for professional chefs.
  • Great Chefs takes an unusual approach to this genre by visiting a large number of professional chefs (typically three per episode), in their own restaurant's kitchen, each preparing a meal of their choice with little explanation beyond what you'd find in a recipe.
  • Iron Chef, also known as Ryori no Tetsujin, is a hybrid Cooking Show/gladiatorial combat program, as is its spinoff (as of early 2005) Iron Chef America. It has notably avoided the previously mentioned Cooking Show trope since before many of these shows even aired.
  • Louisiana Cookin' is perhaps best remembered for Justin Wilson's humorously folksy stories, thick Cajun accent, and Catch Phrase -- "I gar-on-tee".
  • My Drunk Kitchen: Comedic Web Original show about attempting to cook while intoxicated.
  • Rachael Ray's 30 Minute Meals. It shows cooking in Real Time without preparing things in advance, avoiding a common Cooking Show trope.
    • Or rather, it pretends to. Most of the menus Ray (a non-chef) presents actually take up to an hour to prepare if you're worried about things like not giving your dinner guests food poisoning.
  • Yan Can Cook offered a Chinese style.
  • Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee, which has the stated gimmick of preparing things that allegedly taste like made from scratch by using boxed mixes and pre-made stuff. It gained infamy for its excessive product placement and the downright bizarre concoctions and decorations its host ended showing on screen.
  • Countless UK shows with Delia Smith, who begat Nigella Lawson, Gary Rhodes, Rick Stein, and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall to list just a few.
    • Of course before Delia Smith there was Fanny Craddock. Going back even further, BBC TV's first Christmas Day [dead link] in 1936 included a demonstration of turkey carving.
    • And Heston Blumenthal, Gordon Ramsay, Sophie Dahl (yes, that one), Ainsley Harriott, Gary Rhodes, Rick Stein, Keith Floyd, Jamie Oliver... The list is enormous. Celebrity chefs are big business in the UK.
  • Food Network was devoted to Cooking Shows and Travelogue Shows based around food. It's since ditched many of the former in favor of numerous competitive Reality Shows, especially during Prime Time.
    • ElGourmet.com, its Spanish-speaking rival, has some shows devoted to wine and lifestyle, but it's also filled with a lot of cookie-cutter cooking shows.
    • Travel Channel, its main American rival, also has a lot of shows dedicated to wine, food lifestyle, and just food in general. Yeah, the Travel Channel.
    • Scripps Networks, who owns Food Network, has revamped their "Fine Living Network" into Cooking Channel, as Food Network has been diversifying its programming as of late.
  • Numerous YouTube channels dedicated to cooking. Several of them have interesting gimmicks:
    • Cooking With Dog, where a chef cooks Japanese food accompanied by an adorable poodle named Francis who acts as a host.
    • Tasty, an spin-off of BuzzFeed, presents easy recipes in a very stylish, very short format (usually two minutes for video) that make them very shareable in social networks like Facebook and Instagram. Often has compilations of recipes under the same theme (like "5 no-bake cheesecakes", "3-course date dinner" or "7 snacks for sports day"), and videos where they show how they developed and filmed their recipes. One of its sub-series is Tasty 101 where they teach the basics of different recipes and dishes, which is very indebted to Good Eats. The codifier of the "short recipe video for easy sharing".
    • Feast of Fiction, dedicated to defictionalize foods from TV shows, games and movies. The trope codifier for all the channels making replicas of famous fictional dishes.
    • How To Cook That, with Australian pastry chef Ann Reardon, dedicated to cook extremely interesting desserts. Became popular by her series on making giant replicas of chocolate candy bars and cakes in the shape of icons of famous internet services.
    • Magazine Bon Appetite has its own Youtube channel, which among travelogues and videos of kids trying food, has several series of cooking shows. The most interesting are the ones where pastry chefs try to do gourmet versions of commercial snacks.
    • The English Heritage Youtube channel has "The Victorian Way", where we see Mrs. Crocombe, a head cook from a aristocratic family from the Victorian age, make dishes of that era with the methods used back then.
    • In the same vein, the channel of Jas Towsends presents recipes from the XVIII century, cooked in the way of the XVIII century.
    • La Cocina del Pirata, (in Spanish), a hilarious cooking show where the host dresses as a pirate, cooks both defictionalized recipes and replicas from dishes of famous restaurants, and peppers his recipes with memes and comedy references.
    • Grandpa Kitchen, showing an Indian grandpa cooking enormous amounts of food with just a wok and a big pot, to feed his town's orphans.
    • There are an increasing number of Asian pastry chefs YouTube channels (generally Japanese, albeit Korean and Chinese have joined) doing videos where they prepare desserts without a voiceover explanation and, in some cases, without background music.