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For those days when you fancy something a little more creative from the kitchen, these TV shows offer creativity, inspiration, and entertainment in abundance.

Once you’ve conquered your kitchen fears Intimidated by Cooking? 6 Simple Tips to Conquer Your Kitchen Fears Intimidated by Cooking? 6 Simple Tips to Conquer Your Kitchen Fears Eating out is awesome, but it doesn’t compare to the experience of cooking a meal from scratch. But it’s far too common for people to hold a phobia of the kitchen. Read More  and can confidently cook basic meals 4 Websites For Affordable Recipes That Won't Break the Bank 4 Websites For Affordable Recipes That Won't Break the Bank Want to save a few hundred dollars every month? Stop eating out and start cooking! By cooking for yourself, you eat healthier and save money, it could even become a fun and relaxing hobby. Read More , you’ll naturally feel the urge to rustle something up that’s a little more creative — something that holds more of that wow factor, both on the plate and in your mouth.

Sometimes these meals may require fancy kitchen appliances Smart Kitchen Appliances You'll Wonder How You Lived Without Smart Kitchen Appliances You'll Wonder How You Lived Without No other part of the home is so perfectly set up for taking advantage of the advent of smart gadgets than the kitchen, where benefits can be brought to tech lovers and lazy people alike. Read More , but most won’t. The majority simply require a willingness to play around with flavors and hone the basic kitchen skills that you already possess.

To help push you in the right direction, these six TV shows will have you creatively inspired in no time — with celebrity chefs, talented culinary masters, and delectable cooks showing the best of their repertoire in each and every episode.

MasterChef

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Currently in its sixth Season, MasterChef is an incredibly popular competitive cooking show that searches for the best home chef in America.

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Presented by star chefs Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot, and Christina Tosi, the show requires contestants to cook classic meals to a very high standard, as well as being able to create their own dishes that impress the judges, all for the ultimate goal of winning the show’s grand prize: $250,000, the MasterChef trophy, and their very own published cookbook.

In all, the show does try to be harsh on the contestants, but mixed in with all the drama is some truly great food. Not to mention that this show is an international phenomenon with regional variants like MasterChef Australia and MasterChef India.

Watch on Amazon or iTunes now.

Chopped

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Each episode sees four chefs competing to turn a mystery basket of three to five unrelated ingredients into something deliciously extraordinary. The end meal must contain all of the ingredients, with the results usually being utterly mouth-watering, though occasionally disastrous.

Compared to other shows, this can be seen as much more real. How often do we turn to the fridge only to find a random selection of ingredients that we have no idea what to do with? This show is pretty much a replica of that situation, only we get to see what professional cooks would rustle up.

While this may shame some of us for our lack of creativity, it also offers a hearty dose of excitement when we see what can actually be made with even the most basic of ingredients if we just open up our minds a bit.

Watch on Amazon and iTunes now.

Top Chef

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Stretching 12 seasons, Top Chef has been hitting the screen since 2006, pitting professional chefs against each other in a series of cooking challenges, with the final dishes being judged by a selection of food and wine experts.

This is a show where budding chefs can really flex their culinary muscles in a bid to become “Top Chef“. In each episode there’s a “Cook Off” where the weakest chef is sent home and the winner lands a dream job (a la America’s Next Top Model). In between all of this are arguments, in-fighting, and drama.

As with MasterChef, feel free to ignore the reality TV editing. Behind all of that silliness are some incredible plates of food that would be a worth trying to replicate in your own kitchen. Plus, you get to learn some fantastic kitchen secrets 6 YouTube Cooking Channels Where Professional Chefs Share Their Secrets 6 YouTube Cooking Channels Where Professional Chefs Share Their Secrets Interested in sharpening your kitchen skills? It's the pro chefs you should listen to. You'd be surprised to know that some of the best in the business run channels on YouTube. Read More from very talented chefs.

Watch on Amazon or iTunes now.

The Taste

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Beginning with blind auditions that involve nothing but spoonfuls of food — to help the judges focus solely on taste — The Taste offers a refreshing alternative to many of the other cooking shows out there.

By paying less attention to fine-dining style presentation and more on what happens in your mouth after you’ve taken a bite, this is a show that can inspire the masses to get out there and play around with flavors instead of wasting too much time presenting otherwise mediocre food.

Although the competition aspect of The Taste isn’t particularly gripping (similar to The Voice) and the bitchiness between the judges (Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson, Ludo Lefebvre, and Marcus Samuelsson) can eventually grate, the food itself is nothing short of tantalizing and delicious.

Watch on Amazon or iTunes now.

Chef’s Table

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This beautifully filmed documentary series doesn’t quite class as a “cooking show” in the traditional sense, but showcases how some of the best chefs in the world approach their work.

Watching Massimo Bottura turn the most basic of ingredients into a work of art or Francis Mallman cooking on open-fires in Patagonia may not leave you with a selection of step-by-step recipes, but it’ll light a fire inside of you to push your cooking way outside of your comfort zone.

Watch on Netflix now.

Iron Chef America

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Since 2005, Iron Chef America has been Americanizing this original Japanese TV series where chefs go head-to-head in a fast-paced battle to produce the best looking and best tasting dishes. Packed with humor and energy, the show will leave you entertained and more knowledgeable about food and cooking techniques. Perfect wind-down TV!

If you’ve watched all 12 seasons, the formulaic approach to the show may become a tad boring, but continue watching and you’ll be treated to plenty of new ways to think about food Not Just Recipes: 4 iPad Apps That Teach You To Cook [iOS] Not Just Recipes: 4 iPad Apps That Teach You To Cook [iOS] Owning an iPad has changed the way I cook and bake in my kitchen. I can now load everything on my iPad, place it in the closest spot where it still wouldn't get dirty, and... Read More and tons of ideas for meals you never would have thought about otherwise.

Watch on Amazon or iTunes now.

There’s a Food Revolution Happening

Throughout the U.S. and Europe, there’s a revolution happening in the food industry. People are becoming more and more inventive and experimental, not just while eating out but also while preparing food in their own kitchens.

Rather than sticking to the same old dishes, people are looking for new ways of thinking about food, to offer new experiences and “taste sensations”. People now want to be able to cook like award-winning chefs Cook Like an Award Winning Chef With Free App Look&Cook Cook Like an Award Winning Chef With Free App Look&Cook Would you like to impress your guests with delicious meals, but lack fancy ingredients and clever ideas? Try free cooking app Look&Cook. Read More  without spending a fortune, all while treating guests to something entirely unique.

Between them, these TV shows offer a mass of ideas, techniques, flavor combinations, and inspiration to give us a fresh foundation for approaching our own cooking.

Where else do you find creative culinary inspiration? Share with us in the comments below!

Image Credits: cooking with magic via Shutterstock

  1. allan jay monteclaro
    June 23, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    I highly recommend Masterchef Australia. The US version has too much drama that it takes the focus away from the food and the cooking skills of the contestants. Plus, most of the Australian contestants have a career after the show aside from being a reality TV star.

    • Rob Nightingale
      June 29, 2015 at 8:57 pm

      Thanks for the pointer, Allan! Great recommendation!

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