Culinary programming has had a revival in recent years, especially with popular streaming services such as The Food Network. There’s always something to watch, whether it’s competition shows, educational programs, or a series simply about watching people consume tremendous amounts of food. And because these shows are all well-suited to marathon viewing, they’ve become the go-to spots for relaxing television. So settle in for a weekend of food and fun with Thecookingmovie’s pick of the finest shows on The Food Network below.
Best Food Network shows – Thecookingmovie’s recommendations
Food Network didn’t develop the “stand and stir” approach, but they did a fantastic job of popularizing it. For many, their afternoon programming block of straight-ahead cooking shows, in which a host would stand in front of the camera and prepare a meal, walking us through each step of the process, not only introduced us to new dishes, ingredients, and personalities, but also demonstrated that the skills required to cook a great meal were not beyond our reach. In a nutshell, it was comfort food on television.
To be included in our list of best Food Network shows, a show had to be broadcast exclusively on the Food Network, rather than being produced by the BBC and then picked up by Food Network. We went back to the beginning of their cooking shows to ensure that our list covered a complete cross-section of their programming. So keep reading to find out which 10 cooking shows we think are the best that Food Network has ever produced, as well as to take a journey down memory lane.
Top 10 best Food Network shows to watch and relax
1. East Meets West
Chef Ming Tsai is an Asian cooking magician, and on this Food Network TV show, he not only exhibited his extensive knowledge of Asian cuisine, but he also flawlessly combined Asian and Western techniques and dishes into something genuinely unique and entertaining. His meals, which ranged from udon seafood cioppino to shepherd’s pie with Asian braised duck and Chinese-style smoked suckling pig with garlic-bacon grits, weren’t simply a jumble; they were well-thought-out and frequently ingeniously excellent. Chefs like Masaharu Morimoto and Mario Batali paid visits on occasion, which was the frosting on the cake.
2. Tyler’s Ultimate
Tyler Florence’s “Tyler’s Ultimate,” which debuted in 2003, combined the best of both worlds: travel and stand-and-stir cookery. Tyler travels the world in quest of the origins of a certain meal, as well as other versions, before returning to his kitchen and preparing a definitive version based on what he learned. Each episode of this Food Network TV show focused on a different classic cuisine, such as sole almondine or chicken & dumplings. Although the travel portion was removed for a period and the show no longer airs, it was wonderful to see Florence in his element, cooking masterpieces.
“Remember, life is a question of taste,” David Rosengarten, gracefully poised at the end of each episode of this show, would urge viewers after sampling his meal and taking a glass of wine. “Taste,” which lasted for eight years and was one of the best Food Network shows, was shamelessly highbrow, cultured, and refined. Long before Alton Brown, each episode had a theme, such as “lobster,” and Rosengarten wasn’t hesitant to offer his encyclopedic knowledge of each dish and component in a fun and instructive way. This show, which was “devoted to the ideals of excellent taste in food and wine,” was the pinnacle of the network’s highbrow beginnings, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of.
4. Cooking Live
Sara Moulton did a live cooking show while taking calls virtually every weekday from 1997 to 2003, which would be regarded nearly impossible today. Her straightforward approach to classic recipes, self-deprecating humor, and ability to appear to know the answer to any question put her way drew thousands of fans. She never spoke down to the audience and always maintained her cool while cooking delectable-looking food, entertaining, and educating viewers on live television.
5. Too Hot Tamales
Susan Feniger and Mary-Sue Milliken hosted what was possibly Food Network’s most shamelessly delightful straight-ahead cooking show. Between 1995 and 1999, the two chefs (and longtime friends) had a blast demonstrating their unique brand of modern Mexican cooking, simultaneously entertaining and educating viewers about the nuances of Oaxacan mole, cactus paddle tacos, and other recipes they picked up while road-tripping through Mexico. Border Grill, one of the country’s most acclaimed Mexican restaurants, is now run by the cooks.
6. Barefoot Contessa
Turn on an episode of “Barefoot Contessa,” which has been on the air since 2002 and become one of the best Food Network shows, and watch presenter Ina Garten prepare a simple and wonderful multi-course meal for her friends and husband, Jeffrey, to relax while simultaneously feeling resentful of those who spend their days entertaining in the Hamptons. Garten simplifies complex recipes using fresh, seasonal ingredients, with the purpose of demonstrating that you can entertain and cook a delicious meal at the same time. Tablescaping and entertaining hints complete the package.
7. Cupcake Wars
Cupcake Wars is an American reality competition series that began on the cable television network Food Network on December 27, 2009. Justin Willman hosted the show, which focuses on crafting distinctive and professional-looking cupcakes, while Jonathan Bennett later took over as host. This food show on TV is similar to the popular Chopped cooking show, which airs on the same network, in that it begins with four contestants who are eliminated one by one in three rounds, with the winning team receiving $10,000 and the chance to be featured in a future event. A chef and a sous-chef make up each team.
8. 30 Minute Meals
“30 Minute Meals” was a breath of fresh air for a network searching for a new twist on a weary format when it premiered in fall 2001. Rachael Ray’s bubbly personality drew criticism for her lack of professional training, but her show’s idea – making a multi-course meal in basically real-time — as well as her upbeat, youthful demeanor, won her thousands of admirers. Ray is a true superstar now, and it’s all because to her first Food Network TV show, which set the tone for the network’s future in many ways.
9. Molto Mario
In 1996, when this no-frills culinary show quietly reached the airwaves, American audiences were first introduced to legendary chef Mario Batali. Batali takes viewers on a thorough tour of Italy over the course of 78 episodes, investigating the cuisines of each individual region (calling them out on a giant map) with an audience that still associate’s Italian food with what’s served at red-sauce establishments. Batali never spoke down to his audience and effortlessly exhibited his extensive knowledge of all aspects of Italian cooking while also displaying his outgoing personality and dry wit.
10. Good Eats
The innovative “Good Eats,” developed and presented by Alton Brown, a former cinematographer who went to cooking school and decided to launch his own program after being dissatisfied with the cooking shows that were already running, was the best Food Network cooking show in history. Each of the 244 episodes and eight specials focused on a single subject, ranging from chocolate chip cookies to pulled pork, eggnog, and pad Thai, and he’d go into the science and procedures behind the dish’s flawless preparation over the duration of the show.
Which is your favorite Food Network TV show on the list? Since the beginning, Food Network shows have brought some of the best chefs and food personalities into our homes, not just teaching us how to cook delicious dishes but also amusing us. And if you want to learn more recipes, why don’t you read more articles about the best food shows of all time on Thecookingmovies?