The Top 100 Cooking Shows of All-Time

Posted by Vincent

Note: TheCooksDen may receive a small commission from our partner should you choose to purchase this item

80. Ask Aida
Entertainment: 3
Education: 3
Tastiness: 3
Broadcast: Food Network 2008-

With the advent of rapid communication technology Aida has found a way to engage her audience almost instantly.

Foodies will guffaw at some of the more ridiculous questions she is asked, but for the most of us, it's like being in class and having someone ask that stupid question you were too embarrassed to ask.

Food Network should be applauded for embracing "the future" but it feels a little forced and the shtick will soon wear off.

79. Bringing it Home
Entertainment: 3
Education: 3
Tastiness: 3
Broadcast: ABC 2002-2007

McIntosh deserves credit for making fresh, simple foods. She's aired exclusively in California, but given that it's the state that produces nearly half of all the U.S.'s fruits and veggies, it's not a bad hub for fresh ingredients.

78. Great Chefs Great Cities
Entertainment: 3
Education: 3
Tastiness: 3
Broadcast: PBS 1992

Food takes center stage in "Great Chefs Great Cities." With around three new chefs each episode, there isn't much time to fall in love with the host, but the recipes are truly fantastic.

The presentation is a bit stark but is pretty entertaining for the true connoisseur

77. Grill It! With Bobby Flay
Entertainment: 3
Education: 3
Tastiness: 3
Broadcast: Food Network 2008-

Bobby Flay loves to grill, and he shows it clearly in "Grill It!" It's another admirable attempt by Flay, which he doesn't ruin with the silly gimmicks.

Flay is a great chef and a great griller. When he talks about his theory and how he comes to his decisions, you really begin to see his genius. But when he's trying to be cute it's like watching a used car salesman.

76. Down Home with the Neelys
Entertainment: 3
Education: 3
Tastiness: 3
Broadcast: Food Network 2008-

The Neelys are certainly a fun-loving couple and watching them interact make you feel like you're looking right into their home.

But be careful — their candid bedside humor may be a little too much for prudent viewers. Others might say that just adds to the charm.

Either way, their food is delicious and they explain their techniques thoroughly without being nit-picky.

75. Fresh with Anna Olson
Entertainment: 3
Education: 3
Tastiness: 3
Broadcast: Food Network Canada 2008-

Olson got it right with this program that introduces fresh and local ingredients as a part of its focus.

She delightfully shows the ease and pleasure of choosing fresh ingredients and trying to cook meals that are whole, healthy and delicious.

She's not a showman by any stretch, but that can be overlooked when you see her meals.

74. Emeril Green
Entertainment: 3
Education: 3
Tastiness: 3
Broadcast: Planet Green 2008-

It's hard not to view "Emeril Green" as anything more than a glorified Whole Foods commercial. Each episode, Emeril buys all his ingredients from Whole Foods and even cooks his meal in the store. On the other hand, there are interesting pop-ups that provide extra information and it's nice to see celebrity chefs giving local and fresh produce its due.

73. Top Chef Masters
Entertainment: 3
Education: 3
Tastiness: 3
Broadcast: Bravo 2009-

"Top Chef Masters" is an engaging show and has some top-notch celebrity power. Like many shows of this sort, it loses points on education, but the dishes look great and it's highly entertaining.

72. Poh's Kitchen
Entertainment: 3
Education: 3
Tastiness: 3
Broadcast: ABC Australia 2010-

Poh is another near-winner of the show "Master Chef." She is a lot of fun in the kitchen and her meals look great.

A professionally-trained chef is usually standing beside her, walking her through the process, but you get the idea she knows what she's doing and is not too bad either.

71. Cooking Without Looking
Entertainment: 3
Education: 3
Tastiness: 3
Broadcast: PBS 2006-

This socially responsible show is made exclusively for the blind, but it is equally educational for those that are with sight.

The show is clearly explained and purposefully addresses every sense so that those without or with limited vision can easily cook along and make delicious meals.

70. Steve Schirripa's Hungry
Entertainment: 3
Education: 3
Tastiness: 3
Broadcast: Lifeskool 2007-2008

"Sopranos" cast member and Italo-centric actor Steve Schrippa is no cook, and he admits it.

Instead he's more of an appreciator — going around to local (New York) restaurants, learning and showing a few recipes from the neighborhood.

He's a lovable guy and it's not hard to get excited about authentic Italian food.

69. The Chopping Block (US)
Entertainment: 3
Education: 3
Tastiness: 3
Broadcast: NBC 2009

Despite its short run and poor critical reviews, the show was actually quite interesting.

Pierre is a little overplayed and the show won't teach anyone how to cook, but the entertainment value is there and the dishes are interesting because they are creative as per the nature of the show.

68. French Food at Home
Entertainment: 3
Education: 3
Tastiness: 3
Broadcast: Food Network Canada 2006-

For a fun and unpretentious look into French cooking, check out this offering from Laura Calder.

The show is quite educational, but what really sets it apart is the delightful music that plays throughout. Oftentimes, too much music can hinder a program, but it works for Calder.

67. Sugar
Entertainment: 3
Education: 3
Tastiness: 3
Broadcast: Food Network Canada 2002-2008

There aren't a lot of cooking shows that specialize in desserts. So on this account, "Sugar" is original.

Anna Olson isn't very exciting as a host, but her food sure is. Every dessert looks absolutely delicious and for the most part aren't your run-of-the-mill cakes and cookies.

Anna's approach is non-threatening and you really get the feeling you can cook like the pros in a matter of episodes.

66. Ciao Italia
Entertainment: 3
Education: 3
Tastiness: 3
Broadcast: PBS 1989-

While other hosts indirectly use their Italian heritage to help lend the legitimacy, Mary Ann Esposito is the real thing.

It's clear she's in touch with her Italian roots and her meals are reminiscent of something your Italian grandmother would make on a Sunday afternoon.

Perhaps this is why she's enjoyed the longest airing cooking show in television history.

65. Carrier's Kitchen
Entertainment: 3
Education: 3
Tastiness: 3
Broadcast: BBC 1975

Somewhat of a pompous chef, Robert Carrier enjoyed a long and lasting fame with several T.V. spots to his credit. These included "Carrier's Kitchen" and a turn as host of a morning news cooking show.

He's said to have brought exciting food to the people of Britain and, as a result, built quite a name for himself. He claimed he was a "genius in the kitchen" and his dishes wouldn't make you think otherwise.

64. Cradock Cooks For Christmas
Entertainment: 3
Education: 3
Tastiness: 3
Broadcast: BBC4 1975

Fanny Cradock was a rather brash but great cook. "Cradock Cooks For Christmas" was probably her most famous TV show. It aired during the twilight of her career.

She was an opinionated lady, but was no nonsense in the kitchen; a kind of authoritarian grandma who you dare not disobey.

63. The Urban Peasant
Entertainment: 3
Education: 3
Tastiness: 3
Broadcast: CBC c. 1973 - c. 1982

James Barber was a lovable cook. He gave one the feeling of a knowledgeable and patient uncle fawning over his little nephews and nieces, trying to teach them something about cooking, but fumbling around every step of the way.

His recipes were fairly simple and the ingredients were almost always substitutable.

62. Chefs A' Field
Entertainment: 3
Education: 3
Tastiness: 3
Broadcast: PBS 2006-

"Chefs A' Field" boasts that it is one of the first cooking shows to be environmentally conscious. Indeed, each show is well-researched and provides the viewer with a wealth of interesting information about the foods used in each episode.

The actual cooking segment, however, leaves a little to be desired.

61. Bay Cafe
Entertainment: 3
Education: 3
Tastiness: 3
Broadcast: 1998-

Joey Altman is a chef from the Bay Area. He's been cooking for decades and has won numerous awards for his culinary skill.

He has two other shows besides "Bay Café," which aren't actually cooking shows. His work in all lets him express his excitement for cooking and his thorough knowledge of what people (especially San Francisco-ins) like to eat.

You'd be hard pressed to find a chef that knows more about the ins and outs of San Francisco than Joey.


22 Responses

  1. Guitar-Monster-Mike: The Top 100 Cooking Shows of AllTime Says:

    [...] it to re-visit some of your old favorites, or study it carefully to discover some new gems.Source:http://www.thecooksden.com/top-100-cooking-shows/ Posted by Mike Devlino at 06:38 Labels: gems, old favorites, video [...]

  2. Ivy Jean Says:

    I only get 8 channels, so where can I find these shows?

  3. Celebrity Chef News: Rick Bayless, Rocco DiSpirito, Paula Deen, Top Chef University | Endless Simmer Says:

    [...] The Cook’s Den has a lot of time on its hands, ranking the top 100 cooking shows of all time.  You get an “A” for effort, but you’re going to need to stay after class for [...]

  4. Alber Tan Says:

    Another one that’s very good that’s not on the list is “After Hour with Daniel”, Daniel Boulud is cooking for his chef friends, and the foods are amazing.

  5. leonardo Says:

    Obviously the Creator of this list is semi-retarded. Emeril Live is ranked #100?

  6. M@ Says:

    I was pleased to see you had a good selection of shows from around the English-speaking world, including some Canadian gems. But unless I missed it, you didn’t include my very favourite Canadian cooking show, Pasquale’s Kitchen Express.

    A good man and a fine cook (and a decent singer as well), Pasquale entertained the largely Italian immigrant population in Toronto and its surroundings for many years.

  7. Wendy Says:

    What? No Biker Billy Cooks With Fire? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlU-E1tSyEM

  8. Cook’s den top 20 cooking shows « Gleaming Cubes Says:

    [...] http://www.thecooksden.com/top-100-cooking-shows/6/ [...]

  9. Miranda D Says:

    Although it was rather short-lived, I loved “Adventures with Ruth” (Reichl). A perfect blend of exotic travelogue and unique but totally palatable food. She even had celebrities!

    Also, there was a wonderful show on the Food Network around 2003-2004 called “Melting Pot”, which featured a different ethnic cuisine for each day of the week. It was a kind of starting ground for stars like Michael Symon and Aaron Sanchez.

    And even though I usually hate the contestants, I never miss “Chopped” because I love to imagine what I would cook with the mystery basket ingredients. It’s given me lots of great ideas!

    Although I’m not HUGE fans of the following, I find them a great deal better than many others that made your list, so I’d like to give a shout out to Ming Tsai, Sara Moulton, Michael Chiarello, Ina Garten, and… I can’t believe I’m saying this, Tyler Florence (I thought “Food 911″ was a great concept and usually pretty educational).

  10. Tim Capehart Says:

    Cooking Live With Sara Moulton should have been in your top 10! It was one of the best and most educational food shows ever!

  11. The Top 100 Cooking Shows of All-Time | Listropolis Says:

    [...] See the List Related Reading: Good Things Utah Cookbook: featured Recipes from 2003 Language Exploration and Awareness: A Resource Book for Teachers Human Resources In Healthcare: Managing for Success, Third Edition [...]

  12. So Good Blog/News Round-Up 5/28/10 | So Good Says:

    [...] top 100 cooking shows of [...]

  13. Jennifer Says:

    In the same vein as Alton Brown was David Rosengarten’s Taste, one of my personal all time favorites. How many times does Emeril get mentioned? I loved his show when he didn’t have the live audience and band and didn’t continually say “KICK IT UP!”. As much as I loved watching the Frugal Gourmet, his gentile and proper tv demeanor belied his true wicked self. I can no longer even think of him much less watch his show without having a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.

  14. Jon Says:

    No Ming Tsai makes me sad.

  15. The 30 Worst Cooking Shows of All-Time Says:

    [...] barbecued shark before bedtime. Want to read about a more uplifting set of shows? Check out the 100 Best Cooking Shows of All Time here. Enjoy the list. And, by all means, avoid the shows. Click Here to See the List Posted in [...]

  16. Jo-Ann Burton Says:

    Melissa d’Arabian is just annoying. I can handle her maybe 5 minutes. And how did Hell’s Kitchen get in the Best of List while Top Chef made it to the Worst list.

  17. Slt Says:

    David Rocco is an Italian-Canadian…so I think that nasaly voice you’re referring to is actually his accent.

  18. Liz Williams Says:

    I think that you are mistaken about Dione Lucas being the first woman with a cooking show. Lena Richard had a cooking show in New Orleans beginning in 1947. Although Lucas might have had a national show, as opposed to the local show that Richard had. She was on WDSU.

  19. marie Says:

    how the hell did urban peasant get into the list of best cooking shows, the recipes were unispired and confusing at times(wait make that all the time)..and don’t get me started with the host.
    and how come did top chef and barefoot contesa end up in the worst list…i absolutely adore those 2 shows!

  20. JTodd.net » 100 Top TV Cooking Shows Says:

    [...] http://www.thecooksden.com/top-100-cooking-shows/2 Posted on April 10, 2011 by admin. This entry was posted in Food. Bookmark the permalink. « 7 Unglamorous Steps to Better Writing [...]

  21. Hielke Says:

    I kinda miss my favorite show featuring Heston Blumenthal.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jod7PY8pj40

  22. summer Says:

    wow.. number 96 is a great show, i like how you feel the need to mention “shirtless scenes” and skintight clothing, but of course if it was a woman that would be perfectly ok. If you let that influence your opinion on a cooking show i have no further reason to keep reading this list.