All photos courtesy of Nick Evans
Growing up in small town Wyoming, Macheesmo blogger Nick Evans didn’t put much thought into what went on his plate. Both his parents worked, leaving little time for meal planning or family dinners.
“Food had an almost utilitarian feel,” he told Yahoo Food. “You’d just grab whatever was there and you’d eat it. It wasn’t until after college that I started to really enjoy sitting around and having a nice dinner.”
After attending college at Yale University, where he lived on a steady diet of pizza and dining hall food, Evans moved to Washington, D.C., for a job in IT. There he lived in a group house with a bunch of other recent grads, who similarly were just learning how to fend for themselves.
“We would frequently have big house dinners where we’d get together and everyone would cook a thing,” Evans recalled. “That was when I really began to enjoy cooking — and realized I was halfway decent at it.”
Evans started out with easy, crowd-pleasing dishes. There were plenty of hearty Italian specialties like spaghetti and meatballs, plus simple seafood dishes made with fresh fish from a nearby market. Then he moved in with his girlfriend.
“She hated cooking,” Evans said with a laugh, adding that she still does — and that they’re now married. “I had this realization that if we weren’t going to eat take-out every day, I was going to have to be in charge.”
In 2008, Evans began poking around various food blogs. He was drawn to their recipes and thoughtful writing, but couldn’t help but feel ever-so-slightly alienated. “There were very few, if any, guy food blogs,” he said. “So I just got the idea to start posting the things I was cooking. It was more to keep myself honest.”
Thus Macheesmo was born. The site features plenty family-friendly fare, since Evans does all the cooking in his household, which now includes son Theo. Think goat cheese-stuffed bell peppers, hearty beef Burgundy, and baked coconut chicken tenders. There’s plenty of “dude food,” too, like loaded potato wedges, grilled jerk chicken wings, and protein-packed breakfast sandwiches.
The site caught on in a big way, and 2014, Evans was asked to appear as a contestant on NBC’s Food Fighters (he won $70,000!) and authored a cookbook, . These days, he splits his time between freelance food writing and IT work.
So how does being a man affect his perspective as a food blogger? “A lot of the female food bloggers are my friends,” Evans said. “I think it’s just a voice — when I write something, it just has a slightly different voice than if my wife wrote it. I don’t think one is necessarily better than the other. It just is what it is.”
Mostly, Evans hopes that Macheesmo encourages other men to get into the kitchen. “Chefs tend to be male, but then for some reason cooking at home for your family [is thought of as] more of a feminine thing,” he said. “I don’t know why that is! I try to defeat that stereotype any day that I can.”