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Feminist Review

, Volume 114, Issue 1, pp 72–90 | Cite as

what’s cooking, man? masculinity in European cooking shows after The Naked Chef

  • Jonatan Leer
Article

abstract

The cooking show The Naked Chef (1999, 2000, 2001) with Jamie Oliver has often been highlighted as an example of the cooking show genre’s potential for reformulating masculine identity through cooking. Through a series of close readings of a selection of cooking shows from France, the UK and Denmark post-The Naked Chef and through a dialogue with other works on the subject, this article will attempt to identify the tendencies in the constructions and negotiations of masculinity in the cooking show genre following The Naked Chef and to understand these in relation to a revision of masculine identity in contemporary culture. The article is informed by poststructural gender theory and understands ‘doing food’ and ‘doing masculinity’ as two mutually constituting practices. The analyses identify four new tendencies in the construction of masculinity in cooking shows at the beginning of the twenty-first century: 1) rechefisation, 2) the TV chef as a moral entrepreneur, 3) the TV chef and the revitalisation of the national myth and 4) cooking as masculine escapism. The article concludes that the innovation of the masculine identity that was launched in The Naked Chef has not continued; rather, the genre has become a platform for the revitalisation of traditional masculinity discourses.

keywords

masculinity cooking food television Jamie Oliver 

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Copyright information

© The Feminist Review Collective 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ArhusAarhusDenmark

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