Adam Piggott

Gentleman adventurer

13th trait – The modern man knows how to cook.


The list is beginning to get some steam …

The modern man knows how to cook.

Most of the men that I personally know don’t understand how to cook. They’re happy to let someone else do it for them. What they get they put in their mouth; they might like it, but then again they might not. Either way it’s out of their hands because they’re not the ones doing the cooking. A lot of the women I know don’t know how to cook either, by the way. That’s a lot of average meals going down the gullet.

We eat every day. We’re lucky that way. You can view food as either a pleasure or a fuel. I find that people who fall into the fuel camp don’t have much passion for life. Remember, we put this into our body every single day. Your body has to break it all down. Our bodies tend to break when the breaking down process has a hiccup. The better quality food you put in gives you a better chance at going the distance.

Before you learn how to cook you need to learn how to eat. I’m not just talking fancy restaurants here, but rather the intricacies of flavor. Understanding the best way to have a steak, (rare to medium rare). Knowing what you’re eating. What’s this polenta stuff? Where does it come from? What’s the best way to eat it? Knowing how to eat means taking the time to dine. Is your lunch a sandwich stuffed down your face while sitting at your desk? That’s fuel. Get up, leave the office, go to a sushi bar, sit down, eat your food while contemplating the texture and experience without looking at your mobile phone. Now we have pleasure. Do you know how to order off a menu at a good restaurant? If not, then you’re still learning how to eat.

Now to the cooking. As men, we are fortunate. Men are in general more creative than women. The vast majority of the top chefs in the world are men. Always have been. It’s because we’re inherently more curious. So be curious. I’m not going to teach you how to cook in this post; perhaps we’ll do that another time. What you need to understand is why the modern man knows how to do this cooking stuff.

Cooking is like chess – easy to begin but very difficult to master. There is great depth in cooking. Just consider all the implements you need to possess. There’s nothing like a really great quality knife. You’ll remember the first time you get one. Cooking is cathartic. You arrive home after a long day, you grab a glass of wine, and you start to cook. Lets say it takes you forty minutes of careful preparation. You’re winding down but you’re doing it while being active in the moment. It requires effort but that is the point. Now you prepare the table and you enjoy the food. You can talk about your day, converse and communicate. Perhaps a good digestive to finish off and the day has had a satisfactory conclusion.

Or you could slump on the couch in front of the television with a microwave dinner.

If you learn how to cook you’ll be learning your entire life. Which is wonderful; that’s what life is all about. Food is life. Food is conversation, family, shared experiences. Food is discovery. Food is knowledge. Cooking encompasses all of this and more. If you know how to cook you have personal power over what you consume. Once again, you are independent. There is nothing more important than that in the world of today.

The modern man knows how to cook.


The weekend wrap – the culture edition.


14th trait – The modern man is not offended.


  1. BTampa

    A couple of points…

    1) I don’t see anything wrong with “fuel” eating most of the time as long as it’s good fuel. Looking at every meal as a pleasure event sounds like a good way to gain unwanted pounds. Besides, a few fuel meals might help you enjoy the pleasure meal you fussed over a bit more.

    2) Can’t agree that the “best way” to enjoy a steak is rare to medium rare. My experience is that the very best flavor is coaxed out of beef when it is well done – and even beyond well done. The problem is, most cuts of meat will not tolerate this much cooking without becoming dry and tough. My theory is that this – along with the shorter cook times necessary in restaurants – is why people have been taught to prefer rarer meat.

    Few things are more repellent than a man or woman who says, “I can’t cook.” They might as well be saying, “I’m so lazy I can’t even bother to feed myself properly.” Sexy, eh?

    • Adam

      If I’m going to enjoy a fillet steak then it is cooked rare – about 7 minutes and then leave it to rest for the same amount of time. Delicious.

      However, some diced lamb shoulder requires at least 3 hours to fully tenderize and allow the flavors to come out in a nice stew in the oven.

      So it all depends on what you’re cooking. The golden rule however; sear the meat, then allow it to cook. With a fillet I sear it on a very high heat for about 90 seconds on one side, then 30 seconds on the other, then bang it straight into a hot oven for the remaining 5 minutes or so.

      Yesterday I showed my Dutch brother in law how to bbq sausages. Sear them over the charcoal, only a couple of minutes, then move them over to the side away from the heat, bang on the lid and let them cook away for about 25 minutes, (these were quite large sausages). He was amazed at the flavor.

  2. dearieme

    “That’s a lot of average meals going down the gullet.” That’s a lot of tautology.

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