More men are taking up cooking classes

MEN ONLY: A cooking instructor showing a class of 18 men how to make Hainanese pork chop.


    Nov 02, 2015

    More men are taking up cooking classes

    IT IS like Fifty Shades except instead of leather, the men don aprons. Yes, there is whipping and beating, but it involves cream and eggs.

    Men are joining cooking classes in droves. Men who cook are just so sexy, say the instructors.

    Jes, 31, who owns Buonissimo, a European cooking school here, says: "A man who knows his way around the kitchen can be attractive."

    Jes, as she prefers to be known, says some of the men have found girlfriends thanks to the cooking classes.

    "They are in their early 30s, not married and looking to meet people. They want to meet women. It is quite obvious," she says.

    She reveals that there were two men who used to attend her cooking classes regularly three years ago.

    "They found girlfriends here, and they stopped coming," she says.

    There has been a 30 per cent increase in the number of men attending her classes from two years ago, she says. Her class size is 15 students.

    The owner of the Food Playground cooking school, Daniel Tan, 39, says the gender ratio in his classes has shifted too.

    The self-taught chef says: "In the past, there were more women. The ratio was 20:80 men to women. Now, the ratio is 40:60."

    It has been the same experience for Lynette Foo, 44, chef and owner of the Palate Sensations cooking school.

    Her art of butchery class has a ratio of 60:40, men to women.

    She says: "Men like to be masters in something. In our art of butchery class, they learn how to butcher quail, chicken, turkey and pork, how to cut vegetables, fillet fish and debone chicken."

    Ms Foo says the typical male participant "holds a very good job, such as head of some company, earning good money".

    She adds: "They harbour secret aspirations to be a chef, but they can't because they realise they earn more with their day jobs.

    "So they come on weekends, put on their uniforms, play with knives and make beautiful food. Because they realise they will never earn enough as a chef."

    The prevalence of cooking shows on television, too, has made cooking more trendy among men.

    Says Mr Tan: "In the past, the man was known to be the breadwinner. The wife was the homemaker and took care of the family.

    "These days, most families are double-income and whoever has the time or interest in cooking, cooks.

    "Men tend to want to cook for their kids. They don't want them to eat out all the time."

    He sees more younger couples and men taking up cooking as a survival skill as well.

    Cooking is increasingly seen as glamorous, unlike in the past.

    "You put on an apron in a fancy kitchen. These days, when they do up their kitchens, they want to do them up nicely," says Mr Tan.

    "It is definitely more sexy these days. Some like to entertain friends and impress their family members."

    Men like making fresh pasta, says Jes. But baking is not so hot (pun intended), say the cooking instructors.

    South Korea is experiencing a similar trend, because more women are working in demanding professions.

    Reality television shows featuring men cooking and the emergence of male star chefs have also helped lure men into the kitchen, spawning the catch phrase "sexy cooking men", a recent Reuters report said.

    The popularity of Korean drama serials such as Flower Boy Ramyun Shop and King Of Baking, Kim Tak Goo, has also contributed to the trend.