Maybe this is a Canadian phenomenon, but a recent Globe and Mail article discovered a surprising trend among high school boys: they really, really want to learn how to cook advanced, fancy meals involving mother sauces and consommes and farm-fresh produce. And apparently, Gordon Ramsay (and other brawny man chefs) are behind this phenomenon, driving young men away from more harmful vices like video games, school shootings, and loitering.
“Teachers such as [Winnipeg’s Darlyne] Brajkovich give full credit to the bombastic British celebrity chief and his Food Network brethren for making cooking so cool that teenagers — boys, in particular — are clamouring to learn,” they wrote, noting that Brajkovich’s elective classes fill up the fastest at Miles Macdonell Collegiate — mostly with boys. This trend popped up elsewere, both in other schools and in professional classes: all boys, all the time, taking photos of their dishes and putting them on Instagram. (It’s not just a girl/Asian thing, apparently!)
To be fair (and to take away some credit from Gordon, because we can), a large part of this trend may have less to do with the testosterone-ness of Hell’s Kitchen and more to do with the rise of gender equality and the two-income household:
“In my family, we don’t think it’s fair that one person should have to cook the whole supper or breakfast,” says Jeremy Kinnear, a Grade 8 student at Twelve Mile Coulee. “My dad teaches me how to make pasta. My mom teaches me how to make cookies. The bread I learned all by myself.”
Socioeconomic trends aside, we do have to applaud television for introducing the concept of the handsome male chef to North America. If that means that the world will be filled with handsome men who can cook things like Lebanese chicken and potatoes for dinner, we’re totally for it.
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