Are macho TV chefs changing your kitchen?

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Foul-mouthed TV chefs are beginning to have an effect on the once sedate world of kitchen cookware, according to one department store.

The examples of culinary stars like Gordon Ramsay and Marco Pierre White have made the image of cooking more macho and prompted more men to try their hand in the kitchen.

“No longer is it enough to say that cookware is ‘stylish, well color-coordinated and providing excellent value for money’ -- all phrases which appeal primarily to women,” said British store Debenhams.

“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.”

Steve Lightfoot, trading director for Home at Debenhams, said: “These men feel more comfortable buying equipment which is described using words denoting power, and strength rather than style, color 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.”

The shop said its figures suggest that macho male chefs now make up to 15 percent of all cookware and kitchen purchases, a market worth millions of pounds.

Emphasizing performance was essential, as was having the latest technology, providing maximum control.

“Planetary mixing action”, “horizontal motor” and “increased functionality with a variety of optional attachments” were some of the macho phrases used to describe food mixers, for example.

Colors have to be black or stainless steel, for this new breed. No room for pink or pastel colors any more.