Leading article: A woman's place

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The Independent Online

Once upon a time, not so long ago, no man would be seen dead in a kitchen, except rifling through the fridge for goodies or – in an emergency – struggling to boil an egg. Women cooked, men ate; that was the deal. But as the victory of yet another man in the BBC show MasterChef goes to show, that's no longer true. Men have stormed the cookery world, seizing control of the pantry and grabbing the frying pans and mixers.

No need to look only at MasterChef for proof. Years ago, women cooks fronted almost all TV food shows, wrote virtually all cookery books and generally dictated the tone of the nation's kitchens. Marguerite Patten gave way to Fanny Craddock who gave way to Delia who made room for Nigella. Today, it's the men who lord it over the TV kitchens – shouty, testosterone-loaded men in some cases, who have created a very different kitchen culture. Time for more balance between the sexes, if the cookery world is not to look like it's missing a vital ingredient – women.

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