Men need basic tools to make magic in the kitchen. Then after making magic, impress her with a well made meal, practiced and perfected using essential hardware:
A good chef' knife is the single most important (and manliest) tool in your kitchen. You'll use it to chop celery stalk, slice into the juicy ribeye, then again when you manhandle that melon. You'll look like a badass holding it. There are plenty of brands out there to choose from. Find one that feels right in your hand and comes from a reputable maker such as J.A. Henckles ($60-$130) - they've been making high quality knives from Germany since the 1700s. Simply a classic.
Two to be exact. For chopping anything but raw meats get a solid 2-inch wooden board that's nice and big. The type of wood matters as bacteria and retention of juices are a factor. Go with maple, don't do bamboo. Go for the one most renowned chefs use and one that's been reviewed the world over, John Boos 20-inch Maple ($50-100). For your raw meats, go for a high quality plastic board with rubber grips on the edges so it doesn't slide as you're breaking apart that whole chicken, OXO Good Grip 15-inch ($25).
The second most manliest kitchen tool you should own. No, it's not to make fluffy eggs. Yes, it does require a little work in maintaining, but it's totally worth it. This is what you you'll use for searing meats and vegetables; whipping up a batch of southern fried chicken, cornbread and even grits! Learn how to appreciate and season your cast iron skillet as it can be a tool you can pass on for generations. Here's a good article on how to buy and maintain one. Break into the cast iron game with this deep, heavy and ridiculously durable cast iron skillet by Lodge, 10-inch ($15).
Not the cheap ones with plastic ends. C'mon now. OXO rubber grip, stainless steal 12-inch tongs ($12).
While you're effortlessly whipping up your signature dish as she glowingly watches your culinary dance in the kitchen, decant this big, bold, complex and beautifully velvety Cabernet from Nickel & Nickel, 2012 Rock Carin Vineyards Cabernet. We suggest 30-45 minutes in the decanter.