Britain has gone cooking-crazy with the numerous cooking programmes filling the prime time television slots. The increasing diversity in Britain also means that people are forever trying out new recipes and experimenting with new food. But who is better in the cooking world, men or women?
The stereotypical student arrives at university with a month’s supply of food from their parents. Rather than spending money on food, students are believed to save money for partying and spend most of their time in the ready meal or pasta isles of the supermarkets. Apart from the money and time factor, it is surprising to learn that many students get together and cook exciting meals for each other. Moving beyond the basic skills of pasta cooking, many students are able to ‘chip-in’ and cook up a fantastic concoction of foods. Not to mention, the hit television show Come Dine with Me, which is popular amongst students both on screen and to practise in their own homes.
Traditionally women were the homemakers, providing regular meals for her family and husband when he arrived home from work. Yet, with the exception of Delia or Nigella, the famous chefs that come to mind are Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay and Ainsley Harriet, etc., men appear to be better in the culinary art. Is this true or is it just a generalisation? Do we want to see, as a modern society, men in the kitchen instead of the traditional female cook?
Italian chef, Nadia Santini recently won the title of the World’s Best Female Chef. Surprisingly, she only acquired her cooking skills after marriage with the help of her husband’s grandmother. Over twenty years, she learnt how to turn traditional Mantuan cuisine into ‘magic’. Nevertheless, it sparked many debates as to whether the gender dividing titles are necessary in contemporary society. Does the fact that society favours male chefs reflect the general culinary skills in society, or are men and women equal in the cooking world? Women’s history in the kitchen should surely give them a head start, but as we have seen, Santini demonstrates it is not that straightforward.
On eliminating the stereotypical manliness related to barbecue cooking, it seems that in many relationships men and women equally try their hand at experimental cooking, particularly in younger generations. The increasingly popular cooking shows with younger generations, such as Come Dine With Me and MasterChef demonstrate this.
So, it seems apparent that Britain is a cooking-loving nation after all, and the younger generations in particular are balancing out the culinary skills between genders. There are some men that cannot cook, but there are also plenty women that cannot do so either, as is the case in many other fields.
We may not be the next Gordon Ramsay nor be able to actually create meals in thirty minutes like Jamie Oliver, but it seems people are not necessarily losing their way amidst the array of plastic-packaged ready meals.
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