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We are in a golden age of food programming, but it wasn’t always this way. There were only a few cooking and food shows on TV back in the day. Some great chefs who worked behind the scenes included Jacques Pepin, Julia Child, and Martin Yan.

There’s no denying that many people, including culinary enthusiasts and food enthusiasts, first fell in love with cooking after watching TV. Due to the number of cooking shows that are currently available, it can be hard to choose just one to watch.

  1. “Chef’s Table”

When Netflix decided to make its first documentary series, it wanted to focus on one genre in particular: food. The show, “The Chef’s Table,” was an award-winning show.

The series follows the lives of some of the world’s most prominent chefs. Each episode features a different celebrity chef, giving viewers a behind-the-scenes look at their work. These include Grant Achatz and Christina Tosi, respectively.

According to Denise Spooner, a pastry arts instructor at the Auguste Escoffier School, the series is excellent because it focuses on one restaurant or chef. It also gives viewers a glimpse into the various changes happening in the industry.

Christopher Moore and Billie Sutton, chef instructors, agree that the show is excellent. They also believe that the chefs’ passion for the craft shines through.David Gelb, the creator of “The Chef’s Table,” also directed the documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi.” 

  1. “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown”

Before he became a household name, Anthony was a New York City-based chef. Through his writing, he gained a lot of national attention. His works, such as “Kitchen Confidential,” explored the Wild West of the kitchen.

After becoming famous as a writer, he turned to television to host various food and travel programs. His first show, “No Reservations,” was on The Travel Channel, and his second show, “The Layover,” was on the same network. His last show, “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown,” was on CNN. It follows him on his travels across various countries.

The appeal of “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” is that it focuses on the food that the locals eat. Instead of focusing on upscale restaurants, he often visits roadside food stands and small neighborhood restaurants. This allows viewers to get a deeper understanding of the culture and personality of the people he meets.

  1. “Top Chef”

The success of “Top Chef” has led to several spin-off programs. These have helped the careers of some of the show’s competitors. The series is filmed in different cities throughout the U.S. The locale often influences the various cuisines and challenges that the chefs face they’re in.

Each episode features two challenges: the Quickfire Challenge and the Elimination Challenge. The former is a fast-paced task usually completed in an hour, while the latter involves creating an elaborate meal. The winner of the challenge is then revealed, and the remaining competitors are eliminated.

Denise Spooner believes the show creates a community among competitors. Through the challenges, the viewers try new dishes and techniques they may not have tried before.

  1. “Ugly Delicious”

David Chang, a James Beard award-winning chef, takes the audience on a journey worldwide to explore different cuisines.

The concept of “Ugly Delicious” is similar to that of “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.” However, since Chang is a unique host, the show has its feel. Some comedians who appear on the show include Jimmy Kimmel, Nick Kroll, Ali Wong, and Kate McKinnon. These individuals allow Chang to have a wider variety of jokes as he travels worldwide.

  1. “French Food at Home”

A good old-fashioned cooking show features a chef and a home kitchen. 

Steve Konopelski, an instructor at an Online Pastry School, likes the 2010 James Beard award-winning show “French Food at Home,” which was hosted by Laura Calder. In the show, Laura shows the viewers how easy it is to prepare French dishes such as tarte Tatin and coq au vin.

The show won the James Beard award for Best Cooking Show, which was given in a fixed location. It only lasted three seasons, but it has a charming and straightforward style and is a good foil for today’s fast-paced cooking competitions.