5 Modern TV Cooking Shows and Why We Love Them

5 Modern TV Cooking Shows and Why We Love ThemA half-century ago, throwing together a tasty meal was good enough.

Early TV chefs like Julia Child had no formula, other than to show up reasonably sober and assemble something while the cameras were rolling.

Since the premier of Child’s “The French Chef” in 1963, cooking shows have added many more bells and whistles to interest audiences and ensure they keep watching. Chefs offer different styles and ethnic delicacies, and there’s sometimes more emphasis on chefs’ personalities rather than what goodies they produce, especially their off-camera antics. Some shows even are less about what’s happening in the studio and more about interesting recipes or chefs coming out of homes and restaurants.

Whether we like the sheer entertainment or actually want to learn to be a better chef, like Amy Adams’ character in “Julie and Julia,” we keep tuning into the shows currently on the air.

MasterChef: This has a similar premise—chefs and a restaurant owner scour the country for amateur/home cooks with lots of potential, give them ideas and room to work, and pit them against other contenders. Some FOX viewers enjoy the competition, but other viewers like the culinary challenges. Past episodes have included tips on fun new ways to prepare lamb or how to “throw together” a satisfying banquet in a hurry for hundreds of returning soldiers.

Giada at Home: Giada DeLaurentiis is saucy, and we’re not just talking about her tasty recipes. This firecracker brings plenty of personality to Food Network kitchens and also brings the kitchen to other locations like her home, the beach or restaurants. Though her inspirations come from around the world, Giada calls what she cooks California style.

Trisha’s Southern Kitchen: We originally knew her as a skilled country singer, but for the last four seasons we have seen a tastier side of Trisha Yearwood as the host of her own Food Network show. Each episode showcases great dishes, including treats from the whole family and plenty of wholesome Southern fare.

Hey Kids Let’s Cook!: Nutrition teacher Kathy Powers hosts this innovative PBS program that has been designed to teach kids age 6-14 not only how to make their way around a kitchen but healthy cooking and eating habits. Each week features easy-to-make recipes that the cast attempts and also can be duplicated at home. The program is entertaining not only for kids wanting to learn but for parents who like the easy tips and opportunities to cook alongside their little ones.

Since cooking shows are especially popular these days on multiple networks, there’s plenty of opportunity to pick up tips and learn from pros through your TV provider. The more available channels, the more options you have to be a better chef.