NEW YORK — Move over Gordon Ramsay, most Americans think they can go head-to-head with professional chefs in the kitchen. That’s according to a new survey of 2,000 adults that found 63 percent are so confident in their cooking skills they believe they could compete with professional celebrity chefs.
For 77 percent of respondents, cooking is one of their favorite things to do, preparing an average of nine meals at home per week.
Two in three even believe they have what it takes to open their own restaurant or catering business based on their skills. Another 62 percent of these at-home culinarians think they’re worthy of having their own cooking show on TV.
When asked how they think they would fare on a cooking competition TV show, three in 10 think they would only make it to mid-season, and 27 percent are sure they would be the first to go. Meanwhile, five percent are confident they could make it to the end and claim the winner’s title.
Commissioned by luxury kitchen appliance brand Signature Kitchen Suite and conducted by OnePoll, the study also reveals that nearly six in 10 (58%) Americans consider themselves “professional home chefs.”
A few of these self-described at-home chefs shared some pros and cons of cooking. Pros include knowing the right proportions for ingredients off-hand, a sense of satisfaction, and getting compliments. However, the cons include how exhausting and pressuring it can be to cook a perfect meal.
Most people who cook at home (84%) agree nothing feels better than having a loved one complement their food. While the average person makes 46 percent of their meals from scratch, 69 percent have successfully recreated a dish they’ve previously had in a restaurant.
Speaking of restaurant-inspired cooking — two in three like to study the foods and recipes of the restaurants they dine in, and nearly as many (63%) think they can improve those recipes.
Cooking skills sharpened during pandemic
“One positive outcome of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic is that it has bolstered Americans’ confidence in the kitchen, with many rediscovering their joy of cooking like never before,” says Nick Ritchie, an executive chef at Signature Kitchen Suite, in a statement.
“Whether it’s taking on a more complex recipe or learning an entirely new skillset or cooking technique like sous vide, the pandemic has caused even the most timid at-home cooks to tap into their “inner chef.” It’s not surprising that so many believe their culinary talents are on par with those of a professional chef.”
The soul of America’s cooking may be in its recipes — with the average person having memorized and mastered six recipes. Half of respondents (49%) credited their family members as the ones who taught them tips and tricks in the kitchen.
People also turned to cookbooks (48%), magazines (43%), and friends (42%) for cooking inspiration. While 36 percent believe cooking is a science where nothing should be substituted, 49 percent think it’s more like “improvised jazz” because it should be remixed with new or different ingredients.
Nearly two-thirds (64%) believe the best way to make a professional-level meal is with high-tech appliances and equipment. Sixty-seven percent add they’d cook more if they had all the tools they needed in one appliance.
“As Americans continue to expand their repertoire in the kitchen, there’s a growing sub-set of at-home chefs who are firm believers in the benefits of technology when it comes to taking their cooking to the next level,” Ritchie explains. “For this new generation of at-home chefs, having the right cooking tools and equipment is just as important as the ingredients themselves; they want the best high-tech products that can give them greater precision and flexibility at every step of the cooking process.”