On US Food Trucks, Indie Cinema and Hipsters

Our friends from across the pond may struggle with their foreign policy from time to time, and have trouble telling their politicians from their celebrities (Mr. Trump, we’re looking at you!) but there is one thing that they’ve got over us on any given Sunday. A staple of the American fast food industry for decades now, the humble food truck is slowly and surely picking up traction here in the UK. This is good news for us lads, who love nothing more than chowing down on a ridiculously sized meat-filled monstrosity.



‘These curious contraptions come in all shapes and sizes, but the quality of their product is uniformly awful.’

For years now, us Brits have had to cope with the humble English burger van as a way of sprucing up a trip to B&Q or to brighten a long day out with the wife and kids. These curious contraptions come in all shapes and sizes, but the quality of their product is uniformly awful. Soggy baps, tasteless patties and lacklustre extras are the order of the day – and the prices are usually enough to turn you away, even before you’ve seen the questionable cleanliness of the make-shift kitchen.


Thankfully, with the advent of the gourmet burger in the UK, all this is slowly starting to change. Although some critics may be starting to tire of the endless amount of super-sized burgers and dogs, served on tin plates and wood boards, us guys here at MALE FICE can’t get enough of them. With city restaurant districts slowly filling up with a heady mix of chain restaurants and independent businesses, there has never been more choice when it comes to American food on our high streets. But why is this cracking grub making its way off the streets and on to our roads?



‘John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson’s iconic ‘Royale with Cheese’ scene had 90s cinema goers slavering over the mighty American burger…’

As usual, pop culture has had its part to play with classic movies, like Scarface and Pulp Fiction, boosting the appeal of American food. John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson’s iconic ‘Royale with Cheese’ scene had 90s cinema goers slavering over the mighty American burger long before its rise to popularity in the UK. Whereas the more discerning cinephile will remember Tony Montana’s first job in a grimy drive-in. Violent cult films aside, the food truck has more recently had a resurgence in the world of independent cinema.


Featuring what would be a breakthrough performance from everyone’s favourite ‘dwarf’ Peter Dinklage, The Station Agent centred on a food truck in the middle of nowhere as its main setting – no doubt a clever ploy for keeping costs down on what was a very cheap movie. Bobby Cannavale was the man behind the grill in the critically acclaimed 2003 festival darling, and just over 10 years later he found himself cooking up a storm on the move once more in Jon Favreau’s Chef. You might be wondering what these festival darlings have to do with the rise of the food truck; one word: hipsters.


The hipster movement is one that has truly taken the world by storm. At its heart is a love of unique trends from the world of fashion all the way to food. Bearded, tight trousered, tattooed and at large; the male hipster restaurateur is now as much of a cliché as the cockney chippy owner. Buying and setting up a first-class metropolitan eatery with hipster credentials can be a risky affair, for most budding bearded entrepreneurs its much easier to test the waters with something smaller first; like a food truck!



‘…Bob’s your uncle you’ve got yourself a shabby chic hipster-proof food truck ready to do some killer business!’

Any man’s man can see the appeal. Buy a cheap battered van, like Bobby and Jon’s in Chef, scour eBay for affordable cooking equipment and invest wisely in a set of quality industrial fans and motors (it can get hot in a food truck and you will need some ventilation!); Bob’s your uncle you’ve got yourself a shabby chic hipster-proof food truck ready to do some killer business! The only thing left to sort out is the food…you do know how to cook right?Read the rest

10 Tips For Your Kitchen Remodel

Being able to redesign your own kitchen is a wonderful thing – you can build it up from scratch exactly how you want it, and in such a way that it works for you and your home.

But there are a lot of pitfalls as well, and mistakes can become very costly. Here are ten tips to keep your kitchen remodel in line and on budget.


Don’t Overspend!

Work out a budget ahead of time and stick to it.  It isn’t going to be easy – you’re bound to find some tiles you absolutely love that are way too expensive, so you need to be able to say no!

The amount you spend on your kitchen should be proportional to how much extra value it should add to the house.

As a general rule, an upgrade of paints and hardware may cost around £1500, while a full upgrade with counters, flooring and luxury appliances can cost tens of thousands.


Have An Identity In Mind

You might think you know what you’re doing going into the build – until you find that you’ve bought the tiles for a cottage kitchen and the countertops for a minimalist space.

Be aware of the architectural style of the house as it is, and work with it instead of against it.


Don’t Mess With The Plumbing

It’s a huge hassle to move the water and gas lines around, and expensive to boot. Keep anything that’s connected by a pipe where it is, unless you absolutely have to move it!


Check The Floor Plan

If you do want to change the layout of your kitchen, either with appliances or in terms of plug sockets, think it through thoroughly. Most kitchens have a general layout which makes it easier to navigate, such as having the dishwasher next to the sink.


Keep Your Existing Cabinetswp8c68f876_05_06

If you can, that is. If they’re made of wood and still in good condition you can save a lot of money by simply giving them a facelift. Repaint them, relaminate, or add new drawer handles.


DIY Your Flooring

This is a stage in the design where you can save yourself a lot of money. Good laminate flooring that looks like tiles is reasonably priced – but pay a workman to do it for you and the cost per square metre will go up a huge amount. The other bonus of laminate flooring is that it’s easy to clean; always a selling point in a kitchen.


Get Some Free Advice

There are so many resources for advice on a kitchen redesign! A lot of home improvement shops will have computer-based design services which make the measurements and layout easy.

Also make sure you use all the resources you can find on the internet as well as asking the advice of people who’ve already done it.


Match Your Appliances

This will be harder to do if you aren’t getting all new appliances, although you can build up from a base of one or two. Your kitchen will look about ten times more professional with matching appliances – and while they don’t have to be the exact same range, they should at least be the same brand and colour.


If you already have one perfectly good appliance, buy the others to match it.


Take Sinks and Fixtures Into Account

All these little bits can end up costing you a lot if you don’t factor them into the initial design. Your kitchen will look so much better if you’re able to stick to a consistent finish – unless the patchwork kitchen is the look you’re going for, in which case also disregard the previous point.


Do you have any other ideas for how to keep your kitchen redesign in line?… Read the rest

Top 5 Hobbies for Men

Have you been searching for an activity lately? After all, idleness destroys masculinity. Keep your testosterone topped up by indulging in one of these super-manly activities.