A Man’s Place is in the Kitchen

In the majority of the couples I know, the guy does the cooking.

Is this a paradigm shift in domesticity roles? Why do I feel it has gotten little attention?

And hey, I’m no teary-eyed Glenn Beck doughboy waxing nostalgic for the “good ol’ days when I was a kid” and mom used to don the apron and have to cook everything. I just happen to like cooking, and, my wife doesn’t. And I know lots of other guys who are happily sailing in the same boat.

So why has it become okay, or dare I say “cool” for a man to be the primary cook in today’s home kitchen?

One reason surely must be celebrity chefs and the Food Network. When I was a kid (oops, there I go getting all Glenn Beck again), I watched a ton of cooking shows. Lots of Julia Child, but also Jacques Pepin, Justin Wilson: The Cajun cook, Jeff Smith: The Frugal Gourmet—who’s career (according to wikipedia) tragically  “came to an end when two of his male assistant chefs brought charges of sexual harassment against him.”

Yikes…

But the past ten or so years have seen the rise of numerous cool/macho/hip chefs who have become household names – Anthony Bourdain, Jamie Oliver, Mario Batali, Gordon Ramsay, and I suppose even Emeril Lagasse with his terrible cooking and inpsipid catch-noise (“Bam!”). All these guys helped take cooking out of the kitchen and into our living rooms—it made cooking something a guy could relate to, and want to emulate. No longer was the chef a skilled professional in the back of the kitchen, he was just a dude like us.

Bourdain, in fact, scribed an excellent op-ed in the NY Times (as part of an end of decade roundup) in December noting 2007 as a watershed year for food and our relationship to it:

“The brilliant, pioneering work of LA Weekly’s Jonathan Gold was honored with a Pulitzer Prize, the first time for a food writer — and this, surely, was a Very Important Moment. But 2007 was also the year that Food Network canceled “Emeril Live,” and stopped ordering episodes of “Molto Mario,” a calculated break with the idea of the celebrity chef as a seasoned professional and a move toward an entirely new definition: a personality with a sauté pan.”

I’ll be getting more into this subject as it really is the meat of The Gourmale blog…and I encourage anyone’s thoughts.

In the meantime, another cookie recipe from my mom (actually my nana):

Nana’s Crescent Cookies

1/2 lb butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 t almond extract
1t vanilla
1t cold water
1c crushed pecans or walnuts
2 c flour

Mix together. Use approx size of large marble and roll into crescent shape.

Bake 325 15-20 min on buttered cookie sheet.

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