Why Men are better cooks.

16Apr07

In choosing to read this article beyond its headline, I suppose it would be safe to assume that you are either a) A man looking to boost his already substantial ego, or b) A very cheesed off female.

Since I have no interest in pandering to my fellow man’s self belief (genuine or otherwise) in his ability to cook, this article shall therefore be spent defending an incredibly controversial statement – which I happen to agree with.

Try listing ten TV chefs or food personalities and you will find that you inevitably name more of the masculine variety. Who hasn’t heard of Jamie Oliver, Anthony Bourdain, Martin Yan, or even our very own face of local food, K.F. Seetoh?

In contrast, the pink corner could only conjure up the delectable Nigella Lawson, Violet Oon, and, after much thought, the extremely old school Fang Tai.

This phenomenon is in no way limited to the idiot box. In commercial kitchens all over the island, you would be hard pressed to find more than a handful of female chefs, with the prized position of head chef an almost exclusively male domain.

Yet, most of us would have grown up weaned on a diet of our mum’s food. My mother has cooked at least three-quarters of my meals growing up. That�s � × 365 × 18! An incredible 3285 meals!

I’m sure that it was the same for Jamie, Anthony and Martin (JAM). How, then, did they evolve to become the super chefs that they are today?

I believe the answer lies in the fact that women continue to refuse to step into the world of professional cooking.

In the past thirty years, women have made huge advances in the workplace. Female CEOs, once a novelty, are becoming more commonplace. Women’s rights groups all over the world continue to battle – and rightly so – for the right to equality in offices everywhere.

Hail the coming of the modern career woman. She leads with an iron fist adorned with diamonds, refuses to take the full period of maternity leave accorded to her, and, damningly, simply refuses to cook.

The professional kitchen remains the domain of men simply because the modern career woman, who has all the attributes of a head chef (A leader, by the book, has the ability to multitask), refuses to step into what they deem to be a woman’s job.

After all, spending the whole day cooking and cleaning dishes is exactly what these newly empowered women are seeking to avoid. The irony is that their peers who decline the rocky road of career superstardom are often more comfortable staying in the kitchen – the home kitchen that is.

These women, content to pursue the socially acceptable role of home maker, prefer to hone their culinary skills at home, rather than cook for money. I’m sure everyone would agree, though, that skills are best honed when faced with competition. And where better to find competition than at the workplace?

Thus, men will continue to don their starched white uniforms and chef hats, if only because women don’t want to. And it is for this reason that I agree that men are better cooks, though it could be added that it is largely because they are the only ones who want to.

I’ve got to go, my mum’s calling: Dinner’s ready!

Credits: By Danny Tan

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