Point of View
UNITED STATES—It’s a theory that I have thought about for years. When it comes to cooking just who is better in the kitchen, men or women? Being a male myself, I am inclined to say that men are more skilled at cooking than their female counterparts. To me I feel there is a bit more passion in the kitchen for us. We don’t necessarily look at cooking as a chore, but something that brings the family together in my eyes. I’m sure I’ll receive plenty of heat from the female base about that statement, but it’s the perception that I have from speaking to so many women who view cooking as a chore.
In addition, there are more men as executive chefs in top restaurants across the nation and they are depicted more often on television than there female counterparts. That’s not to say that females are not climbing the ladder as top chefs in the kitchen; we just do not hear about it as often which is unfortunate because most men who become cooks learn to cook from watching their mother in the kitchen. Everything that I have learned about cooking, I learned from one person, my mom. And in my opinion, she never looked at cooking as a chore, even after working a 9-10 hour shift at work. She’d come home and make sure supper was prepared and was happy to do it.
Watching her prepare sweet and sour chicken from scratch appeared exhausting, but watching her technique and preparation methods helped me hone in on how important it is to gather all your ingredients before preparing a dish; it just calms the person. One of my toughest tasks when it came to cooking was knowing when CHICKEN was done. I always asked my mom, “How do you know when it’s ready?” Her response was “You just know? After doing it for so long, you just know, but remember your meat should be white, if you see any pink it’s not done.” Some of the best cooks are those that take risks; through trial and error you become consistently better. Would I consider myself a top-notch Bobby Flay in the kitchen, not just yet, but I am fairly skilled at cooking dishes and I have a few signature dishes of my own.
Now that I reflect on my earlier years, my sister’s never spent much time in the kitchen with my mother; it was always my older brother and me. He likes to think he’s a better cook than me, but I argue otherwise because I’m not afraid to experiment, however, my brother is. All I can say is I make a mean butternut squash and beef stew that will tantalize the taste buds. It’s a recipe I learned from watching Giada De Laurentiis from Food Network. I have picked up quite a few skills in the kitchen from watching The Food Network and some of my favorites are female chefs like Giada, Alex Guarnaschelli and Anne Burrell, but I love the idea of tackling a challenge.
I wonder whether men are more driven to prove themselves as esteemed cooks, so that’s why we see more of them in the kitchen or on television. Or is there a lack of women striving to be chefs in the kitchen? It’s a question that may never be answered, but with Thanksgiving just mere days away I’m hearing from a massive majority of women that they will be doing all of the cooking come this holiday. I haven’t heard too many males stepping up to the plate, I took that challenge last year and it nearly burnt me out, but I did make a divine pumpkin cheesecake that I never got to taste. I think that’s a dish I’ll make again this year. Regardless of who we think remains supreme, the goal is for both men and women to have equal opportunity in the kitchen, but to also take an active role in participating as well.
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