The kitchen, it seems, has become more bipartisan. Cooking has become co-ed.
In other words, more men are now manning the kitchen, slaving over the proverbial hot stove.
It seems the recession’s job losses have been felt by men in greater numbers than women in such fields as finance and construction. More women are getting the better-paying jobs and working longer hours, leaving more time for the husband to prepare the evening meal.
Consumer research firm Mintel talks about the new balance of power in the U.S. household: female breadwinner, male bread buyer—and, we might add, bread baker and meal maker.
Men today spend triple the amount of time in the kitchen compared to what they did in 1970. It’s happening in England, too. A recent survey found that British men, on average, spend more than 30 minutes a day cooking. British women are spending less time in the kitchen—a little over an hour a day vs. two hours back in the 1960s.
A recent U.S. study states that about 40 percent of men in the U.S. will cook dinner over the next two weeks.
As noted in a story by Sara Leeder for CNN’s Eatocracy, guys don’t have to look far to find male role models. We see men cooking all over the Food Network, on shows with macho names like “Iron Chef,” “Throwdown” and “Challenge.” Chefs such as Bobby Flay and Mario Batali have become stars. We see Chef Gordon Ramsay lording over his minions on FOX’s “Hell’s Kitchen.” (Not sure he’s a good role model, though.)
There are also websites and magazines devoted to men cooking, such as ManTestedRecipes.com.
In a survey attached to Leeder’s blog, which is totally unscientific of course, 38% of respondents said they were “male and I do most of the cooking,” compared to only 16% who clicked on “I’m female and I do most of the cooking.” (Those were the numbers at the time I took the survey.)
There can be no doubt that there are more men cooking today–men who feel at home with a spatula in their hands. And that’s probably a good thing.
We can almost hear the chorus of female voices out there saying: “It’s about time.”
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