How Did the Food Network Become so Popular?

What’s for Dinner? Don’t know the answer to that question? Turn the channel to the Food Network and see what the popular cable channel has to say about it. From its humble beginning as a niche market cable channel to a popular giant featuring an extensive crop of food-related programing 24 hours a day, the Food Network is currently enjoyed by entire families who find its shows refreshing and entertaining.

Viewed in over 85 million households and counting, in countries all over the world, the Food Network blends Interesting concepts, cooking competitions, and food education with endearing, charismatic hosts, and exquisitely talented chefs. The results of the pairings have succeeded in presenting the public with a a new crop of programming that enlightens, entertains, educates, and leaves us thirsting (and our stomachs grumbling) for more.

How did the Food Network become so popular? It’s simple really. In a society that devotes a considerable portion of its time to television, it was only a matter of time before the other dominating factor in our lives, that being food, coincided with the magic box.

Water cooler talk once consisted of reality game shows, sports events, talk shows and sitcoms, with a side order of news and current events. Now, folks gather around the water cooler to discuss the new techniques for barbecuing steak, or creative chicken recipes, or how healthy Indian food can be.

And always, there are three questions that must be asked every day.

What’s for breakfast? What’s for lunch? What’s for dinner?

Three questions that once forced us to confront the chore of preparing meals or at the very least, ordering takeout, now present us with the opportunity to prepare and feast upon exciting, delicious meals, imitating those mouth-watering, hunger inducing treats shown on the Food Network.

The Food Network has managed to capture the very essence of what makes food so exciting, and created a channel that fulfills our passions for good food, tasty snacks, and quality television. Watching shows like Emeril Live or Iron Chef America have become weekly rituals, as viewers sit and eagerly watch the fantastic dishes being prepared by top chefs with simple ease and imaginative creativity.

Emeril Live features famous chef Emeril Lagasse, who prepares signature dishes, offers cooking tips and tricks, and mouth-watering fare for an audience. His outgoing personality, along with the in-studio band and musical guests, makes the show more than just your simple cooking show. A wish to be front row in the audience to smell the wonderful aromas and sample the food first-hand is on the minds of many viewers. A more subdued Emeril show, The Essence of Emeril, is also offered by the Food Network.

Iron Chef America, the American counterpart to the cooking competition show originally begun in Japan, features four top chefs who pit their culinary skills against guest chefs, in an effort to create fantastic dishes centered around a secret ingredient, within an hour. Inspiring similar competitions between friends and families, Iron Chef fever has spawned a crop of devoted fans.

Other shows, such as 30 Minute Meals, Calorie Commando, Low Carb and Lovin’ It, Quick Fix Meals, and Paula’s Home Cooking teach you how to prepare a large variety of simple and healthy, yet flavorful and creative meals. Tapping our desire for variety in the kitchen and on the dinner table, these shows have opened wide the doors of possibility, and made dinner the main attraction in many households.

Even educational programming in the guise of an informative, fun show called The Secret Life of… has managed to capture our interest as it delves into the sometimes strange, always interesting histories of food products that we consume daily with nary a thought toward its inception into commonality.

Countless cooking shows, featuring capable chefs and hosts with warming personalities and humorous attitudes, often in exciting locales beyond the kitchen, have breathed new life into the cooking process, causing many individuals to favor the Food Network over other popular shows on other channels.

Watching the Food Network can leave you with a sense of television viewing satisfaction that other shows cannot compete with. In addition to being entertained, you can also walk away with new knowledge about food and a sudden desire to pore through your fridge and pantry and see what culinary creativity you can foster in your own kitchen.

A crop of programs dedicated to healthy eating has also risen in favor due to the increased awareness of health foods and organic foods now integrated into millions of kitchens and the mindset of society, eager to find new ways to improve their health through healthy eating habits.

Even children have left their video games collecting dust, in favor of shows about candy, ice cream, and other chef-related cooking shows, awakening the desire to cook and create in a large host of young future chefs.

With a crop of new shows premiering often, the Food Network continues to attain new heights of popularity, reaching wider audiences and causing millions more to salivate while staring at the television screen.

For a complete guide to the shows on Food Network, be sure to visit the website at There, you’ll also find sections on shopping, recipes, kitchen design, and much more.

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