Padma Lakshmi from Top ChefWhen the much-anticipated Food Network spin-off -- the Cooking Channel -- launches on May 31, a whole slew of new chefs will join the likes of Jamie Oliver, Paula Deen, Anthony Bourdain, and Gordon Ramsay on our TV screens. We're passing the time until that happens with a list of the hottest cooking shows on television right now. Trust us: These shows are smokin' ...
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10. Giada at Home, Food Network: I've made no secret of my love for Giada de Laurentiis, so don't act like you didn't see this coming. Sure, she gets criticised for showing a little too much cleavage on her show, but this is a list of the hottest shows after all. Anyway, who cares what she looks like if her food's good? And you have to agree that her California-Italian fusion eats do not disappoint. Saturdays at 1 p.m. EST; Mondays at 4:30 p.m.
9. Cake Boss, TLC: How can you not like a show that more than a few TV critics have said is a cross between Ace of Cakes and The Real Housewives of New Jersey? Buddy Valastro and his talented team of artists entertain viewers each week with their AMAZING cake creations (out of Hoboken, New Jersey, of course!). Mondays at 9 p.m.
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8. Nigella Express, Food Network: Nigella Lawson could eat a bag of chips and make it look sexy. But her recipes are solid, too. In this show she focuses on shortcuts and quick recipes -- the perfect concept for people who love to cook but don't have hours to spend in the kitchen. Saturdays at 8 a.m.
7. The Delicious Miss Dahl, BBC Two: Sophie Dahl is a model-turned-television cook -- and a very lovely one at that. She prepares indulgent comfort food like peanut butter and chocolate fudge and bruschetta with buffalo mozzarella all the while chatting gaily with her super-cute accent. Still not convinced? Critics are calling her the "blond Nigella" (see #8). If you don't get BBC Two, you can watch Sophie on YouTube.
6. The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Food Network: Famous chefs are usually fun to watch; famous chefs talking about their very favorite foods is literally addictive. No wonder this show is so popular. Mondays at 9 p.m.
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5. Julia and Jacques, PBS: One show, two of the greatest gourmet chefs of all time -- really, what more could you ask for? The chemistry between these two is unmatched (well, at least as far as cooking shows go). And this show is particularly fun now that Julia Child is enjoying such a resurgence in popularity. Visit A La Carte Communications to see when this show airs in your area.
4. Healthy Appetite, Food Network: Everyone's trying to cook healthier these days, which is why Ellie Krieger's show -- focusing on quick and easy recipes -- is so relevant. It doesn't hurt that Ellie makes absolutely beautiful, fresh-looking food; half the time I want to dive into the screen and eat more than the recommended portion size! New episodes of Healthy Appetite aren't currently airing, but you can watch her on the Food Network site.
3. America's Test Kitchen, PBS: Maybe it's odd to include a show where the host wears a bow tie in a hot list, but this classic trial-and-error cooking show never fails to have the most useful kitchen tips. Plus, some of my very favorite recipes have come out of this show; I just have to concentrate on staying awake. Check your local listings for times; or watch episodes at America's Test Kitchen.
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1. Top Chef, Bravo: The most perfect cooking show of all time, Top Chef has it all: high-stakes culinary throw-downs; gorgeous food; likable (and not so likable) characters; awesomely talented judges; and non-stop drama. I'm counting down the days until Season 7 starts on June 16. Wednesdays at 9 p.m.
What's your favorite cooking show on TV?
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