Conversations With A Mad Man


Real men cook

Posted by Tsach Gilboa on May 28, 2013 at 9:30 PM

Real men cook

Most men can cook and be great at it. It’s simply a question of jumping in there and doing it, with plenty of great recipes, in books and online, to get you started. From there it’s simply getting in the kitchen regularly, experimenting with recipes, honing your skills and developing good food instincts.

Being from a certain generation, I learned to cook from my Mother. From around age 5, I would hang around the kitchen and watch her cook. I was convinced that this is a skill I must have. “What if my wife can’t cook?” was my rational and the source of my endless motivation (The fact that my father’s culinary skills are non-existent, was no-doubt a contributing factor).

My Mother is an intuitive improvisational cook, which made for great food, usually. Meals were mostly an adventure. Recipes, simply a starting point, with favorite dishes coming out a little different every single time. A modus operandi I always loved and still follow.

As I grew up, I experimented with all kinds of foods, mostly with good to great results. My exploration of all that is edible via cookbooks and later the food channel, involved cooking many different meals and trying new ideas (10,000 hours and all that jazz). As I progressed in my quest for great food, I realized that although most of my friend’s mothers were the primary cooks at home, the majority of great chefs and restaurant chefs are, and always were, men (not that there is anything wrong with it).

Fortunately this is fast changing with a meaningful increase in women chefs, giving us more creativity and options for great food, outside the home. But even today, most executive chefs are men. Out of 2,134 certified executive chefs in the US, only 92 are women, which represents 4.3%.

While historically, the outdoor BBQ was the domain of manly men, we men are increasingly moving into the indoor kitchen; a good thing indeed.

During my marital period, I alternated cooking with my then wife, who is great cook. After the divorce and as I evolved into vegetarianism and then veganism, I stepped up and developed recipes for my son and me. In addition to making sure we ate nutritious and delicious food, it created traditions and memories in my home with him, and allowed for a separation and feelings of uniqueness and comfort in my 50% percent of his time, distinct from those experiences in his time with his mother at her house.

Food goes far beyond nutrition and sustenance. It is an essential ingredient in family, friendships and community. Most, if not all, of our holidays revolve around food and special dishes. Every country, region and ethnic group have unique foods. There are foods for every mood and, like music, food and smells of food trigger memories and feelings of belonging, special times and being home. Great food, presented right and consumed with care and interaction, is a theatrical and spiritual experience. Some men have always been part of that discipline, mainly on the professional side. It is high time we conquered the home kitchen and participated in that most important and essential life ritual. This is an opportunity for men to experiment and give birth to satisfying edible and social delights. It’s an opportunity to contribute and build a culture of food in your home, starting with your spouse and kids and expanding to your extended family and friends. Everyone’s life will be richer and happier and your future daughter/son-in-law and grandchildren will thank you for it. And to get you started, following is a favorite, easy to make, delicious and nutritious vegan pasta recipe. Enjoy!

Vegan Spinach Pasta Serves 4


1. Angles Hair Vegan or your favorite Pasta. We like spinach or brown rice

2. Fresh garlic – 4 cloves

3. One Medium Red Onion

4. Half to One medium Red Pepper

5. Bag of fresh organic spinach

6. Box of Fresh Basil

7. Handful of sun dried tomatoes – Dry kind not in liquid

8. 6-8 Mushrooms

9. Olive oil

10. Grated favorite cheese - optional


1. Cook Pasta in salted water al dente

2. Chop and sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent

3. Add chopped red pepper and simmer

4. Add spinach and basil and let wilt for a few minutes

5. Add chopped mushrooms and chopped sundried tomatoes

6. Add a cup of salted pasta water and simmer

7. Drain pasta and add to pot, mix and simmer for a few minutes.

8. Serve and enjoy 9. Goes well with a side of green salad or steamed broccoli

*For the non-strict vegan among us, sprinkle grated cheese/s of choice to taste.

Categories: Single Dad Recipes

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