The Best Cooking TV Shows of All Time

Top Chef

One cooking TV show that has been on the air for years is Top Chef. In fact, they’re heading into their 12th year on the air and are gearing up for their 16th season.

The show follows chefs competing against each other in weekly challenges to see who will win the position of “Top Chef” and the cash prize of $125,000. Each episode, a Quickfire Challenge gives the winning contestant either immunity from elimination or some other prize, then the Elimination Challenge determines who will move on that week and who will be sent home.

Shows that have spun off from Top Chef include Top Chef Masters, Top Chef: Just Desserts, and Top Chef Junior. 


Another popular cooking competition show is Chopped, where four chefs have to compete against each other in three separate challenges to win a cash prize of $10,000 and the title of “Chopped Champion.” It’s been on the air steadily since 2009, and it’s on its 36th season.


Each episode is focused around an Appetizer, Entrée, and Dessert, and for each round, contestants are given a different basket with a few secret ingredients that they must include in their dish. These ingredients are often quite rare and are generally not prepared together. The challenge for the chef is to make them taste like any normal meal.

The Naked Chef

Jamie Oliver is one of the world’s most beloved chefs, and although his popular TV show, The Naked Chef, only ran for three seasons, his casual approach to cooking inspired generations of home cooks. Each episode focused on Jamie going about his everyday life and preparing food that he later serves to his friends and family. His focus was always on fresh, local ingredients, without fuss or fanfare.

Although Oliver went on to do many other TV shows like Jamie at Home and Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, The Naked Chef is remembered fondly as his first.

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