Monday 24 October 2005

come over here and say that, sweary boy

Women "can't cook to save their lives", celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay has said. The controversial chef said more men are learning what to do in the kitchen, while women are more likely to be able to mix a cocktail than cook.

"When they eat, they cheat - it is ready meals and pre-prepared meals all the way," he said in the Radio Times. [source]

Ah, Gordon. How I admired your ability to push those who needed it, your passion for food, and the time you made Belinda Carlisle cry. Now you go ahead and say something like this, just to get us gals in a tizzy. Or did you? I could be cynical and say that Ramsay made this comment to gain publicity for his new series (aptly entitled "The F Word") which begins this week. Having read the rest of the article, I get the sense that the quote was taken slightly out of context - and actually, perhaps saying women can't cook isn't a bad thing.

I have several women friends who proudly proclaim that their idea of cooking involves a microwave and a corkscrew, and their male partners tend to do the majority of the meal preparation. Now that women are no longer barefoot and are now out of the kitchen, it's not surprising that many feel uncomfortable in front of an oven. So does the decline in the domestic goddess indicate something gone horribly wrong? Has Bridget Jones spawned a generation of blue soup kitchen disasters? Maybe it has more to do with women finding more important things to do with their time than cook a five course meal and roll their own pasta. Or maybe we've had enough with juggling the career, kids, and all things domestic. If Paul can and wants to cook tonight's supper, I would be insane to decline. Although I am perfectly capable of cooking (and tend to do so out of enjoyment rather than necessity), I wouldn't feel less of a woman if I didn't know how to make my own pie crust.

Men have learned that it's perfectly acceptable (if not quite sexy) to be adept in the kitchen. Women have learned that they don't need to be Delia (or Martha before she ended up in the clink) to be...erm...women. To say that women "can't cook to save their lives" is a bit inaccurate. Some women don't cook because they have lives.

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