No, we are not talking about the super chefs at star hotels, we're talking the guy-next-door; the white-collar worker, and the corporate types, who suddenly seem to have gotten very comfortable in the kitchen.
Scan through the names registered for cookery workshops across the state and the online profile pictures of those uploading colourful shots of yummy food and you'd be amazed to find the increasing number of cool dudes getting their cooking skills polished.
From impressing women with their culinary delights to pure indulgence in a variety of food, their reasons are as varied as a menu in a multi-cuisine restaurant.
A bare necessity
IT Professional and cooking enthusiast Robin P says, " At a time when both guys and girls live away from their fam ilies for education or work, knowledge to cook well becomes a bare necessity.
Also, you can't expect to have a wife who earns well at the same time cook yummy food regularly . Even though you can manage with bread toast or kichdi for a while, gradually you kichdi for a while, gradually you will get bored. This is why I signed up for cookery workshops." The view was echoed by most `gastrosexual' men.
Cooking to impress
Dr Avanish M, who runs a clinic in Trivandrum and also the winner of cookery show Kitchen Magic, show Kitchen Magic, recalls that one of the reasons he ventured into cooking was because his mom hated it! "It used to create some fuss at home and interestingly, that triggered me to watch more of cookery shows and try out dishes. Moreover, when I went to the UK to study , there was no mess in our hostel, only kitchens attached to rooms. There, I got interested in cuisines from across the world and started attending workshops."
A practitioner of general medi cine, he also runs a baking joint in the city and dreams of opening a restaurant that specialises in eggbased dishes. "I have many guy friends who cook really well. While it is a passion for some, there are men who cook to impress. Just as for guys, apparently the way to a woman's heart can also be through stomach," he adds.
It is serious business
According to Marina Charles, who regularly conducts cookery workshops across South India, many Malayali guys sign up for the workshops. "The best part is that most of them are not there for mere fun. They take part with concentration and ask genuine questions. One of my recent workshops at Technopark had many men as participants. Apparently , the women at their homes are work ing as well and the various TV shows also inspired them to join."
Being adventurous with food
Necessity beckons men a lot to the kitchen.
But, do they really enjoy it there? IT professional Tarun Alex, whose online page is filled with his culinary adventure updates, explains, "Yes. For instance, my fascination for cooking stemmed from helping my mom in the kitchen. Since I stay with my colleagues, I cook at least one meal every day and really love it. I try to incorporate variety often, watch cookery shows and read recipe books, but I'm driven mostly by my instincts when in the kitchen. I love experimenting."
Women love it!
Women do love guys who can cook well! As Manjula Nair, who works at Trivandrum, puts it, "I was quite impressed to learn before marriage that my to-be-husband cooks reasonably well. Being someone who stayed in hostels throughout my adult life, I was no pro at it and really wanted help. Both of us used to attend workshops together and even tried out new dishes later at home. It really helped to get to know each other as well."
Home-meal parties are the norm
The `gastrosexuals' are cooking up a storm by gradually gaining an upper hand in throwing home-meal parties too, claims Robin. "Some of my guy friends even cook complicated continental dishes to perfection for parties. When there are women in the guest list, they would leave only after taking the recipe and discussing the elaborate process," he says with a wink. Be it out of necessity , love for food or the craft; or an attempt to impress, these men want to co-rule the culinary world for sure.