A closer look A love of cooking knows no gender restraints. The traditional belief that only women belong in the kitchen is fast becoming hopelessly outdated. Not only are more men learning to whip up meringues or wield sauté pan with consummate flair, they are actually enjoying it. Al Churella and Les Marmitons were probably destined for each other. Churella, a history professor at Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta, can’t recollect a time when he didn’t have a passion for food and cooking. “I have been cooking for at least 30 years, so I do not even remember the first thing that I cooked for myself. I do remember that when I was attending college, and living in a dorm, the food was pretty good, but monotonous. There were several times when I organized a dinner party with some of the other students, as a break from the routine of cafeteria food.” Churella didn’t have a car in college, so for one of his dorm parties he hiked from Haverford, Pennsylvania to Ardmore, the next suburb to the east, to buy fresh pasta at a farmers' market. “It was quite a bit of effort, but the lasagna that I made from the fresh pasta was delicious,” he said. As a child in Columbus, Ohio, Churella’s mother was a biochemist and his father stayed at home to take care of the children. “I learned that gender roles were malleable, and that both men and women could enjoy spending time in the kitchen.” At home now in Acworth, he does all the cooking for him and his wife, Marianne.
Published on Dec 9, 2013