400 ANGELA DAY: Masterchef winner Deena Naidoo. Pic taken at Monto Vino restaurant in Montecasino. 250712. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

London - They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. But instead of sitting around waiting to be served, it seems dining tables have turned – and increasing numbers of men are now doing the cooking themselves.

Men are picking up their pots and pans and regularly whipping up four meals a week, with a repertoire of 11 recipes they can prepare from scratch, a study in the UK conducted by Hotpoint has found.

With an abundance of food programmes such as MasterChef and Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals now on TV, two in three men revealed that they cook more than their father did, spending 11 hours and 30 minutes in the kitchen each week.

Over half of the men surveyed described themselves as “adventurous” cooks, claiming that their use of new ingredients, recipes, and techniques has made them a better cook than their partner.

Inspired by male TV chefs such as Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay, men no longer take over the apron strings in the kitchen just on special occasions such as Christmas and Valentine’s Day.

Two thirds of men now regularly cook midweek meals and a third prepare their children’s meals and packed lunches.

Among the dishes men think they have mastered better than women are seafood, steak, and stir-fries, while traditional dishes such as eggs and chips, curry and sausage and mash also scored highly.

The poll of 2 000 men also found that in the past two years men have spent an average of £498 (R7 000) on kitchen appliances in a bid to improve their cooking.

Almost half said they would rather invest in kitchen appliances than new gadgets such as tablets and e-readers, while a quarter revealed they would even give up their sports season ticket to get their hands on a new must-have kitchen accessory.

Topping their kitchen appliance wish list is a new oven, followed by pots and pans, and professional knives.

Celebrity chef Theo Randall said: “It’s great to see so many British men getting into the kitchen. They are experimenting with new recipes and giving different dishes a go. In my experience, men tend to aim for professional cooking results, inspired by TV cookery shows.” – Daily Mail