Food preparation show

A cook from the US Navy performs on a local TV station.

A cooking show, cookery show[1] or cooking programme is a television genre that presents food preparation, often in a restaurant kitchen or on a studio set, or at the host’s personal home. Typically the show’s host, often a celebrity chef, prepares one or more dishes over the course of an episode, taking the viewing audience through the food’s inspiration, preparation, and stages of cooking.

Cooking shows have been a popular staple of daytime TV programming since the earliest days of television.[2] They are generally very inexpensive to produce, making them an economically easy way for a TV station to fill a half-hour (or sometimes 60-minute) time slot.

A number of cooking shows have run for many seasons, especially when they are sponsored by local TV stations or by public broadcasting. Many of the more popular cooking shows have had flamboyant hosts whose unique personalities have made them into celebrities.


  • 1 Genres
  • 2 History
    • 2.1 United Kingdom
    • 2.2 United States
    • 2.3 Australia
    • 2.4 France
    • 2.5 Germany
    • 2.6 Japan
  • 3 Popular culture
  • 4 See also
  • 5 References
  • 6 Further reading


Many cooking shows are oriented towards instructional material. Some additionally focus on showcasing the personal lives of the host, while some blend the genre with a talk show format. There are also reality competitions within the genre (such as Iron Chef, MasterChef, and others), where contestants are instructed to prepare meals within specific requirements under a time limit, for evaluation by a panel of judges (which can include celebrity chefs and other notable personalities).

Cooking shows such as Top Chef and MasterChef are geared towards competition. There are also reality cooking shows such as Chopped and Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Chefs A’ Field and Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat are documentary cooking shows.


Until the 1940s, most cooking shows were performed on the radio.[3] The first radio cooking show in the United States, The Betty Crocker Cooking School of the Air, debuted in 1924 and featured the fictional character Betty Crocker.[4]

United Kingdom[edit]

One of the first television cooking shows, Cook’s Night Out, aired on the BBC on January 21, 1937.[5][6][7] Marcel Boulestin, who became famous in the English-speaking world for his cookery books on French cuisine, demonstrated the preparation of an omelet as part of the 15-minute program.[5][7]

United States[edit]

In 1940, Sunday Evening Supper was produced by Edward Padula for the NBC station W2XBS.[1] I Love to Eat was a live television series hosted by James Beard that aired on NBC in 1946–47. In 1963, The French Chef was launched, and was one of the first cooking shows in the United States. It was hosted by Julia Child, author of the cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

In 1973, the cooking show Frugal Gourmet was launched on KTPS-TV, and was hosted by Jeff Smith, a chef from Seattle.[8]

In 1993, Food Network launched as a cable channel devoted primarily to cooking shows and other programming relating to food.


The Chef Presents, one of the first cooking shows in Australia, ran from 1957 until 1959 and was hosted by Willi Koeppen.[9][10] The Jean Bowring Show, a cooking show aimed at women, aired from 1957 to 1960.[10]


In 1953, Jean d’Arcy, a French television director, was inspired by a cooking show in Germany and brought the idea to France, resulting in the debut of the show Les Recettes de M. X (English: “The Recipes of Mr. X”).[11][12]

Les Recettes de M. X, hosted by comedian Georges Adet, was the first cooking show to air in France, starting in 1953 and ending a year later.[12] Art et magie de la cuisine (English: “Art and Magic of the Kitchen”), hosted by chef Raymond Oliver, was another one of the first cooking shows to air in France, running from 1954 to 1967.[13]


On February 20, 1953, Clemens Wilmenrod bittet zu Tisch (English: “Clemens Wilmenrod Asks for Dinner”), the first cooking show in Germany, was broadcast, with television chef Clemens Wilmenrod presenting recipes for foods such as Rumtopf and Toast Hawaii.[14]


In 1953, Mikaku no Shiori (Japanese: 味覚のしおり), one of the first cooking shows in Japan, was broadcast, with Hatsuko Kuroda presenting chicken salad.[15][16]

Popular culture[edit]

Sue Ann Nivens, a character played by Betty White in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, is the host of WJM’s The Happy Homemaker, a fictional cooking show. In the episode “The Falcon and the D’ohman” from The Simpsons, Marge daydreams that she is a contestant on the cooking show Master Chef. In the Family Guy episode “Pilling Them Softly”, Quagmire starts his own cooking show called “Quagmire’s Kitchen”. Futurama’s Bender idolizes Elizar, a Neptunian Chef, restaurateur, and host of “Iron Cook”. Elizar is a parody of Emeril Lagasse.

See also[edit]

  • List of cooking shows
  • Celebrity chef
  • Food reality television


  • ^ a b Robertson, Patrick (2011). Robertson’s Book of Firsts: Who Did What for the First Time. ISBN 9781608197385. Retrieved November 1, cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:”””””””‘””‘”}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-free a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a{background:url(“//”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url(“//”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url(“//”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:url(“//”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
  • ^ “TV Cooking Shows: The Evolution of a GenreKathleen Collins / John Jay College, CUNY – Flow”.
  • ^ Fetini, Alyssa (May 14, 2009). “The Evolution of TV Cooking”. Time. Retrieved August 7, 2018. … cooking programs, which began on the radio and transitioned to television in the 1940s …
  • ^ “Agnes White Tizard”. Valley Center History Museum. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  • ^ a b Novy, Beatrix (January 21, 2012). “Fünf-Gänge-Menü in der Röhre”. Deutschlandfunk (in German). Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  • ^ “21. Januar 1937 – Erster Auftritt eines Fernsehkochs”. WDR (in German). January 21, 2012. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  • ^ a b “BBC Genome”. BBC. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  • ^ Blake, Judith (July 10, 2004). “Jeff Smith, 1939 – 2004: “Frugal Gourmet” was popular on PBS”. The Seattle Times. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  • ^ “Whatever happened to Willi Koeppen?”. Television.AU. August 18, 2012. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  • ^ a b Youngman, Philip (June 8, 2016). “”Here’s one I prepared earlier” – A cooking on Australian television timeline”. Aussie Cuisine. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  • ^ Audigier, Anne (April 5, 2017). “Les émissions culinaires, une bonne vieille recette”. France Inter (in French). Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  • ^ a b Bourdin, Léo (February 14, 2017). “Une histoire française des émissions de cuisine à la télé”. Munchies (in French). Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  • ^ “Les émissions de cuisine qui ont changé la télé française”. Food Powa (in French). December 15, 2016. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  • ^ Wystrichowski, Cornelia (February 20, 2018). “Vor 65 Jahren wurde die erste deutsche Kochshow ausgestrahlt”. Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung (in German). Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  • ^ “料理番組の日の由来と面白い雑学、1月21日の今日は何の日?”. 雑学.com (in Japanese). July 19, 2017. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  • ^ “今日は何の日 1月”. studio FOUR (in Japanese). Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  • Further reading[edit]

    • Collins, Kathleen (2009). Watching What We Eat: The Evolution of Television Cooking Shows. Bloomsbury Academic.
    • Brost, Lori F. (2000). “Television Cooking Shows: Defining the Genre”. Indiana University. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
    • Kelly, Casey Ryan (2017). Food Television and Otherness in the Age of Globalization. Lexington Books. ISBN 978-1-4985-4444-3.