Chef wanted — for love: Americans say being able to cook is the best dating quality

NEW YORK — The old adage that the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach might be true after all. If you’re looking for love, a new survey finds the easiest way to get a date is to know what you’re doing in the kitchen.

The OnePoll survey of 2,000 Americans finds the top trait people look for in a potential partner is whether they’re a good cook (63%). This tasty quality edged out other options like “someone I can trust” and “someone who makes me laugh.”

Respondents were asked to select from a predetermined list of dating qualities, and “good cook” also beat out options like intelligence and “someone I respect,” which finished in fourth and fifth, respectively.

Swipe right if you can’t cook

Commissioned by Perdue, the survey delved into all things related to respondents’ love lives and how they tie to food and cooking. Seventy-two percent of respondents said they’d be more interested in a potential partner who loved to cook. Another 61 percent said they consider it a turn-on if their partner can cook well.

Two-thirds of respondents add they themselves enjoy cooking. Of those who have used a dating app (53% of the poll), three in four mentioned their love of cooking within their profile with the specific goal of increasing their matches. That’s not the only length they’ve gone to, as six in 10 respondents have deliberately tried to improve their cooking skills with the hope of impressing a potential partner. A quarter of respondents (26%) admit to exaggerating their cooking skills, either through a dating app or while on an actual date.

The poll also revealed 56 percent agree that food and cooking is their “love language,” but it’s not just their partner’s cooking they’re interested in. The survey discovered 54 percent of respondents would like to be a better cook, but they aren’t sure where to start.

Beginners in the kitchen should start with chicken

Respondents are in agreement that chicken is the easiest protein to start with when learning to cook (49%). It is also the protein the majority (61%) feel most confident in cooking.

“Finding the right partner may come with its challenges, but cooking shouldn’t be one of them,” says Chef Chris Moyer, CEC, CRC, Corporate Executive Chef for Perdue Farms, in a statement.

While quarantining at home isn’t so great, some respondents are at least making progress in the kitchen. Three in five (59%) said their cooking skills have improved over the last year. For those respondents, this includes learning to use different ingredients in their food (59%), becoming more adventurous in the food they’re cooking (57%), and branching out with the types of recipes (46%).

“For home chefs looking to up level their cooking skills — for themselves or a potential partner — there are a few key things to keep in mind,” Moyer adds. “Use high quality ingredients, like chicken that’s fed an all-vegetarian diet, incorporate worldly flavors to expand your palette and experiment with different textures.”