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Cooking is no longer something that’s only done in the kitchen: if you’ve been keeping up with the media you’ve probably noticed that cooking has taken over the airways. Whole television stations have been dedicated to the cause, and celebrity chefs have gone from being rare to being impossible to ignore.
The public hunger for media about food is only on the rise, with eighty per cent of US adults – especially those falling into the Baby Boomer and Gen X groups - watching cooking shows. With a wealth of different cooking shows on offer, ranging from shows about general cooking to regional food to specific cooking techniques, it’s little wonder that these shows have influenced a generation of home cooks.
There’s no denying that we’re in the age of the cooking empire, but how did it all begin? In the infographic below we’ve prepared a timeline of the cooking shows that have inspired everyday people to try their hand at new dishes and new styles of cooking.
It all began with Betty Crocker, who made her debut on the radio way back in 1924. It wasn’t until 1946 that cooking shows began to infiltrate the TV networks, but a handful of shows including NBC’s I Love to Eat hit the airwaves laid the foundations to what would become today’s cooking culture as we know it.
Things really began to take off in the 60s, with TV personalities such as Julia Child developing strong fan bases, and the 90s brought extra momentum with shows such as Two Fat Ladies - and of course the first-of-its-kind Food Network, dedicated entirely to cooking and food. The network has been extraordinarily popular, drawing a growing audience and huge amounts of ad revenue.
In fact, cooking networks are such a draw that today’s celebrity chefs are certified multi-millionaires, with salaries of up to $38 million dollars annually. To see which celebrity chefs earn the most and which cooking shows rank as the most popular, scroll down to our infographic and prepare to be impressed by the numbers that prove that the age of the cooking empire is upon us!