A man's place is in the kitchen...That's what he said!
Everyone who knows me, knows I love to cook. I wake up thinking about what to make for dinner. I spend hours scouring my cookbooks and magazines. The kitchen always has at least two or three books out on the counter with pages dog-eared or pieces of sticky notes clearly visible between the pages, marking my latest great find for my next dinner party.
So my latest foray into the kitchen was an especially exciting time. I had an opportunity to cook with the Celebrity Chefs when they were here on the island a few weeks ago. I didn't cook with all of them, but I did get to meet them all: D.C. Chef Jeff Tunks, Chef Wally Joe from Memphis, Atlanta based Chef Kevin Rathburn, Chef Jim Gerhardt from Limestone in Kentucky and Charleston Grill's Chef Bob Waggoner. Each one was more delicious than the next. There is something incredibly sexy about a man who knows his way around the kitchen and can tell YOU what to do. Just watching Chef Waggoner, from the Charleston Grill, turn on that Kitchen Aid mixer and whip the most perfect Chantilly cream set my heart a flutter. Chef Gerhardt brought tears to my eyes with a rich, delicious Szechwan sauce and his perfectly (and I mean perfectly) roasted filet mignon, it melted in everyone's mouth. The care each Chef took in preparation, and execution was something to watch and learn from. I was more than impressed.
Watching these men in action made one thing clear to me.Mr. Crown and Ginger needs some cooking classes. Yup, I want to see him bare foot in the kitchen with a whisk in his hand and the oven heating up. I am going to buy him subscriptions to Bon Appetite, Gourmet, Food and Wine and have them all delivered to his house in Charlotte. And for Christmas, forget the personalized golf balls, he is going on a cooking course at Johnson and Wales. No longer will all the responsibility of feeding the hungry be down to me. Nope, he can surprise me with the Duck Confit with caramelized onions and a port reduction sauce he has been perfecting. Hell, most chefs are men anyway. Like it or not ladies, the professional kitchen is a man's world, and that is okay with me. I don't like coming out of the kitchen smelling like I just doused my self with a bottle of Eau de Roasted Lamb all the time. I want to sit on my deck, too, with a nice cold glass of chardonnay in hand after just having a bubble bath and spritzing myself with a hint of Jo Malone Lime and Basil cologne, while I watch the sun set. No more sweating it out in the kitchen while everyone else does what he or she wants. Chilling will no longer be exclusively for the chardonnay, I am joining in. It is time for me to hand over one of my It's Delicious recipes and say "Have at it honey, I'll be outside."
I have hung on to my kitchen for way too long. Every now and again, I do get burned out doing the shopping, the planning, the prep, and the cooking.I am going on strike! After watching these men in action, I am a convert and firmly believe that a man's place is in the kitchen in front of a food processor, not in front of a 54-inch plasma screen. Nope, a man's repertoire of cooking should not be limited solely to the BBQ. There is plenty of scope for them to expand their palates and techniques and learn the joys of sautÈ, flash frying, roasting, mashing, reductions, infusions and pureeing.
So let's raise our glasses to all the men out there and their newfound love of cooking, even though they may not know it yet. Don't blame me; blame the industry.its man's world (so I am told) Cheers!