04/09/2012 11:10 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

The House Dad Chronicles: 'Who's A Better Cook - Me Or Your Mum?'

One of the great benefits – and joys – of being a housedad is that I get to indulge my passion for cooking.

The House Dad Chronicles: 'Who's a better cook - me or your mum?' Alamy

I spend my weekends planning the meals for the week – both for the kids and my wife (who gets home from work at around the same time the kids are due to go to bed) – and take great pride in the fact that my kids scoff every morsel of what I put in front of them, and that my wife devours her dinner faster than Usain Bolt with a rocket up his backside.

I am the King of the Kitchen. In the absence of a garden shed, it is my space.

I've arranged it the way I like it; I clean it; and then I create in it. And then I clean it again.

But I take my greatest pride from the fact that everything I feed my three children, aged 10, seven and four, not only fills their bellies, but is good for them.

Broccoli, spring greens, sweet potatoes, homemade chicken nuggets, salmon, Bolognese (obviously), homemade pizza and salads are all regular offerings on the Housedad Menu.

And my kids show their appreciation by cleaning their plates and, Oliver Twist-style, asking for more.

But is my grub greater than their mother's?

Well, this was never in doubt – until now. This week I read a survey that declared: "Mums are still top dog in the kitchen!"

It found that almost twice as many children prefer mum's cooking to dad's, despite the fact that 35 per cent of men think they are more adventurous and experimental in the kitchen.

When I asked my kids whose cooking, they were unequivocal: "You, Dad."

And then I gave them the ice creams I'd been withholding from them. Homemade, of course! But our lair is untypical, according to the survey.

The division between the sexes is still drawn across the kitchen floor because in most households, women still do most of the cooking.

A spokesman for Total Greek Yoghurt, which commissioned the survey, said: "Mums often prepare evening meals and deal with the more everyday dishes."

But where men do hold their palate knives high is when it comes to creativity and adventure. I – and other dad pals – are evidence of this.


Why rustle up a plain old spag bol when (over just two days!) you can concoct a Heston Blumenthal Spaghetti Bolognese using star anise, tomato vines and Marmite butter!


Why grill some chiller cabinet burgers when you can make your own Inside-Out Smoked Bacon and Cheddar Burgers on olive ciabatta rolls?

The reason why men can do such things is for one reason: time.

"Women are trying to juggle their hectic lifestyles with finding the time to find simple but tasty recipe inspiration for every day meals," said the TG spokesman.

"Whereas men perhaps experiment more at weekends when they have more time to research ingredients and ideas."

But perhaps there is another reason: men's innate need to impress – especially women.

Total's guest chef Paul Merrett agrees: "It's encouraging to know there is competition over the cooking in many British households.

"Thirty years ago it would have been unheard of for the man of the house to muck in with the family dinner so it's great that so many couples do take it in turn and have friendly rivalry over who turns out the best meals."

For my part, nothing gives me more pleasure than to serve my wife gourmet-standard food when she arrives home from a hard day at the office.

Nothing, except, for the way she shows her gratitude a little later on – by letting me out to the pub!