As families across the country tuned in to watch their favourite cooking stars battle it out onscreen, we conducted research to look at the impact that watching reality cooking shows has on home cooking – and what we found begs the question, could the kitchen be the new man cave?

Our Westinghouse At Home Survey found that four in ten households cook more now from watching reality TV cooking shows that, including one in five who say that the men in the household cook more, and 13% admitting that the kids cook more.

However, almost half of those who watch cooking shows or browse cooking content on social media report that this adds to ‘mental load’ and feel pressure to come up with new recipes to cook for our families.


Interestingly, men (or the new ‘Misterchefs’!) are more likely than women to admit to feeling pressure to create new recipes to cook for themselves or their families after watching reality TV cooking shows or browsing social media (51% compared to 34%).

To help explain the impact of reality cooking shows, we teamed up with one of Australia’s most trusted parenting experts, Dr Justin Coulson, who encourages households to make mealtime a fun, family-affair.

“For many parents, dinnertime is synonymous with conflict and chaos, not to mention exhaustion – not the fun leisurely activity it should be. With social media and TV cooking shows largely portraying a stylised and picture-perfect notion of meals that come out of the kitchen, it’s no wonder that people experience pressure about the food they serve their families.” said Dr Coulson.


“Food preparation should be viewed as the opportunity for households to connect – children, families, as well as partners, and even roommates - with mess and imperfections embraced. It’s ok if you’re not serving up restaurant–inspired meals every night! Dinners that don’t turn out as planned are often the ones that leave the most lasting memories.”

Further commenting on the rise of the ‘Misterchef’, Dr Coulson adds “Men can be super important here too. By getting into the kitchen, they can break down decades-old, unhelpful stereotypes around who does what in the household. This is particularly important for men with kids as they can help build their children’s confidence and competence in the kitchen in their unique "fun-dad" way.”

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