Freddy Coleman, '17, prepares chicken francaise at the Play With Your Food/Real Men Cook event on the third floor of UC on Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015. While the event was targeted towards teaching men to cook, women were also welcome to learn to cook as well. (Chris Barry/B&W Photo)

‘Real Men Cook Dinner’ program, series questions gender roles and stereotypes


Real Men Cook Dinner — a program aimed at attacking gender norms and stereotypes — took place Tuesday and was the first event in Alpha Phi Alpha’s “Real Men” series.

According to the Real Men Cook Dinner Eventbrite page, which contains the promo for your order, the fraternity said it was hoping the event could help disprove the common stereotype that women are more suited for the kitchen than men are.


Chad Licsko, the executive chef of Lehigh Catering, demonstrates how to make chicken Francaise to attendees of the Real Men Cook Dinner event on the third floor of UC on Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015. Licsko, who has been Executive Chef for three years, regularly holds events to help Lehigh students learn to cook. (Chris Barry/B&W Photo)

“The purpose of this event is to address gender norms in the most classical sense beginning with the age-old adage that men cannot cook and it’s a woman’s duty to do so,” said Chris Kissinger, ’15, the treasurer and secretary of Alpha Phi Alpha. “We wanted to host this event to target that societal norm and show men simple and straightforward cooking techniques that they can use to create a delicious meal.”

Kissinger also said that the point of the event was not to exclude women, as they were invited to participate in the event, as well. Kissinger said he was happy to see many women in the audience at the event.

Chad Lickso and Scott McNevin, Lehigh Catering’s two executive chefs demonstrated to the audience how to cook a three-course meal. They also had cooking stations set up for participants to practice what they learned after the demonstration.

The menu for the evening was Caesar salad followed by rice pilaf, chicken Francese and sautéed spinach. The last course of the night was chocolate covered strawberries.

“I absolutely love to cook and I have been cooking for a while now,” Jay Glucksman, ’18, said. “I am here today to support the fact that men should not be afraid to enter the kitchen or be embarrassed to know how to cook. I need to eat, so why shouldn’t I know how to cook?”

Mytresa Taylor, ’15, said she thought it was great that so many men attended the event and were excited, rather than embarrassed.

“It’s a positive step forward to help dispel the notion that cooking is feminine,” she said.

Taylor also said that she is a member of the Women’s Center and hopes to recruit more men into the organization.

Participants at the event discussed why the stereotype exists that cooking is only for women. Miles Davis, ’16, a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, said he thinks that society believes that men do not know how to cook.

“I do think that it affects my desire to cook,” Davis said. “It’s a great skill to have in general so you won’t have to rely on anyone to prepare a meal and provide nourishment for your own body.”

Davis also said that he had a great time cooking and found it relaxing. He said he plans on cooking more often.

“The thing is women expect men to be clueless in the kitchen,” Raven Gaddy, ’15, said. “We just assume that they don’t know how to cook. I grew up in a family where it was not primarily the woman’s role to cook. In fact, all the men in my family know how to make a meal and my mom’s currently teaching my little brother some kitchen skills too. So I do not naturally assume that men don’t know how to cook.”

The event brought to light the need to have more conversations about men’s stereotypes, instead of focusing only on the biases women face.

“We want the Real Men Series to start this conversation and to ask and answer the question – what does being a “real” man actually mean?” Kissinger said.


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