In addition to the many animated TV shows, the many late night talk shows, the true crime and detective shows, the sitcoms and soaps, is the quiet relief for all those who like pending time in the kitchen: cooking shows, shows about food, everything foodie.

From housewives to college students, aspiring chefs to fans of the movie Ratatouille, the audience for cooking shows is vast and far-reaching. And we have some ideas on what can be watched!


This one goes without saying. Spanning numerous seasons and now a part of many countries, MasterChef is a culinary experience. There’s the popular and theatrical American version (with Gordon Ramsay shouting his head off), the gentle and inclusive Australian version (with Matt Preston gently gorging on food), and the unbelievably entertaining MasterChef Junior versions (with Gordon Ramsay at his best behavior). There’s a lot of variety, a great lot of amazing food and some reality TV in the mix. Oh, and if you’re in for some drama, go with the American version!

Top Chef

Another American reality competition, chefs face each other off for the ultimate prize. The panel of judges includes Padma Lakshmi and Gail Simmons among others. There are challenges to be braved and prizes to be won. This one is for the milder mannered audiences, for whom MasterChef becomes a little too theatrical at times.

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The French Chef

It would be wrong—beyond wrong—to not include the OG Prime Time TV chef on our list: Julia Child’s butterfest. As old as the 1960s, it is this show that paved the way for cooking shows in the future, and has some heartwarming conventional recipes in the mix.

If you’re looking for additional glitz, check out the epic rap battle between Julia Child and Gordon Ramsay available on Youtube—and you’ll know exactly why you need to watch this legendary culinary show.

 Kitchen Nightmares

Yes, there are nightmares involved, there’s a lot of cursing, and there’s a lot of Gordon Ramsay at his wildest. But his strict disciplinarian action is not uncalled for: he visits, in each episode, a failing restaurant, and tries to revive its successful streak (or steaks, whichever you like).

Hell’s Kitchen

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Another kitchen flick involving a wild Gordon Ramsay playing the role of Satan, this reality culinary show is hard on its participants. Rigorous training and in-house kitchen experience is meted out, and mercy is completely nonexistent. MasterChef America’s Gordon Ramsay is a Santa Claus compared to this version—and for the love of God, why do those participants make everything so RAW?

Food Factory

The final show on our list is Discovery’s popular Food Factory that focuses on industrial mass production of food.

Conveyor belt galore, the show is just the right amount of humor and mouthwatering camerawork to make you drool.

From candies to marshmallows, chocolates to Lay’s, Coke to sausages, there are few things that this fan favorite hasn’t touched. One can safely say that this is the show that laid the foundations for what is these days known as food porn.

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