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Nonoha and Kaito in reference to Gammon "He cooks with that face"

Gammon's little sister "It's not like he cooks with his face"

Everybody has to eat, which means, oftentimes, somebody has to cook. While it is often the job of the wife or mother to prepare delicious meals (or to at least try to), you can also count on seeing the men taking care of this. Expect him to be flipping burgers or steaks on a grill, preparing food on the trail for the rest of the team, or preparing a meal to impress a female companion.

By contrast, a man who can't or doesn't cook, for whatever reason, might face some degree of mockery or Lampshading over it. If a male character is shown to live on a diet of ramen, microwaved meals, and delivery food, it can be a sign of immaturity or financial problems.

Obviously, depends greatly on the cultural background of the characters (and the creator of the work itself). Also, the style of cooking may affect the relative manliness of the act. For obvious reasons, this is pretty much a given in settings where there are few or no women around. Otherwise the men might starve.

A Super-Trope to Camp Cook. Compare to Manly Men Can Hunt. Contrast with Feminine Women Can Cook and Stay in the Kitchen.

Examples of Real Men Cook include:

Anime and Manga

  • The Baratie in One Piece does not appear to have a single female chef. Considering the restaurant is floating out in the ocean, and is reputed to deal with tough pirates every day, this may be understandable.
  • This shows up in Toriko, since gathering ingredients (by killing rare and insanely powerful creatures) is a Serious Business.
  • Rin, the Anti-Anti-Christ from Blue Exorcist is a Damn Good One!
  • Gammon from Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle, cooks for him and his little sister.
  • Lelouch from Code Geass is the best cook of his age rank in the series. Hey, he was Promoted to Parent of a blind, wheelchair-bound sister. He's also very good at sewing in the doujinshi Code Geass: Knight.

Fan Fics

  • Naruto in A Growing Affection is an excellent cook, and can prepare a wide variety of dishes. Except ramen. Jiraiya forced Naruto to cook for him as payment for the training, but refused to let him cook ramen. His mentor's attitude is part of while Naruto can cook, he doesn't like to.


  • The a Team: Murdock is quite the skilled cook. In fact, that is the only reason B.A. doesn't do horrible things to him for all the distress he causes him.
  • The Godfather features a scene where Clemenza is teaching Micheal how to cook "for twenty men", immediately after having teased him about shyly telling his fiancée on the phone that he loved her.
    • Turns out to be Foreshadowing: We later see a situation where a mobster would need to be able to cook for 20 men when a mob war breaks out and the mobsters end up bunking together in large groups for mutual protection.
  • Goodfellas - when Henry Hill and his pals are in prison, they all take part in cooking their own meals, and making sure the tomato sauce is right is Serious Business.
    • Apparently this is Truth in Television for real Mafiosi. This comes out of traditional Italian culture generally, where it isn't unmanly to be able to cook well, but rather a point of pride.
  • Michael Caine's character, Harry Palmer, in The IPCRESS File, as shown below in the Literature section. He's repeatedly shown cooking throughout the film, and seduces the girl by promising her that he will cook her the best meal of her life.
    • This made him a forward-looking man of his time in the setting of early Sixties Britain, newly emerging from post-war austerity. His disapproving boss thought he was quite a dandy.


  • In the Earth's Children series, Ayla was raised by Neanderthals, who have very clearly delineated gender roles including that only women cook. Men are literally unable to do it since they don't have the Genetic Memory to know how. When Ayla meets Jondalar, one of the "others" (aka Cro-Mangnons, her own species) she is surprised at how much "woman's work" he's able and willing to do - including cooking, sewing, etc.
  • The IPCRESS File: The Unnamed main character is an enormous foodie and a passionate cook. An example of Author Appeal, as Len Deighton was also an accomplished cook.
  • Anthony Bourdain's memoir Kitchen Confidential paints a generally macho atmosphere in the kitchens he's worked in, recounting that it was sometimes ridiculously so, such as one where the chefs were Running the Asylum and started each shift by dousing a counter in brandy and igniting it in tribute to Apocalypse Now, (though it was the Seventies and they were addled on cocaine).
  • Honor Harrington: Rear Admiral Louis Roszak, a stone cold Determinator and a shrewd and ambitious politician is an amateur gourmet chef in his spare time; his friends and associates like to grill him sometimes about such an unlikely hobby.
    • Honor's father is also a Supreme Chef, with an ongoing rivalry with Honor's personal house chef. He's also a military man, albeit a surgeon rather than a line officer.
  • Long John Silver in Treasure Island is the ship's cook and the book's villain. A male cook would have been Truth in Television for pretty much all ships at that time (and it would also have been common for the cook to be a disabled sailor, as Long John is).

Live Action TV

  • Insecurity: The Token French-Canadian, Claude, enjoys cooking. One sub-plot has him handling an Endangered Souffle.
  • Leverage: Elliot is a skilled cook.
  • Inverted in Three's Company, Jack's cooking is usually shown as a feminine skill. Of course, the central premise of the show was that Jack was pretending to be Camp Gay in order to justify living with two single women to take advantage of lower rent.
    • It would make sense that Jack enjoyed cooking since he was studying to be a chef.
  • Old-fashioned, frequently gruff and sometimes downright arrogant FBI Supervisory Special Agent David Rossi of Criminal Minds makes a mean lasagna (among other things), and isn't averse to sharing it with his colleagues when they need comfort food.
    • At least one episode showed Gideon to be quite the cook.
  • Kurt Hummel of Glee both bakes and cooks, for pleasure and as part of taking care of his widowed father before the latter's remarriage. It's implied he continues cooking for the family as well as for pleasure after the event, too.
  • Special Agent Frank Lundy is quite an enthusiastic cook in Dexter, to the extent that he uses food metaphors while catching serial killers. Because, well, he likes food.
  • Good Eats has done two "Man Food" shows.
  • Al Borland on Home Improvement. And despite making fun of Al for being so domestic, Tim himself was no slouch in the kitchen and was seen preparing meals not made with his favorite red meat and beans. (He kind of had to be, considering Jill.)
    • Wilson, too, as strange as his meals could be.

Video Games

  • Ricken from Fire Emblem Awakening says in one of his event tiles that modern men should know how to cook.
    • Stahl is the Team Chef, even devising menus that Panne can eat (Taguel have different diets than humans).
    • According to their supports, Vaike is at least better at cooking than Chrom.
  • Dedue and Gilbert in Fire Emblem: Three Houses are two of the best cooks in the cast. Many of Dedue's supports are devoted to his culinary skills, in fact.

Web Comics

Web Original

  • Loading Ready Run has done a series of "Man Cooking" videos, detailing manly cooking. It involves a lot of spices and "largeliness".
  • Charles Villette from Shadow Unit is a devoted baker and cook. It's a necessary life skill when your superpower can kill you either relatively slowly (by making you need to eat so much of certain things that your liver, kidneys et al start to fail you before you properly hit middle age) or very, very quickly indeed (if you use them too much at any given time without having fuel to hand). His colleague Danny Brady and - more surprisingly - boss Steven Reyes are both also pretty handy in the kitchen.
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