British Men Spending More Time in the Kitchen: Thanks to Gordon Ramsay?

The list of things for which we have to thank Gordon Ramsay is long. Profanity in the kitchen, David Beckham at restaurant openings, and of course, the recurrent spectacle of Hell's Kitchen. Now, according to a new report out from researchers at Oxford University, the British chef can take credit for something else: getting men to spend more time in the kitchen. (These would be men who are not on the set of Ramsay's TV shows, or in his own restaurant kitchens, which are legion.)

Researchers at the Centre for Time Research at Oxford University say that men now spend more than half an hour a day cooking, up from just 12 minutes a day in 1961. According to the Telegraph story, "the effect of the celebrity role models, who have given cookery a more macho image, has combined with a more general drive towards sexual equality, to mean men now spend more than twice the amount of time preparing meals than they did in 1961."

Hell's kitchen
Hell's kitchen
Getty Images

The Oxford report, which was commissioned by frozen food company Birds Eye, also gives figures for the amount of time British women spend in the kitchen: from slightly under 2 hours a day a generation ago, to one hour and seven minutes a day currently.

Says Professor Jonathan Gershuny, who runs the Centre for Time Research at Oxford, "I was married in 1974. When my father came to visit me a few weeks later I was wearing an apron when I opened the door. He laughed... That would never happen now." Maybe so, especially if the men in question, in addition to wearing aprons, are swearing and wielding knives like Ramsay does. Whatever works, if you can call 30 minutes a day in the kitchen working. But then perhaps these men are watching more than just Gordon Ramsay. Rachael Ray's "30 Minute Meals," perhaps, which would fit nicely into that time slot.

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