AS FAR as Mr Stephen Clark is concerned, one of the most indispensable things a man can bring into the kitchen is the iPod.
The general manager of RGM Entertainment - an Australian talent agency and financing and executive production office with its Asian headquarters in Singapore - believes that a little music can give a cook a boost of enthusiasm and help him to scale greater culinary heights.
Not for him dramatic opera or schmaltzy pop, though.
Nothing gets him going faster than a good dose of The Distillers, a hard-core punk outfit; or Frank Black, best known as the frontman of American alternative rock band The Pixies.
But, the 40-year-old cautions in his posh British accent: 'You also have to know when to listen and when not to listen to music in the kitchen.'
The iPod, he says, is great when one is cutting meat, chopping vegetables or doing other prep work.
The earphones have to come off when, for example, 'you need to hear how hot the fat is in the pan so you know when to put the potatoes in'.
He says that every bloke should learn how to cook because it really is not too difficult.
It helps, of course, that he spent 10 years as an officer in the British Army.
'The army taught me a couple of things, one of which is you can do anything if you want to,' says the affable Englishman. He says he 'did everything from reconnaissance to commando to United Nations operational work' when he was with the armed forces. His father was a military man too.
'You just need to understand the terminology of how things work,' says the father of a two-year old son.
He first started cooking for himself while studying psychology at the University of Southhampton in England.
'At first, it was the usual beans on toast, Spam, but I soon realised that I could do a lot better than that.'
His first culinary challenge came when he was about 19. He threw a party and to feed his guests, decided to roast a whole lamb.
The only problem was, he had no roasting pit. So the resourceful lad did the next best thing - he dug one in the garden.
He also drilled holes into a shower rail he bought from the local hardware store, and used that to skewer the animal.
'The whole thing was a bit charred, but it was cooked, which was the most important thing. I served it with mint sauce and radish, and it was a great success,' he recalls.
Ask him about food in the army and he'll tell you it was not too bad at all.
'You get well fed in the officers' mess actually. In the early 1990s when I was stationed in Germany, we had a black tie dinner every Thursday, where you dressed up and get served a three-course dinner with a silver service. Some of the military chefs were superb.'
He hones his own culinary skills by reading cookbooks and getting tips from his mother, whom he describes as a first-rate cook.
He says: 'She was an officer's wife. They did a lot of entertaining and she did all the cooking. You name it, she does it - from curries to French-style cooking.'
She taught him how to make the apple sauce for the roast pork recipe which he is sharing with LifeStyle readers.
'Blokes are good at certain things and roast is my thing. It's essentially a simple dish but getting it right - that takes experience and a lot of trial and error.'
He gives his three secrets for the perfect roast pork.
'The crackling has to be right. The skin needs to be scored correctly, it needs to be salted, dried, with absolutely no oil. And the oven has to be really hot when you put it in.''
The trick to great roasted potatoes, he adds, is duck or goose fat.
And the perfect gravy?
'Using the drippings, adding good stock and not overdiluting. But you know what the real secret is to good gravy?
'My wife,' he deadpans before breaking into a laugh.
» Stephen Clarke's recipe for Roast Pork Crackling