Dear Gordon Ramsay,
I see on the BBC website that you've had some difficulty finding women who cook. I have no idea why you'd want to, since it's high time women found their way into the boardroom instead of the kitchen, but you seem to have been searching:
"I've been visiting ladies' houses up and down the country with our film crew and you would be amazed how little cooking the girls are doing," the chef said ahead of the launch of his latest television show.
One problem may be that you were looking for "girls" who cook; my daughter is too busy running track, playing basketball, and studying for her pre-calc tests to spend much time in the kitchen, but she did bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies to raise money for her Model UN team. I suspect other girls are equally busy, yet, if pressed, could handle a spatula every bit as well as the lads.
Likewise, many of the "ladies" I know are too busy banging away at the glass ceiling to spend much time in the kitchen; that's why I'm glad there are strong men like you who are willing to feed us when we get home from a tough day at the office.
Still, I am troubled by this observation:
"Seriously, there are huge numbers of young women out there who know how to mix cocktails but can't cook to save their lives, whereas men are finding their way into the kitchen in ever growing numbers.
"Trust me, I am only telling you what I have discovered."
You need to put down your mini-torch and get out more. Why, just last night I tossed together soup from scratch, without even one of your recipes to guide me! No cocktails though; I ordered my husband to open a bottle of wine. I served it with some leftover risotto, again, made from scratch using the fresh veg in my fridge—fennel, green beans, artichoke hearts. (Sorry, I didn't write down the recipe, but I could probably whip it up for you if you're interested.) And every Wednesday I post recipes here on my blog; maybe you and those legions of cooking men could get some ideas on how to feed a real woman. (Hint: tofu is the new white meat.)
I am (sadly!) by no means an exception. The other night I was invited to dinner (by a woman who wasn't even trying to "save her life") and was served a fine meal of pasta with marinara, grilled eggplant, marinated leeks, and a couple of salads; plus she'd grilled some salmon. I didn't see a tin or a box in sight, nor one of your cookbooks. I do trust you, though—I'm sure you rarely let that misogyny cloud your vision.
However, I am a little concerned about these men you say are "finding their way into the kitchen". Remember, the kitchen is not a play area; Sardines on Toast Sorbet is not actual food. If this trend continues, I fear for our tastebuds. Perhaps you should use your influence to halt experiments of this type among your fellow mates. There are plenty of convenience foods available at Waitrose now; no need to serve snail porridge to the missus after she's put in a full day at the office.
So, you and your film crew are welcome to stop in any time as you trek across the country. You'll be starved, and "pastilla of pigeon leg, pistachio, cocoa and quatre épices" won't really do, now will it? (You can invite Heston, too. He might appreciate a decent meal, though I won't promise cocktails.)
But please, leave your misogyny at the door. Otherwise I can't be responsible for where my melon baller ends up.