TFFood NetworksFood Network Turns 30! Check Out These Throwback Photos of Its Original Stars
TFFood NetworksFood Network Turns 30! Check Out These Throwback Photos of Its Original Stars
Food Networks

Food Network Turns 30! Check Out These Throwback Photos of Its Original Stars

Celebrate the Food Network’s milestone anniversary with a look back at the OG chefs



<p>Food Network / Courtesy Everett;  Randall Benton/Sacramento Bee/Tribune News Service via Getty</p>
<p> Bobby Flay and Guy Fieri ” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/WcPvEaDJGwmt6L.vxBamZA–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY0MA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/people_218/91a30badc909cae740fc2103426b8648″/><img alt=Food Network / Courtesy Everett; Randall Benton/Sacramento Bee/Tribune News Service via Getty

Bobby Flay and Guy Fieri ” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/WcPvEaDJGwmt6L.vxBamZA–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY0MA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/people_218/91a30badc909cae740fc2103426b8648″ class=”caas-img”/>

Food Network/Courtesy Everett; Randall Benton/Sacramento Bee/Tribune News Service via Getty

Bobby Flay and Guy Fieri

It’s been 30 years since a delicious television channel called the Food Network hit the airwaves.

In that time, it’s become the go-to for home cooks and couch critics alike, turning chefs into celebrities (see: Bobby Flay and Guy Fieri) and inspiring viewers to shout “BAM!” among other kitchen catchphrases.

In honor of the Food Network’s 30th anniversary, see photos of some of its biggest stars in their early years.

Bobby Flay



<p>Food Network / Courtesy Everett</p>
<p> Bobby Flay in 1998″ src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/DmXMaZD4viDWhSHCjy7fuw–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTc0OQ–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/people_218/58621f03793f4a4a02694fa995daa162″/><img alt=Food Network / Courtesy Everett

Bobby Flay in 1998″ src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/DmXMaZD4viDWhSHCjy7fuw–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTc0OQ–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/people_218/58621f03793f4a4a02694fa995daa162″ class=”caas-img”/>

Food Network/Courtesy Everett

Bobby Flay in 1998

Bobby Flay joined Food Network in 1995 — when he was in his early 30s — and hasn’t looked back since.

“That place has been my family for a long time,” the Beat Bobby Flay star and New York City restaurateur told PEOPLE in early 2023. “I love having my Food Network family because it’s my shorthand of life. They’ve let me basically bring to life my culinary dreams on TV.”

“I love what I do for a living,” he added. “I love that I can inspire people to cook better at home and open their eyes up to what’s available for them to cook and eat in their household.”

Rachael Ray



<p>Food Network / Courtesy Everett</p>
<p> Rachael Ray in 2002″ src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/a.6BFUqW7ZX5BlnLe_6Zmg–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTk0NQ–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/people_218/884a026fff2fcddc43556ff0613eb16b”/><img alt=Food Network / Courtesy Everett

Rachael Ray in 2002″ src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/a.6BFUqW7ZX5BlnLe_6Zmg–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTk0NQ–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/people_218/884a026fff2fcddc43556ff0613eb16b” class=”caas-img”/>

Food Network/Courtesy Everett

Rachael Ray in 2002

Rachael Ray’s star on the Food Network rose quickly after she first appeared at 33 years old in 2001, thanks to relatable shows like 30 Minute Meals, Week in a Day and $40 a Day.

“It’s a conversation,” she said of her shows in a 2015 interview. “I think that most genuine television is about sharing. I try to be curious and dedicated and authentic when I go to work.”

Giada De Laurentiis



<p>Bob Riha Jr/WireImage</p>
<p> Giada De Laurentiis in 2005″ src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/_Xiz56HlhqMvEyriPifvBQ–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTQyMDtoPTYzNA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/people_218/ab528388f6b1333117b838c8f11ba73b”/><img alt=Bob Riha Jr/WireImage

Giada De Laurentiis in 2005″ src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/_Xiz56HlhqMvEyriPifvBQ–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTQyMDtoPTYzNA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/people_218/ab528388f6b1333117b838c8f11ba73b” class=”caas-img”/>

Bob Riha Jr/WireImage

Giada De Laurentiis in 2005

Giada De Laurentiis announced she’d be leaving Food Network in early 2023, after 21 years as a host on the channel.

She hit airwaves in 2002 at 32 years old, launching Everyday Italian and later, Giada at Home.

When sharing the news she’d be moving on from the network, a spokesperson called her “culinary royalty, someone who has taught audiences how to properly pronounce every cut of pasta imaginable for nearly two decades.”

Ina Garten



<p>Food Network</p>
<p> Ina Garten in the early 2000s” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/5ZTxjtDn_5yo0IXSuI3CsA–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTY0MDtoPTkxNA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/people_218/e6a597b6e23bf00056ddc314b3afb4d1″/><img alt=Food Network

Ina Garten in the early 2000s” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/5ZTxjtDn_5yo0IXSuI3CsA–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTY0MDtoPTkxNA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/people_218/e6a597b6e23bf00056ddc314b3afb4d1″ class=”caas-img”/>

Food Network

Ina Garten in the early 2000s

Another member of the class of 2002, Ina Garten came into homes in style at age 54 with her Barefoot Contessa series.

In early 2023, she reflected on her very first episode, in which she made lemonade.

“Don’t you just love fresh lemonade? Not that stuff your mother used to bring home from the grocery store. But the real thing, made with freshly squeezed lemons,” she says in the clip.

“For those of you who like a little something special, you can mix it with vodka,” she said, adding later on, “I’m definitely putting vodka in mine.”

David Rosengarten



<p>AP/Richard Drew</p>
<p> David Rosengarten in 2004″ src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/4cb07Zn6XpDHLubdb2SSbg–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTk1Mw–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/people_218/f98bbdd4f478f237c0717c0649b31b3f”/><img alt=AP/Richard Drew

David Rosengarten in 2004″ src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/4cb07Zn6XpDHLubdb2SSbg–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTk1Mw–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/people_218/f98bbdd4f478f237c0717c0649b31b3f” class=”caas-img”/>

AP/Richard Drew

David Rosengarten in 2004

David Rosengarten was a true original, starring on one of the network’s debut shows, Taste, like his cookbook of the same name.

“My knowledge comes from interest. In France chefs are proud that they are self-taught. I taught myself how to cook,” he told South Coast Today in 1999.

Rosengarten is still in the food space, blogging for Forbes, among other publications.

Alton Brown



<p>Food Network</p>
<p> Alton Brown in 1999″ src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/utnc8G1_mrvRw2Em3MINdQ–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTcxNA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/people_218/2dae6980a0e6a19d8964346befde7dba”/><img alt=Food Network

Alton Brown in 1999″ src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/utnc8G1_mrvRw2Em3MINdQ–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTcxNA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/people_218/2dae6980a0e6a19d8964346befde7dba” class=”caas-img”/>

Food Network

Alton Brown in 1999

Alton Brown launched Good Eats at 37 years old in 1999, appearing on the show until 2012. He ultimately went on to host series like Cutthroat Kitchen and Iron Chef America, though brought a Good Eats rebooted back in 2019 before leaving Food Network for Netflix’s new Iron Chef series in 2022.

“I don’t really think of myself as having left a place as much as I simply crossed the street to join one of my first loves,” Brown told EW.com at the time. “I had 20 pretty spectacular years at Food Network. I built a brand there. I became part of Iron Chef America there. But to be honest, if Netflix had taken a shot at Iron Chef without me, that would have broken my heart.”

Emeril Lagasse



<p>John Chiasson / TV Guide / Courtesy Everett</p>
<p> Emeril Lagasse in 1993″ src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/EYly2oKPjuLSxrjOkqJNZg–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTkyMw–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/people_218/fb55c944d141b85729003201482a4f08″/><img alt=John Chiasson / TV Guide / Courtesy Everett

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John Chiasson / TV Guide / Courtesy Everett

Emeril Lagasse in 1993

Emeril Lagasse became one of the first super-famous television chefs, thanks in part to his copious use of “Bam!” in cooking and his take on Creole cuisine. He was another who helped launch Food Network when he was in his 30s, gaining popularity on Emeril Live.

“I was one of the first ten employees hired at the Food Network,” he told GQ in 2016. “The show evolved, the ratings got better, we did a lot of things to add viewership to the network, so that made everybody happy. It was a great 10-year run. The ticket was one of the hottest tickets in New York. We had all these great musicians who were into food and wanted to tape the show.”

Guy Fieri



<p>Randall Benton/Sacramento Bee/Tribune News Service via Getty</p>
<p> Guy Fieri in 2007″ src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/ZnGeSPYjS0Ta4gQ4MxVBLg–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY2Mw–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/people_218/48a5022034812fc63fb5eda93312fbba”/><img alt=Randall Benton/Sacramento Bee/Tribune News Service via Getty

Guy Fieri in 2007″ src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/ZnGeSPYjS0Ta4gQ4MxVBLg–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY2Mw–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/people_218/48a5022034812fc63fb5eda93312fbba” class=”caas-img”/>

Randall Benton/Sacramento Bee/Tribune News Service via Getty

Guy Fieri in 2007

At 38 years old, Guy Fieri won the 2006 edition of The Next Food Network Star, launching a career that continues on the network today (he signed an $80 million deal in 2021).

His first show, Guy’s Big Bite, debuted in 2006, and now he hosts series like Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Guy’s Grocery Games and Tournament of Champions.

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