Forget socks and slippers and treat your dad to some tasty grub instead this Father’s Day. Simon Cave, author of new cook book Manly Food, gives Keeley Bolger a taste of what men want on their plate
Treat dad to a manly meal this Father’s Day.
We all know that men are from Mars and women from Venus, so it’s no wonder that the sexes have different culinary tastes. While chefs dish up fish or goat’s cheese salads to eight out of 10 female diners, the same proportion of males demand meat, meat and more meat.
This is the inspiration behind Simon Cave’s new book, Manly Food. “I first heard it from a chef who had a whole philosophy grounded in experience,” says Cave. “My tastes are incredibly varied and I would have lots of food that wouldn’t fit the book or the stereotype [of manly food], but there was something going on where some people’s tastes are a bit different.”
Researching what to include in the book involved quizzing people on what they’d expect to see in it, and Cave wasn’t surprised to discover that the same responses cropped up time and time again.
“They all said the same: meaty things. Spicy things. Things that are hearty,” he says.
“The book is quite tongue-incheek, but there is an approach there – which isn’t gender specific – but is just a different way of cooking,” he adds.
That’s a manly way of cooking. And what Cave’s trying to say is, you don’t have to actually be a man to enjoy manly food. In fact, a woman played an extremely important part in the developmentnt of the book.
“I couldn’t have done it withoutt my wife,” says Cave, laughing. “She indulged her manly side. We cook a lot together and while I wasas writing the book, we tested the food and had an awful lot of fun.”
The couple, who live in London with their two young daughters, are also working on a book about cooking with children. “I grew up with lots of good food,” says the proud dad.
“My parents travelled and cooked a lot and I definitely want my children to cook. I think it’s one of life’s pleasures. It should be fun.
“We’ve startedd the children withh cutting fruit with ordinary table knives so they won’t hurt themselves. We’ve made cakes and tarts and my eldest can do a decent scrambled egg.
“But you’ll get very angry very easily if you think, ‘I’m going to whip up dinnerer and the kids can do something to help’. They’re the worst line chefs in the world!”
Cave says Fathers’ Day is all about family and informality, andd he prefers a nice meal with his family to presents.
“As far as I can tell, Fathers’ Day is about having a lie-in in the morning and maybe not mentioning the things I haven’t done, which I promised I would do 10 years ago!”
Manly Food by Simon Cave is published by Quadrille Publishing, and is out now. Visit his blog www. caveskitchen. com for more information