Posted in Celebrity Kitchens, Hot Topics, Kitchen Sociology, Kitchen Trends, Men in the Kitchen

Do men like being in the kitchen?

Over at Hospitality Net, there is a question posed to the reader in an article called ‘The New Food Tourist – Gordon Ramsay Eat Your Heart Out! | By Dr Ian Yeoman, Futurologist:

Do men like being in the kitchen?

Sure they do. I am not a social forecaster but as a kitchen designer I can testify to the fact that more men are actively researching and going out to the appliance stores and doing the research on the internet just as much as women. Maybe even more so than women. I have noticed that men are less cost conscious of appliances than women are, in that men are more concerned with getting the best quality and features, and will pay more to get them. Women tend to be more focused on the interior features of the cabinets, focusing on ease of access and the colors in the kitchen and similarly will pay more for cabinets than men will. I do believe men are more focused on the mechanics of the gadgets in appliance design, less so on color of cabinets. Also I do think that it is more than a single focus for men, it does involve self-fulfillment in showing off creative cooking skills and entertaining.

The article states: As pollster Mark Penn observes ‘micro trends are based upon the idea that the most powerful forces in our society are the emerging, counterintuitive trends that are shaping tomorrow before us’. Therefore moving into the future, tomorrow’s food tourist will be the upwardly mobile male, aged 26-44 who will see cultural capital and social cachet in America’s food experiences. In general, men are becoming more interested in food. This means more connectivity between food and wine, whether it is as an incentive product for those involved in business tourism or just more men taking food tours. Deluxe kitchen manufacturers will probably offer cookery lessons with the celebrity chefs in a wonderful location so you can learn how use all those gadgets. Cookery schools with probably offer ‘Man Food’ courses for those that want to know how to ‘cook a decent curry’ for those on urban weekends. Restaurants will be taken over by budding Gordon Ramsay’s, who will fight it out just like ‘Hell’s Kitchen’. Those budding celebrity chefs will pay for the privilege for doing so and they will invite their friends and relatives to consume that food (which you will charge for) and you will then sell them a DVD of the experience.

There has been a social overhaul of the kitchen from the isolated domain of the happy homemaker to the shared open space of The Great Room. Residential kitchens are being designed for two cooks. He has his requests, she has hers. There is a social shift in who does the cooking at home, to shared responsibilities. In contrast, in hospitality kitchens, male chefs have always dominated the industry. It was always harder for women to earn the top spots in fine dining restaurants. The competition to keep women out was fierce. Still, women have proven equal rank in some of the highest rated restaurants and hotels, creating greater competition for the top spots. Cooking shows are equally populated with male and female contestants vying for the title of Top Chef and Hell’s Kitchen Champ. The cooking competition shows have contributed to a new enviable social status with a celebrity like presence. Have you seen these twenty something hot shots? I think this will influence how more young men might think about a culinary career like never before. These shows are culinary boot camp. Brimming with competition, bravado and throw down, the kitchen is no place for wimps. The men on these cooking shows, some of them have a mystique to their persona similar to a rock star. Mavericks, swarthy, dead serious about food, enviable knife skills. They make cooking skills look cool. Rock on! It’s all in the competition.

This translates to what men will be requesting in their own kitchen. I do believe the kitchen is a new way for men to show off status and fashion as an extension of their personal identity, the same way a car has been a reflection of one’s identity. Poggenpohl knows this with the first Porsche designed kitchen, designed especially with men in mind. With the return in popularity of the dinner party, and the trend of the great room where the kitchen is included in the living space, I do believe men will play a bigger part of the kitchen scene. No longer will they want to be relegated to the bar-b-que. This will surely be another reason to keep marriage therapists busy.

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Author:

Laurie Burke, connected to the design and construction industry since 1996. A seasoned residential kitchen and bath design specialist , Laurie has designed thousands of kitchens & baths as well as other cabinetry projects requiring technical precision in design drafting utilizing state of the art 2020 software for creating accurate plans and elevations. Through on- going product knowledge training and a desire to always stay current with an evolving marketplace, Laurie Burke maintains a strong command of knowing the appropriate Fit & Finish materials required for a residential remodel to meet the budget, the timeline of a project and a client's need for a finished product that meets their satisfaction. Kitchen Designer by trade, foodie, techie, weekend traveler for fun. For more information contact me at burkeKBdesign@gmail.com http://laurieburke.houzz.com

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