Celebrity chefs such as Gordon Ramsay have brought a new machismo to cooking – and kitchenware is having to respond to it.
According to Debenhams, men are increasingly being encouraged to take up cooking and are now responsible for up to 15% of cookware and kitchen purchases.
As a result, says the retailer: “No longer is it enough to say that cookware is ‘stylish, well colour-coordinated and providing excellent value for money’ – all phrases which appeal primarily to women.
“Instead, even the simplest pot or pan now has to possess muscular qualities such as ‘heavy gauge, with superb heat distribution, capable of delivering an outstanding cooking performance.’
“Machines like microwaves, food mixers and ovens have to have the perceived strength of a nuclear bunker.”
Debenhams said male cooks like to buy equipment which is described using words denoting power and strength rather than style, colour or even value – “almost as if the food has to be beaten into submission.
“They see themselves as Arnie Schwarzenegger in an apron and tend to treat the kitchen as if it was their garage.”
Performance, latest technology and maximum control are keywords for selling to men, and top colours are black and stainless steel.