In the beginning man hunted for his food. With nothing but a primitive spear and a razor sharp set of instincts he set off into the wild and brought home the bacon. Or mammoth. Or whatever he could find. As time passed and technology progressed, man’s role as the hunter gatherer became increasingly diminished. Food became more and more readily available and the kitchen became the woman’s domain.

For years this continued with women preparing and cooking food and men venturing only into the kitchen to eat. Then feminism happened. Women of the world stood up and delivered a metaphorical kick in the nuts to traditional chauvinistic attitudes. And so we came full circle and the sun rose on the age of the male cook once again. Still, for a great number of men it has been a false dawn and the kitchen remains a vast, unconquered and cruel mistress. Many of us walk into a kitchen and find ourselves flooded with questions like “How do I turn on the oven?”, “What the fuck is a pantry?” and “How did someone who looks as thick as Jamie Oliver make a career out of this?”. Fear not, your questions will soon be answered. With The Tooth’s guide to cooking any man can go from culinary catastrophe to gastronomic golden boy in the blink of an eye.
Step 1: Look the part

When taking on any new activity it’s important to be properly equipped. You wouldn’t go pot holing without a hard hat and likewise you shouldn’t venture anywhere near a kitchen without a chef’s hat. Not only will this almost certainly make you a better cook, it will also give you some wiggle room should your dish go awry. You can merely laugh as everyone tucks in to heavily burnt portions of bread and butter pudding and say the hat was ironic. Women love irony. A hilarious apron is also an essential as this too will detract from the fact your food probably looks like cat vomit.
Step 2: Make it Cajun

Virtually any dish is improved by the addition of Cajun spices. Cajun chicken is probably the most notable example of this. Indeed most people assume chicken and similar meats are the limit of Cajun spice’s use. Most people are wrong. In the same way that adding a rear spoiler and racing stripes to any car will improve it, so too will adding Cajun spice to any given food. Like corn flakes? Chances are you’ll like Cajun corn flakes a whole lot more.
Step 3: Keep it simple

As with anything, it’s important to know your limits. You are not Marco Pierre White. Nor are you Heston Blumenthal. You’re not even Gary Rhodes. You are a man with limited creativity and culinary skill. Stick to using ingredients that you can’t really go wrong with like tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, mince, chicken, potatoes and carrots. Stay away from truffles, quails eggs, scallops and soufflés. This isn’t to say you can’t evolve and improve your dishes as you become more experienced, so long as you bear in mind that excessive use of profanity is probably where your similarities with Gordon Ramsey end.
Step 4: Use your instincts

Following a recipe book will not make you a good cook. It’s the equivalent of using a colouring book and calling it ‘art’. Any old idiot can colour inside the lines but it takes a special kind of man to paint his own picture. And so it should be with your cooking. Like Luke Skywalker on his way to destroy the Death Star you need to switch off autopilot and use your instincts. Just bear in mind the previous step as experimenting with complex ingredients and dishes will inevitably lead to failure.
Step 5: Name your dish

The first part of any dish you make should be your own name. You’ve just spent four hours cooking and people aren’t about to fucking forget it. Secondly you need to make it sound exciting. Words like ‘bonanza’ and ‘feast’ are both good places to start e.g. ‘Dave’s Ragin’ Cajun Bonanza’. Another good idea is to add ‘surprise’ onto the end of any dish. This way if everyone hates it you can say that the surprise is that it’s actually really shit.

So there you have it. Now you can venture off into the kitchen, confident in the knowledge that you can whip up something other than beans on toast. Even if it is just Cajun beans on toast.

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