Jennifer Rubell, food and entertaining writer and cook book author, discusses the different cooking styles of men and women.
The Gender Divide in the Kitchen Is there a gender divide in the kitchen? Jennifer Rubell: I think men and women cook really differently at home. I mean this is, of course, broad strokes but I think rustic, earthy home cooking is still basically the province of women. I think restaurant cooking is still basically the province of men. I think some women cook like men and some men cook like women. But I still think that that broad divide is still in operation today. I think a lot of the men I know who are avid home cooks are sort of almost semiprofessional cooks. They approach cooking and it’s like there are thousand pots that are dirty. They’re doing reductions and sauces and really complex cooking techniques that they’ve seen in cutting edge cooking magazines that they’re deep into it. Whereas, I think women are more likely to just kind of get food on the table every night sometimes with great flair, sometimes just getting food on the table every night. I mean that’s maybe a little bit sexist but I think it’s held true with most people that I know. That said, certainly the doors to professional kitchens are now slightly open to women. But still, I think, a terrible place for anyone to be, man or woman, very difficult and the people who do it are my heroes. It’s amazing. But the home kitchen door has kind of always been open. A lot of men haven’t always wanted to go inside. The bad part is that the more that the home kitchen gets sort of professionalized, the more intimidating it feels and the more you feel like you could throw together a good meal with one pan and a couple of ingredients, the more you’re probably going to do it.