Anyone who can toot their relationship horn and say they’ve cooked for a significant other will know there’s a certain delight that comes from placing that meal on the table, one you’ve slaved over a hot stove for all afternoon, only to witness the joy that comes from your partner after taking that first bite. Of course, the unofficial yet nevertheless pervasive ruling of Cooking For Your Partner suggests that the chef does not clean, meaning you’re saved from doing the dishes and washing up. But rather than take turns in the kitchen, perhaps it’s time both of you did the cooking and washing up together.
As it turns out, cooking up a storm in the kitchen could be the key to strengthening your relationship - and even give you an extra edge on the dating scene. A new national survey from Australia’s leading meal kit delivery service, HelloFresh, and women-first dating app, Bumble, reveals Aussies are turning to the kitchen to find love. Forget what you heard about MasterChef, perhaps there should be a Bachelor or Bachelorette spin-off, as 71 per cent of singles believe cooking together helps strengthen a relationship.
Nutrition professional and food expert, Joel Feren, agrees that a shared cooking experience or cooking for a partner or date can fast-track an emotional bond. And he should know - he used his culinary skills to impress his now-wife. With lockdown now forcing most of us to turn to our own culinary skills, perhaps it’s time we took some notes. Here, Feren shares his top tips to help others find love in the kitchen.
Cook with your partner
A lot of people have cooked for a date, but try cooking with your date for added chemistry. Not only will you build your teamwork, but you’ll be encouraged to have fun and be romantic. You’ll also be super proud of what you’re eating.
Choose meals that spark conversation
Food can evoke memories and feelings that lead to fun and natural conversation. Use certain ingredients or meals to compare stories or reminisce about shared experiences. A pasta could lead to discussion about travelling to Italy, or exotic spices about a date’s cultural heritage. Choose food that represents who you are and share this with your date as a way to build intimacy.
Build a connection
Ever heard the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach? HelloFresh makes the cooking easy, so you can focus on choosing the perfect recipe for your date and creating a special moment together.
Bumble’s relationship expert, Chantelle Otten, also agrees cooking together can help build long-lasting relationships. “Cooking is a great way to build intimacy with a date or partner. It's not only a fun way to get to know each other, but also shows how well you can work together as a team. In the early stages of talking to a new match, bonding over shared interests makes it easier to spark conversations that lead to a date,” she says.
“So, if you’re on Bumble and notice someone shares your passion for cooking, that could be key to your next great relationship.”