Is Your Guy Kitchen-Shy? How To Turn Him Into A Top Chef

couple cooking together
Love, Self

How you can help your guy learn to cook, plus two easy-to-make recipes to get him started.

2. Clueless: "Your man can open a can but he doesn't know a paring knife from a butter knife. The good news is that this guy is ready, willing and able to get going in the kitchen—with you. Roll up your sleeves together and ask him to help with an intermediate task, like sautéing half a chopped onion in two tablespoons of butter. Put the pan on the stove to heat, then when it's good and hot, ask him to drop the butter in the pan at just the right time so it sizzles. Then ask him to add the onions, which the two of you can stir together."

3. Defensive: "Some guys are naturally defensive about their skills (or lack thereof) and it's no different in the kitchen. He hates being told what to do. It's all about control. There's a need to do it right the first time AND look good doing it. If he loves chocolate cake, you can make the batter and give him control of the electric mixer. If he loves chili, give him the control of the Cayenne and let him decide on how hot to make it."

Success Story:

Abby Bennett is a Philadelphia-based graphic designer who has helped transform boyfriend Chris' kitchen habits since they started dating a year ago. 

"The first time I opened his freezer, I almost walked out," Abby says. "One frozen pizza and a box of frozen waffles. Now he eats all organic and loves going to the local farmer's market." The couple has designated Monday nights as "his" night to cook; a recent Monday evening menu included roast pork tenderloin with sweet potato fries—quite the far cry from preparing a frozen pizza. Abby stays nearby for support.

"I find recipes for him, and I sit in the living room doing work while he cooks. I'm there if he has any questions, but I don't go into the kitchen! It's fun to watch him try so hard."