HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >


If You Got Your Own Food Show...

What would yours be, and what would you call it?

Would you host/judge cooking competitions, a la Iron Chef, Top Chef, Worst Cooks in America, or Chopped? Would your contestants be pros, amateurs, kids, what? And what would the format be?

Would you teach people how to cook? Would you teach people new techniques or unfamiliar cuisines? Focus on budget-conscious, easy, or quick recipes?

Would you eat other people's food, a la Anthony Bourdain, Andrew Zimmern, etc?

Or something else entirely? Let me know what I'd be watching if, tomorrow, you woke up and had your own show.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. My show would be Literally Delicious and I would select a line from a book that mentioned food and cook the dish. Like the line in Shane when Mrs. Starret has difficulty getting her apple pie just right.

    11 Replies
        1. re: chartreauxx

          oh and I would I would cook it true to the period of the book... so if it was on a wood stove like in Shane...of a tuff stove like in Irland ...

        2. re: girloftheworld

          That is awesome. We are doing something like that but not a show and it is movies.

            1. re: girloftheworld

              Lamb and succotash with Silence if the Lambs.

              Schnitzel, spaetzle, fondue and German chocolate cupcakes for the Sound of Music.

              General tso's chicken and fried rice with peach cake topped with raspberries for Thoroughly Modern Millie.

              1. re: melpy

                Oh, my...Thoroughly Modern Millie...seems so long ago...

                1. re: sandylc

                  Love that movie! " I have a check book"

                  1. re: sandylc

                    Yeah- franks, sauerkraut and tapioca pudding were vetoed ;)

                  2. re: melpy

                    Strudel for dessert! It's even mentioned in My Favorite Things...

                    1. re: Violatp

                      I wasn't in charge of making dessert and we have one VERY picky person at dinner. They actually ended up making just chocolate cupcakes and had a big fight about coconut. I think they might have broken up as part of this fight.

                      More recently we have done pot roast and brownies for Dirty Dancing (nobody likes watermelon and it was out of season).

                      We had "wedding food" for Four Weddings and Funeral and death by chocolate mousse (chicken cordon bleu, rice, sauce and mixed veg).

                      I think we had spaghetti and meatballs for Notting Hill. My friend doesn't eat red sauce so we ended up with alfredo sauce. We had eaten enough Britsh food because we had eaten variations on sheppards and cottage pie a few times.

                      Most of time we have to find food they eat or mention or that is from the country in some way to make the theme work.

            2. My reaction would be the same as when investors pitched backing me in my own restaurant.

              Running away as fast as I can screaming "No, No, No".

              1. Well, if there was a big budget, like for No Resevations, I would love to do a travel and eat food show. And I'd focus on street food or simple food stall type places that cater to the local masses.

                1. My life if full of contrasts, while I spend most of my time in a suit and tie, at home I'm as close to naked as I can get. My normal home apparel is just a pair of shorts.

                  Because this is my normal around the house wear, I normally cook shirtless......in which the joke has been made I should start a cooking show called "The Shirtless Chef". This suggestion was originally made over 20 years ago.......I'm not sure I could draw the same audience now, that I could back then.

                  Yes, I have burned my nipples while deep frying/splatter. I know you were all dying to know that.

                  15 Replies
                  1. re: jrvedivici

                    "I normally cook shirtless"

                    Hey Shirtless in my Kitchen.... that is a very appealing concept ...

                    1. re: girloftheworld

                      Why thank you my dear, but I am old enough to be your father.

                      MGZ could be your grandfather.

                      1. re: jrvedivici

                        I was speaking on behalf of the masses of women the binders full... that would tune in... whom when they see a man in the grocer say silently in their head "ohhhh i would live to have him shirtless in my kitchen"

                              1. re: girloftheworld

                                Oh, they definitely are! And will remain so till you're 19.

                        1. re: girloftheworld

                          I can see some big possibilities - though I cook with full clothing.


                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                            Agreed. And I not only wear full clothing, but shoes. Always shoes.

                            1. re: alliegator

                              Hope those are "stylish shoes!"


                                1. re: paulj

                                  Usually toms or some such thing.

                        2. re: jrvedivici

                          Actually, I think you need to take the concept one step further. The show should be called "Nothin' but My Apron". I'm sure you can see how that would up the ante.

                          Good thing about the show is that no one would care about what you cook. They'd all be too busy fighting off the nausea brought on by what they see of the host.

                          1. re: MGZ

                            You know, on second thought, it'd probably be best for the success of the show, as well as liability purposes, if you stayed behind the camera. Besides, if I was hosting, we'd be able to get special guest "stars". We could go one of two ways: (a) models or (b) female celebrity chefs. I mean who wouldn't wanna see Ina Garten, Paula Deen, or Rachel Ray in nothin' but an apron or catch a glimpse of Maryanne Esposito's tramp stamp?

                            1. re: MGZ

                              I would like to clarify, I wasn't all that nauseating 20 years ago when the concept was first developed.

                              Now the title would be "Nothin But My Apron & Depends", I don't think you can run to the bathroom during the show when your the host.

                          2. It would be a show on seasonal cooking. Could include trips to Farmers' Markets, local growers and would always include a dish made with what was in season right then.

                            1. "My Favorite Cookbook" -- Each show would have a guest and we'd cook from his/her favorite book. I'd start with one of my own favorites, "The Heritage of Southern Cooking" by Camille Glenn.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: jmckee

                                I saw maybe two episodes of a show akin to that. It was two women, one a good cook the other no so much and they cooked from a specific cookbook. Can't remember the name of it and have no idea what happened to it.

                              2. I would teach viewers how to cook without recipes.

                                8 Replies
                                1. re: foiegras

                                  like how to make up their own?
                                  like essentile "rules"

                                  1. re: girloftheworld

                                    Perhaps how to taste things & fix problems ... like fixing over-acidity, blandness, etc. It drives me crazy when people say, 'It didn't turn out, so I let it rot in the fridge.' I can't remember the last time I did that--maybe never. To me that represents a failure of imagination (not to mention a sinful waste of food). Just about the only way to ruin something is to burn it, and if you don't walk away and leave it, that won't happen.

                                    Cooking for dogs would be another fun show. I would definitely have bagelman01 on as a guest :D

                                    1. re: foiegras

                                      those would be good..I like the dog one...

                                      1. re: foiegras

                                        I have a Shi Tzu and routinely cook chicken for her. When time doesn't permit then it is either a Boston Market or store cooked chicken. We mix it with hard kibbles, but for 5+ years she has never had just dog food.

                                        1. re: jrvedivici

                                          My grandmother always cooked chicken for the toy dogs at her house. Dogs really do love chicken, even just plain boiled chicken, and I'm not sure why.

                                          I cook all my dogs' food ... the only thing I buy for them is treats. I can make them, and have, but I find it time-consuming.

                                          My dogs really love food and will eat almost anything. One of my dogs particularly likes eating raw whatever I might be chopping, like carrots or celery or watermelon. When serving raw fruit for dessert, I'll call her and she demonstrates her party trick of catching and eating a strawberry top. They especially get excited about Indian food, which people I work with sometimes make for me. When I heat it, they start pacing around ... something very exciting is happening here!

                                          1. re: foiegras

                                            wonder when " manufactured" dog food became the norm?

                                    2. I gave this a bit more thought, because I only went high budget. If I were to win a Food Network Star type thing, I would most definitely try to create "Small Plate, Big Flavor".
                                      Based on the idea that for a small group or just two at home, a grazing dinner of little dishes is just as satisfying as a whole meal.
                                      Personally, I love variety, and this my favorite way to enjoy a meal. But I like bold flavors and would definitely try to incorporate some of the bold flavors that international snacks offer.

                                      1. I would like to go back to the how to cook basics, for people who want to learn how to cook nutritious, tasty, affordable meals but have never learned how.

                                        I would structure it in the form of themes and variations. Teach a basic technique or recipe (stir fry, tomato sauce, beef stew, roasted meat) and then show how to take the basic technique and recipe to make a variety of dishes. Shown in real time as much as possible, with mistakes and fixes a la Julia Child, rather than the slick production values which dominate today, and turn cooking shows into food porn instead of useful instructions.

                                        So a lesson on beef stew would then show how the basic technique could be adapted to a chicken stew, or a chili, or a pork dish.

                                        1. I would kill to have a show like Adam Richman's Man vs. Food. I would travel around the country to small town places where the locals show me their favorite places, that are usually dives and off the radar. I probably wouldn't be very good at the food challenges, though.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                            That actually could be rather funny (at least for a few episodes). The host just failing terribly at every challenge. Imagine the Hot Wing Challenge where you simply lick the sauce off your fingers before surrendering and chugging milk or the Giant Steak Challenge where in the allotted time you manage to eat only a wedge so that the remaining steak looks like Pac Man.

                                          2. I would set up shop as a street vendor in various countries around the world (the ones that can be pulled by one person) selling a dish or two from the US. I'd try to gauge the local response at the beginning, and see what their opinions are when all is said and done, within a month. Proceeds will go towards one visit to an oxygen bar and/or getting my noggin checked, because volunteering to sell food on various urban boulevards is bewildering...


                                            1. One of two ideas: I'd like to participate in a "cooking with the seasons" show. Folks are trending back to that (if they even left it) with CSA participation, and buying dairy/meat/fish locally. I'd love to have guests on since I'm pretty certain that I'm not charismatic or talented enough to carry a show on my own, and there's lots I'd like to learn or learn new spins on.

                                              Second idea is a show that transforms the food routine into low-carb. I had to change the way I shopped and cooked because of my H, and I imagine there are lots of folks cooking low carb because they need to (as in, they're diabetic) or because they want to. I'd have all the peeps from the Special Diets board on...mcf, sedimental, biondanonima, fldhkybnva, linguafood, kathryn, suzigirl, and everyone I've neglected to mention would be star guests.

                                              9 Replies
                                              1. re: pinehurst

                                                I would love to see (or do myself) a low-carb cooking show that has a truly charismatic host and presents low-carb in a way that makes it accessible and interesting to anyone. I remember a low-carb show from back in the early 2000s with George Stella, but he was a complete flop and the food was incredibly uninteresting. It would be great to see something showing how low-carb cooking has evolved since the Atkins craze days, and that it's not "diet" food necessarily, but rather a different lifestyle and overall way of cooking and eating.

                                                1. re: biondanonima

                                                  I would watch you/the show religiously. It really is a lifestyle, and there's always something new to learn.

                                                  1. re: biondanonima

                                                    I imagine Discovery's Naked and Afraid is low-carb, depending of course on what they can find on the island or swamp. And the life style would be closer to what we imagine the paleo likestyle was.

                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                      You know, I bet you're right. I keep catching snippets of the show but never the whole thing.

                                                      1. re: miss_belle

                                                        Yea, Discovery is doing a big roll out of the 2nd season.

                                                        So who gets paired with Alton on the remake of Naked and Down and Out in Paradise?


                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                          I don't know. There was the guy whining about his sunburn and the naked woman worrying about her menstrual cycle. It really was the pits. I said Switch the channel and he did.

                                                            1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                              Last night's aftershow show featured maggots and roaches. Besides talking with the 2 survivalists, they brought in a bug raising/eating expert and some of his creatures.

                                                              But more interesting was the big push they made for Twitter traffic. Clearly they were trying to drum up the fan base. Bravo does something along this line with contestant interviews after Top Chef episodes. FN has videos such as the Cutthroat aftershow.

                                                              FN parent, Scripps, bills itself as a 'Interactive media company'. I think we are going to be seeing more and more of this marriage of cable and internet. I'm not sure what that means for successful cooking shows.

                                                      1. re: Gastronomos

                                                        Like this hipster stuff served in a jelly jar:

                                                      2. Well, it would not be MY show, but my wife's.

                                                        It would be The Cuisine of New Orleans, and would omit most of the common cliches - just some great food, and preparations of such - more like the days of Emeril before the "Emeril Live" days. No "Bam!," and just great cooking of classic dishes. Part of the show would focus on many of the great, famous (whether they are still in operation) restaurants of New Orleans.

                                                        A hint of history, and then just great food.


                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                          I like the idea of mixing history with food.

                                                        2. The set would always be changing.All over the world. Mixed with indoor and outdoor cooking. First some shopping for local ingredients with the guest chef. Then we would quaff some local libation's.After guests would arrive.We would cook the local ingredients and have some more libation. It's basically about cooking and enjoying life.In the style of Keith Floyd. Remember his show.

                                                          1. What about a show for Level 5 Vegans?

                                                            That could be very popular, and extremely informative.


                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                              Well, Seinfeld did very well as a show about nothing ...

                                                            2. I'd love to have a show where I taught intermediate skills - knife skills that aren't "curl your fingers under" and sanitation that wasn't "chicken + cross contamination = bad". How to trim a roast, how to select quality products. I am not qualified to teach this, sadly, but I hear the basics over and over - I'd like to learn something new instead of just watching someone make a recipe. My show would be littered with pop culture references, as that's one way I'm geeky. I would have some sort of major dork-out during Oscar season and do theme foods to match the nominees. And I would WASH MY HANDS. I'm no Rachael Ray fan, but she's the only one I see washing her hands regularly. It would be called "C'iao, Y'all", since I'm both southern and Italian. The name doesn't fit the theme. I need to work on that.

                                                              7 Replies
                                                              1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                That northern (as in Canadian) Italian cook washes her hands - after removing all the jewelry. :)

                                                                Would you also show the chef washing all the dirty dishes, and taking out the garbage? Those too are part of kitchen sanitation.

                                                                1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                  I like your ideas.

                                                                  Anne Burrell washes her hands on secrets of a restaurant chef.

                                                                  1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                    There's also an editing issue - do you show every washing, or just a selected few times? When does it become repetitive and boring?

                                                                    It's one thing to come up with ideas that will work in a pilot show, but will they sustain the show through 6 or 13 episodes?

                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                      I'd say the show could be about 11 minutes of hand washing and 11 minutes of cooking. With commercials that should be a full show. I know some OCD types who would love it.

                                                                      1. re: NonnieMuss


                                                                        Norwegian TV hits -ferry ride , salmon swimming, chopping fire wood

                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                          Or a new version of the Christmas Log Fireplace Show: just sizzling bacon, 24/7.

                                                                  2. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                    I would watch a show with intermediate skills. I am done with the basics. Sometimes the people make me cringe when they cut an onion.

                                                                  3. I would have a talk show with cooking. Concentrating on an hour of one chef..i.e. Pepin for one episode, then we would cook that particular chef's favorite dish of all time.
                                                                    Not an astounding idea, but its something I would find interesting.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: jarona

                                                                      Currently Ming has been inviting guests on to cook and talk


                                                                      CreateTV used to show a series in which guest chefs gave a demo before cooking school students. I don't see in their current lineup.


                                                                    2. I would do a food and music show. .

                                                                      What Daryl Hall of Hall & Oates does on 'Live from Daryl's House' but add the food element, from where the guest artist is from.

                                                                      They did a gig at Todd Rundgren's home in Kauai and they mixed music with food, Aloha style.

                                                                      One of the best shows evah. .


                                                                      1. I would be show casing the wonderful Pastys across the U.P. of Michigan. Examining the pro's and con's of carrots verses rutabagas, to douse it with ketchup, or not, crimping techniques, and the like. Interviewing the 'Yoopers' to search out the best ones...... I'm sure I could fill up at least one season !

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: 3MTA3

                                                                          Add in the politics of the PGI status in Europe, and the variations in other places where Cornish miners settled (Mineral Pt WI, Hidalgo Mexico).

                                                                        2. How big is the show's budget? Would I be able to feature luxury foods I can't otherwise afford? I'd love to do a show like that! And when I got bored, I could retire someplace to diet off all of the profits. '-) Well, actually, caviar isn't fattening. Oh wait! Foie gras certainly is! Maybe caviar and foie gras together will cancel each other out? Sign me up! '-)

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                                                            I think that you could write everything off, unless your organization has some "conservative" aspect to its name - then, you are out of luck.

                                                                            You get to travel the world, in FC, and gather up both the ingredients and the footage of you gathering up the ingredients, then preparing the meals.

                                                                            Go for it,


                                                                          2. if i got my own show, i'd focus on budget-conscious, healthful recipes for 1-4 people. my personal interpretation of this is avoiding artificial, processed, or otherwise non-food items, while remaining aware of price, time and mess involved, and portions produced. i'd also try to incorporate holistic medicinal ideas, like ginger for inflammation, raw milk for bone depletion/healing, almonds and rosemary for bruising, turmeric for kidney and liver health etc.

                                                                            as a single person with an interest in nutrition and health, i find there is a blank space in terms of recipes catering to 1 or 2 people (even allowing for leftovers). i think i'd like to try and fill that gap, particularly incorporating the cooking lessons i received from adoptive grandmothers in both japan and thailand.

                                                                            1. Chart-it's a cute idea.
                                                                              I'd ask viewers to do a suggestion of what they'd want me to make. I'd do the best I could but once a week I'd do something that only I know how to make. I'd be natural and silly because that's how I express joy and show my true love for cooking. I'd also have my beautiful husband hanging around just so I can stare at genuine beauty.

                                                                              1. I don't know what I'd call it, but I'd like to have a show in which each episode features three or four skilled chefs (assuming I'm exceedingly well-networked in this hyopthetical, let's say they're all say sous chefs in Michelin three-star restaurants - accomplished but not really celebrities) each making their own version of a given dish complete with explanation and commentary. So one episode might be just "omelettes" and each chef does their own rendition and talks about why they do it that way, covering technique, ideas and inspirations. I think this would be useful because it would help both learn about the given dish and show people that there are many different ways to approach a dish depending on palate, background, etc. It would be a nice break from more cookbook-style "here's the recipe" shows.

                                                                                I don't think I'd actually be on it. If I could choose I'd have someone knowledgeable but fun host it, like David Chang or Anthony Bourdain. "Mind of A Chef" is actually like this sometimes, not coincidentally.

                                                                                Maybe I'd call it "As I Like It"?

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: lamb_da_calculus

                                                                                  I'd do a show exactly the way dear old Floyd did his. No changes.
                                                                                  IMO Floyd was and will remain the pinnacle of what a 'cooking show' ought to be.
                                                                                  His genius can best be understood by watching a few dozen of his shows. There's dozens on Youtube. Here's a perfect example: