There is something that has been bugging me for the last several weeks. It is this tiny little unoffensive fact: Cooking is stereotypically women's work, but all the great cooks are men. I am reminded of numerous references to Anatole, the French Chef. I have come across him everywhere I read anything about chefs. I never once saw a reference to Anatolia. Or even Brigitte, or an equivalent French name.
Hold on! Before you begin ranting and raving about how "cooking is NOT stereotypically women's work!" and "all the great cooks are NOT men!" and "the French do NOT cook!" I would only mention that I have made a grave blunder. Anatole is a French CHEF, not a French cook. So maybe men are "chefs," and women are "cooks," in much the same way that a rooster is NOT a hen!
Wait, I was mistaken. According to my dictionary, chef means "a French cook, or any other nationality of cook. Basically, 'chef' is a French word meaning 'cook.' The word is often used to designate a great or outstanding cook." So it seems a woman, if she were truly a great cook, would be a chef, just like men can be chefs if THEY are great cooks. So why aren't there any female chefs? This is certainly an interesting mystery.
But the truth is, I would rather have a female cook make my dinner than a male chef. This is because I honestly have no appreciation for chefs. They never make things like "steak" or "mashed potatoes" or "bologna sandwiches"; they make "Dejournes au Provolone" and "Euffles de Ronde a la Gratin." These are long words which all mean the same collective thing: "a mixture that tastes like sewage."
No, I think women still have the upper hand when it comes to cooking. Men try, but sadly, they end up as "chefs." All men who are not chefs are horrible cooks. My personal cooking repertoire is hot dogs. That's it. Hot dogs. Women, on the other hand, can even make cookies!
I think we are on the brink of a major discovery regarding food. Yes, here it is: I have discovered the Universal Cooking Truth.
AVERAGE MALE COOK: Horrible. Occasionally overcooks the hot dogs. Try to eat out if you have a male cook.
GREAT MALE COOK: A great male cook is promoted to "chef." He then makes wierd and often disgusting meals, and charges people eight times the price of good food.
AVERAGE FEMALE COOK: Excellent. I could certainly live with this kind of cooking the rest of my life and be happy.
GREAT FEMALE COOK: A great female cook is promoted to "grandmother." They charge people absolutely nothing, and they make HUNDREDS upon THOUSANDS of excellent and scrumptious dishes! In ONE MEAL! And that includes PIES! Grandmothers are secure in their cooking supremacy, and are not afraid to make simple things like "steak" and even "bologna sandwiches."
This would explain my attraction to restaurants called "Grandmother's" or "Grandma's." Unfortunately, unless they are hiring actual grandmothers, their food does not even approach the high degree of tastiness found in grandmother-made food.
It's the truth: most restaurants I know of have been outdone by grandmothers. But if you ever find a restaurant STAFFED ENTIRELY BY GRANDMOTHERS, I would encourage you to take a sleeping bag and a toothbrush and move in.
© 1998-2021 Zach Bardon
Last modified 7.19.2019