Man Up

Chefs Don’t Have to Be Monsters

Take it from someone who used to watch hot pans get thrown at people.

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About the Show

On Man Up, host Aymann Ismail invites men and women to tell embarrassing, funny, and sometimes disturbing stories about their lives as they try to figure out what they still have to learn—and unlearn—about being a man. They’ll talk relationships, family, sex, and identity, trying to understand their experiences to help listeners make more sense of their own.

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Episode Notes

When J. Kenji López-Alt landed a job as a line cook at the elegant No. 9 Park restaurant, he wasn’t expecting to spend his first day standing in the corner with a figurative dunce hat on his head. He was being punished by the chef for incorrectly chopping chives. He later worked at other expensive restaurants, even spending a few weeks working for the famously cruel Gordon Ramsay, where he watched another cook have a hot pan tossed at him. Now the head chef of his own restaurant, López-Alt is taking the lessons he learned from those jobs to run a kitchen that’s cruelty-free. This week on Man Up, he talks with Aymann about kitchen machismo and what it took for him to unlearn it.

See what he’s cooking up in the Food Lab in partnership with Serious Eats.

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Podcast production by Cameron Drews and Danielle Hewitt.