Millions of foodies turn to food shows to gain inspiration for their next dining destinations and culinary endeavors. Tune in today to explore new places, new approaches and unique recipes.
And if you want the best experience when it comes to watching your favorite cooking shows, direct.tv's full-time high-definition channels are a good place to start. The rich vibrant colors and the crystal clear clarity make it seem as if you're with the hosts, chefs and judges of some of TV's most popular food shows.
1) Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (Food Network)
If you like roadtrip-style cooking shows, you'll love Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. The popular Food Network show follows Guy Fieri as he travels to "greasy spoon" and "hole-the-the-wall" neighborhood restaurants and bars throughout the country to sample the local cuisine. Each episode features three diners, drive-ins or dive bars unified under a common food style or theme. Past show themes include Seaside Eats, Comfort Food, Big Breakfast and Global Grub.
2) Top Chef (Bravo)
Top Chef is a competitive cooking show pitting rising chefs against one another until there is only one left standing at the end of the season. Each show consists of two challenges: the Quickfire challenge and the Elimination challenge. In the Quickfire challenge, chefs are giving a short period of time to cook a dish or are required to compete in a culinary related challenge like a taste test. Depending on the point in the season, the winners can be rewarded, and losers can be eliminated.
The Elimination challenge features individual contestants or chef teams preparing more complex and elaborate dishes and then reporting to the Judges Table. Four judges deliberate and ultimately send one chef home each week. Top Chef also features special formats and varies up its elimination process to help keep things interesting.
3) Chopped (Food Network)
Chopped is another competitive cooking show but has a bit of a different twist than Top Chef. Each episode features different contestants and winners. But the real difference is in how the chefs compete. They're required to take a mystery basket of ingredients – often ingredients that are seemingly random or incompatible – and turn them into dish with little time for planning and execution. Contestants compete in appetizer, entrée and dessert rounds and are ultimately judged on individual courses and the meal as a whole.
If you haven't watched these shows yet, you're missing out on some potential inspiration for your next dining or culinary pursuit.