New series on the blog, woo! This idea first came to me one day when I was thinking of my dear late uncle, Oom Djoko, who was like a father to me. He was endlessly amused that my handsome-and-talented husband is the baker in our marriage, and had taken up sausage-making as well.
My uncle, like many Javanese men of his generation, never went into the kitchen. I am not sure if he knew how to fry an egg. His late wife, my father’s sister, always took care of all the household affairs, supported by the lovely and kind domestic staff when she fell ill with cancer.
Anyway, I realised that very few men of my father and uncle’s generations ever ventured into the kitchen to cook. Except for Sami’s father and his amazing squid-ink squid. So no wonder that the relatives in my parents’ generation were all amused and impressed at my handsome-and-talented husband’s prowess in the kitchen.
A quick round of asking in my Indonesian circles revealed that this is still the case with my generation. The guys are still kitchen-useless kitchen-shy, although definitely opinionated on how food and dishes should be. Two main trends in my Jakarta circle is the convenience of going out and the convenience of food delivery, which reduces anyone’s time in the kitchen overall.
It’s confusing to me, how one can forgo such an essential thing in life. On the other hand you could argue that I never do DIY in the house because the handsome-and-talented husband won’t let me mess up the wall does everything. So why would they need to cook if their wives or the live-in maids took care of cooking?
To me, cooking and eating has become a platform for creative outlet and critical thinking, so I made this series for recognising the men who are making fantastic stuff in the kitchen for their beloved friends and family.
I’m starting out with my own friends and family, half a dozen men from different cultural backgrounds, to get a wide variety and insights to some of the questions I’m posing, e.g “Why is the gastronomy industry still dominated by men?”
The format will be:
- a short personal intro section from me.
- an interview with the current “Man in the Kitchen”.
- one of their signature recipes that I will cook, style, photograph, and then serve and rate with friends.
If any of you are interested in nominating someone, please let me know via the comments section below. The only criteria is that they are male, and are the cooks in their relationship/marriage.
Let’s get this show on the road! First one coming tomorrow!