Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Male on Monday :: Men Who Can Cook

The reason I bring this up is this...

A few months back, a lovely writing friend of mine by the name of Marion Lennox had a thought. She wanted to put together a book of recipes and short stories created by the gang of us who lunch together so that in a hundred years time we can look back and remember what a great thing we had.

This gorgeous germ of an idea grew and grew and grew until it became “SIZZLE, SEDUCE & SIMMER”, a saucy collection of recipes and matching short stories as created by 26 down under romance authors. And it’s out now in Australia and New Zealand!

One little worry for me in participating in the creation of a recipe book in the beginning was because...

I can't cook. Never have been able. Okay, so I'm exaggerating. There are maybe...four "meals" I can whip up without a recipe when called upon to do so. If I was left to my own devices I could quite happily live on toasted cheese sandwiches, torn chicken salad, omelette and chocolate cake.

So, it’s a no brainer that when I nabbed myself a husband, I found one who could. And not only that, but in many of my books my heroes can do the same. Sticking a hero in the kitchen in an apron may at one time have been seen as girly, but for me, looking through the heroine's eyes as he takes it upon himself to whip up some fantastic gastromical feast, just for her, is about the clincher to any great romance!



Just about the biggest on the planet right about now is one JAMIE OLIVER. Our blonde, boisterous, Brit. He's a charming, witty, ruffled, uber-successful family man with a rough mouth and an even rougher way of cooking. He loves his food, he loves his bikes, he loves his family.

He has a big ego but an even bigger heart as witnessed by his School Lunches campaign and the international series of Fifteen restaurants in which down and out street kids are given a second chance by learing how to cook.

But is he away from home too much for us to believe in a happily ever after?


This guy is an Aussie TV chef and I used to have a huuuuge crush on him. He's adorable, cheeky, has a terribly corny sense of humour and for a girl who can't cook to save her life I used to watch his TV show every day.

He owns a beautiful farm in country Bowral where he grows his own produce and takes cooking classes. The chance to get up close and personal perhaps?

Geoff says: "I hate recipes. They are too rigid and rob you of the greatest pleasures in cooking, that is to be playful and expressive."

Doesn't he sound like fun?


Okay, so he's no international TV personality. But he is a fantastic cook. And he cooks for me almost every night. His father his Italian and his mother learnt how to cook Italian when she married him. Therefore food has always been a big part of his family household.

Fond memories of when we first started going out include the women of the family sitting around the kitchen making panzarotti’s while the men sat outside drinking beer waiting to be fed. I know, I know, it felt very 1950s but there was such history and community and spirit about the whole thing it was sooo much fun!

Going to a family wedding of one of my hubby’s uncles where the aunts did all the cooking so catering literally cost zilch. Can you imagine. How much per head? ZERO! And we all ate until we were sore.

My hubby is one of those cooks who simply grabs ingredients from the pantry, throws them together and comes up with something unique and fabulous every time. Whereas on the nights when he just looks too forlorn and too tired to bother, I jump in with the limit of my culinary skills - microwaved party pies with tomato sauce.

So as I am out there on a bookshelf somewhere with my name on a recipe book, do remember, sometimes it is all about the man behind the woman ;). And every time real romance is less about flowers and chocolates and much much more about the little things your man can do to look after you.

Ally’s current release is Mills and Boon Sweet Romance MILLIONAIRE TO THE RESCUE is available now in Australia & New Zealand!

The hero of this novel, Danny, cooks too! And he washes up. And he plays touch footy with the heroine's kids so she can take a break lying on the grass. Isn't that about as heroic as a guy can really get???

Check out her website for more about the book!


  1. Yes, there are some yummy chefs about at the moment.

    Giorgio Locatelli springs to mind - fantastic food, Italian pin up looks.

    Jean Claude Novelli, for more of a bad boy -- Gordon Ramsay.

  2. My husband is the chef in our house too. Our children would make nasty comments like "Typical Mum meal - burnt and raw at the same time!" and complain about having to eat it. If he cooked there were only sounds of appreciation for their dinner :)
    Personally as far as heroes in books are concerned I have always enjoyed reading about the ones who aren't too scared of the kitchen :)

  3. Men who can cook are great, but men who can do the housework and don't expect a medal for doing so, are even better!!!

    Nicolette x

  4. Oooo...love this blog! My husband is a terrific cook! In fact he is one damn fine cook! I love his meals! We had a mexican dish tonight with chicken, pork, and steak, green peppers, onions, tomatoes, over basmati rice. The sauce was awesome!

    My husband also helps around the house. He is a fantastic helper! He will vacuum, clean the bathroom, does the dishes and loads/unloads the dishwasher, changes out the lightbulbs, checks smoke alarms, does yard work, maintains the vehicles, and provides good s*x. He is amazing! Also, he is an Italian! No, ladies, you can't have him!

    He is so special, kind, and so good to me. I love him dearly! One thing I like to do that he tries to help out on is the wash. I tell him not to do it. I wound up with a blue bra once. He keeps trying to help out with that too. He is so funny!

    My favorite house chore is vacuuming. I don't know why but I love to vacuum! If my hubby would let me, I would probably vacuum a couple times a week. He says you are going to wear the carpet out. I just laugh and vacuum away!

    Have a great holiday ladies!
    Michele L.