I'm quite sure that this is a fact, all be it anecdotal:
"Seriously, there are huge numbers of young women out there who know how to mix cocktails but can't cook to save their lives, whereas men are finding their way into the kitchen in ever-growing numbers. Trust me: I am only telling you what I've discovered."
What the article doesn't mention is that we're coming from a very low base when it comes to men's involvement in the kitchen, so yes, the numbers are growing. There's a surprise. I would be very interested to hear his observations on how men clean up after their cooking, or is this traditional task left to the cocktail swigging women?
But I'm not insulted at the tenor of the piece, because, yes, I sense that there's quite a bit of truth in it, if you take out the gender spin (which does lend more oomph to what is effectively an article very short on substance). Of course the article doesn't relate to a niche market like eG and friends, but if Gordon gets more people cooking and eating well, I'm all for it, and the more noise he makes about it, the more people he's going to reach.
The thing is, as mentioned upthread, home cooking seems to have become a bit of a competitive sport (hmmm... is there any correlation between that and the entry of more men to the kitchen?) and I think that many people who could once russle up an acceptable pasta dish, now feel like they can't really cook. I don't think the Atkins diet helped the image of the simple pasta supper either. And when someone like Delia does an easy basics TV series, she is rubbished for the instructive detail on how to boil an egg (by other chefs who should be more inclusive and get the idea).
So, maybe we should just accept a few home truths and try and make things better:
1. The traditional role of a mother teaching her children (mostly daughters) to cook has diminished, and tired career women are really trying to do their best, but there are not very many superwomen out there. Some of these tired career women do look down on stay at home 'domestic' mums, so Nigella does have a point.
2. Many busy families don't eat together any more.
3. There is less emphasis on cooking/home economics as a subject in schools (this is an assumption).
4. Society has become more affluent and people can afford to eat out more (money rich, time poor).
So what is required is some hook and recruitment mechanism. Jamie did a lot for school dinners, and Gordon, who has an even higher profile should be a major TV draw, and the shock media tactics are just all part of the deal. I'm a big Ramsay fan, I just hope he doesn't do a revisited series.
Edited by Corinna Dunne, 25 October 2005 - 10:57 AM.