Food Network took the concept of cooking shows and kicked it up a notch. This television station doesn’t just feature shows about how to make a great pot roast (although shows like that exist on the network if that’s what you’re into). Tune into Food Network if you want to see four chefs battle it out in the kitchen with some insane mystery ingredients, or if you want to see how food gets from the factory to your table.
This channel is insanely addictive— so sit back, relax, and take a bite-sized sample of the best shows of Food Network past, present, and future.
The Barefoot Contessa
Ina Garten is the Barefoot Contessa. I swear this show was giving me some serious ASMR vibes before I even knew that ASMR existed. Ina’s voice is super relaxing, her home is immaculate, and her food looks absolutely delightful.
Ina’s no mess, no fuss approach to cooking makes Barefoot Contessa the perfect show to watch after a long, hard day at work. Ina specializes in French cuisine, but she often cooks food from other regions as well.
No Food Network show has been quite as well received as Chopped. The concept is simple: four chefs have a limited amount of time too cook a meal, course by course. For each course they are given a basket of mystery ingredients which must end up on the plate in some form, and they have access to a whole pantry of other ingredients.
Each round, a chef is eliminated (or “chopped”) until only one chef, the Chopped Champion, remains.
Iron Chef America
Iron Chef America was one of the original Food Network competition shows. It was modeled after a similar show that was filmed in Japan. On this show, two chefs battled head-to-head under a time limit to showcase what they could do with one star ingredient.
They had access to whatever other ingredients they needed, but the one mystery ingredient had to be highlighted in each course. A lot of Food Network stars got their start on this show.
I Hart Food
YouTube star Hannah Hart got her shot at mainstream fame with the Food Network show I Hart Food. Hannah Hart was one of the first creators to become an official “YouTuber,” meaning that she was able to make a living on the platform pretty early on.
Her YouTube show, My Drunk Kitchen, was a perfect jumping off point for Hart. Her YouTube series started out as a joke, but now she travels to learn how to make foods from different cuisines on I Hart Food.
The Best Thing I Ever Ate
The Best Thing I Ever Ate is a show that allows chefs and Food Network stars to talk about the best food they ever ate in a certain category. Some episodes include, “The Best Hamburger I Ever Ate, “The Best Thing I Ever Ate: Chocolate Edition,” and “The Best Pizza I Ever Ate.”
This show gives Food Network stars a chance to hype up some of their favorite eateries, and helps viewers plan out their next road trip.
Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives
We can’t talk about Food Network without talking about Guy Fieri. As meme-worthy as this man might be, he is also a central figure in the Food Network universe. His flagship show, Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, follows Guy Fieri himself as he drives around the country in his fancy red convertible trying some of the best and greasiest diner food these great 50 states have to offer.
Fieri will give you a one-way ticket to flavortown. Yes, “flavortown” is a thing that he says.
Beat Bobby Flay
Bobby Flay is one of the central figures in the Food Network pantheon. He’s had multiple shows on the Network (keep reading to discover another great Bobby Flay program).
In Beat Bobby Flay, two contestants face off against each other for 20 minutes. Their dishes are evaluated by a panel of judges and the winner goes on to cook against Bobby Flay. The second round is judged in a blind taste test.
Nancy Fuller is an America Chef and the host of the Food Network show Farmhouse Rules. Her show provides a relaxed, easygoing take on Southern home cooked food. Nancy has a whole bunch of grandchildren and she’s always cooking food for some kind of event (like her granddaughter’s birthday party, for instance).
If you’re into the farmhouse aesthetic, this is definitely a show for you. Nancy’s food may not be all that healthy, but it is all that delicious.
Good Eats is a retro Food Network show that had us hanging on host Alton Brown’s every word. On Good Eats, Alton explained the physics and the chemistry behind some of our favorite dishes.
We all felt like bona fide food scientists after watching an episode of this show, and I’m kind of sad that it isn’t around anymore. Luckily, Alton is still on Food Network, hosting various other programs and making us all just a little bit smarter.
Giada At Home
Giada De Laurentiis has hosted a variety of shows on Food Network, but we particularly like Giada at Home. This show first aired on the Food Network in 2008 and it ran until 2015.
While Giada’s first Food Network show, Everyday Italian, focused on Italian cooking, this show showcases a whole bunch of different cuisines and also features party planning tips and tricks. We get to see Giada curate events for her family and friends.
30 Minute Meals
Rachel Ray got her start on Food Network with 30 Minute Meals, a show targeted towards busy people who want a quick, nutritious way to feed their families. Rachel Ray has since been on a whole bunch of different shows, both on Food Network and off of it, but we’ll never forget that 30 Minute Meals was where it all started.
This show was the beginning of Rachel Ray’s TV show empire.
Alex’s Day Off
Alex Guarnaschelli was on a bunch of different Food Network shows, including Chopped, Iron Chef, The Best Thing I Ever Ate, and Guy’s Grocery Store Games before she finally got her own show, Alex’s Day Off.
Alex is a well-loved New York City chef who gained a fan following on Food Network because of her no-nonsense feedback and impeccable palate. You can tell by the way Alex talks about food that cooking is really her passion.
Ace Of Cakes
Duff Goldman and his team made art out of flour, eggs, and fondant at his bakery, Charm City Cakes, in Baltimore, Maryland. These cakes are truly magnificent, and Ace of Cakes introduced many of us to the art of cake carving before there was a whole YouTube genre dedicated to it.
Also, Duff and his crew seemed like people you’d want to hang out with. This show is no longer on the air, but you can still catch Duff on the judge’s panel of a whole bunch of other Food Network shows.
If you’re one of those people who geek out over conveyor belts and factory machinery, and you have a sweet tooth, Unwrapped is the show for you. This show is no longer on the air, but you can catch old episodes of it online if you search hard enough.
Host Marc Summers took us behind the scenes at the factories that make some of our favorite sweet treats. All of those moving parts were so satisfying to watch.
Ron Ben Israel was the titular sweet genius of Sweet Genius. In this show, pastry chefs would go head-to-head to compete for the grand prize.
There would be three different rounds: frozen, baked, and chocolate, although later the show took out the frozen category and replaced it with a candy category. They also changed the baked category to a cake category. The show was fun while it lasted, but it only lasted from 2011 to 2013.
Boy Meets Grill
Look who’s back on this list. It’s Bobby Flay! Bobby Flay’s specialty is classic American cooking, and it doesn’t get more classic American than a barbecue cookout. Bobby Flay showed us how to grill everything from the common hotdog to complex steaks to balsamic glazed peaches.
This show made every home griller feel like a professional chef. This show isn’t on the air anymore, but Bobby has moved on to bigger and better things.
The Kitchen is a cooking-themed talk show that has been on Food Network since 2014. In 2015, The Kitchen was nominated for two daytime Emmy awards. Kitchens have become a place where people gather to eat, but also to cook and to talk and to spend time together.
The Kitchen recognizes that the kitchen really is the social center of the house. This show has been so successful because viewers feel like they’re in the midst of the action.
The Pioneer Woman
The Pioneer Woman is an American cooking show that airs on Food Network. It’s hosted by Ree Drummond, and it frequently features her cooking meals and snacks for her family and friends at her ranch in Oklahoma.
Before getting her own Food Network show, Ree Drummond wrote a food blog that was also called The Pioneer Woman. Her blog became super successful, so she was able to transition into a career on television.
Food Network Star
Food Network has become so popular in recent years that it seems like every budding chef wants to be the next great Food Network star. That’s where Food Network Star comes in. It’s a reality show in which contestants compete to win their own cooking or food show on Food Network.
Jeff Mauro, AKA The Sandwich King, got his start on Food Network Star. This show is still on the air today, so tune in to find out who the next big star could be.
Emeril, Live! was one of the OG Food Network shows way back in the day. In the early 2000s, Food Network was all about Emeril Lagasse. This guy gave us some pretty memorable catchphrases including “kick it up a notch” and of course, “bam!”
Emeril taught us how to cook, but more importantly, he taught us how to have fun while doing it. Emeril is still cooking at his many restaurants and occasionally on Food Network.