Hot hunks dish it out on Hot Guys Who Cook

In the new season of Hot Guys Who Cook, three guys will compete in each episode

Chinese-American actor Allan Wu would love to do an Asian version of Magic Mike.

The beefy 40-year-old tells Life! with a chuckle that after "years of guys objectifying women in the media, it is time for the men to give back".

Hot hunks dish it out in Hot Guys Who Cook
Actor Allan Wu (centre), with Filipino model Paolo Gonzalez (left) and British-Malaysian actor Zain Saidin, and his herb-crusted roast chicken with mash dish that he considers a “culinary masterpiece”. -- PHOTO: DIVA UNIVERSAL

Magic Mike (2012) is a Steven Soderbergh film which follows a group of male strippers. Starring Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey and Matt Bomer, it was released in cinemas here in August.

Taking the telephone call from Shanghai where he is based, Wu says: "Society has been so male-dominated in terms of what we watch in the media, so it's time to give back to the women. I want to do a Magic Mike for Asia and China audiences.

"Men need to be given the chance to do something good for women as well."

Until an Asian Magic Mike project comes along, however, viewers can look forward to another hunk-fest programme featuring Wu - Season 2 of Hot Guys Who Cook.

The show, which premieres on Diva Universal (StarHub Channel 522) tonight at 7pm, has a group of good-looking men working in the kitchen and whipping up various dishes.

Other celebrities featured include Singapore-based British actor George Young, 32; Singapore actor and model Paul Foster, 32; and Taiwanese-German TV host Armando Reed, 32.

Wu says: "When I first heard about this show, I honestly thought it was a no-brainer and that it's going to kill it.

"It's entertaining to the point of people getting to learn something about food and these are all personalities that people are familiar with. Plus, they're not too bad-looking so that always helps."

Unlike the first season, which aired here from June to August and only showed the men cooking and talking individually in each episode, the new season brings them together and introduces a competitive element.

Every episode will feature three men in a cooking showdown, where they will each prepare their own signature dish. A mystery guest judge will then come on to try the food and decide on the winner.

Hot hunks dish it out in Hot Guys Who Cook
Actor Allan Wu, with Filipino model Paolo Gonzalez and British-Malaysian actor Zain Saidin, and his herb-crusted roast chicken with mash dish that he considers a “culinary masterpiece”. -- PHOTO: DIVA UNIVERSAL

Wu says: "With the competition factor, I think it's even more fun than before. Basically, it gives the guys more opportunity to banter, to talk and just have a good time."

His food offering on the show is herb- crusted roast chicken with mash, a dish which he describes as "a culinary masterpiece".

Having learnt how to cook due to "survival needs" during his college days in the United States, he adds: "I'm not the best cook but I can make different types of pasta and Mexican food, and other wholesome hearty foods. I'm all about functionality."

Asked how he feels about being the oldest guy featured on the show, he laughs and says: "I'm cool with that. In the episode that I am in, Paolo and Zain are like 10, 15 years younger than me, but I don't feel any older.

"I mean, if this had been a test of muscle strength, I'd whoop everyone's a***s. So they're just boys in a man's world."

The other two men in the same episode as Wu are 27-year-old Filipino model Paolo Gonzalez and 28-year-old British-Malaysian actor Zain Saidin.

Wu adds: "It's easy to be fit and healthy when you're in your 20s, but to maintain it as you get older without fillers and surgery and vitamins is a lot harder. Having said that, our age gap has actually given us a fun dynamic because it gives us more chance to trash talk. They called me the grandpa and I'd say they were hitting puberty."

Wu, who is married to Singapore actress Wong Li-Lin, 39, has two children aged six and eight.

He was based in Singapore from 2001, but left the country with his family to live in Shanghai from September last year.

Having lived in China for more than a year now, he says his Mandarin has "improved dramatically".

"Of course, it's still not going to be better than the language of the thousands of people that I'm hosting events to, but I get by. And they're very impressed by my English all the time.

"I've definitely gotten more comfortable living in China. There are a lot of pitfalls but there're also a lot of opportunities here."

Other than hosting the occasional company function, he is busy filming the "unofficial Chinese version of Gossip Girl", where he plays the male lead. The show is likely to air in China next summer.

"It's an idol drama and it's filled with teenyboppers, which caters to a certain market. And of course, with idol dramas, a lot of the other guys on the show look like girls," he adds.

"But you know, it's all fun. I'm having a good time."