Would You Rather?

Would you rather have a roommate who loves to cook or one who never goes near the kitchen?

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Having a roommate who's an ace in the kitchen can mean a tasty (and economical) way to come home in the evening, but it can also lead to lots of messes and lingering smells. And what if you have your own dinner plans but the stove is in use for the next five hours while your roomie makes an elaborate stew?

Given the choice, would you rather share an apartment with an aspiring Julia Child, or someone whose idea of meal prep is limited to punching in an order on Seamless? We put the question to a handful of New Yorkers. Here's what they had to say.

Real cooks don’t make messes

“I’d love to have a roommate who loves to cook—it’s how I learned to love pierogis! My experience is that people who truly love to cook, as in cook real meals, are respectful of kitchen protocol and clean up after themselves. It’s the non-cook, heater uppers, order in-ers who make the messes.”—Jen Maguire, Chelsea

Would I have a say in the menu?

“I enjoy cooking, but I would love to live with someone who knows his or her way around the kitchen. Before I was married, I lived alone and cooked for myself regularly, and pretty much anyone else who would eat my food, so I’ve been spending time in the kitchen for over 20 years. I’d love to catch a break, sit back with a glass of pinot noir, and binge my latest guilty pleasure on Netflix while someone else does the work.”—Tracy Kaler, Upper West Side

It’s a matter of hygiene

“I would prefer to live with a roommate who never enters the kitchen, and it’s based on my past experience: I once had a roommate who cooked, yet she was a slob and regularly did not shower, so I could not take advantage of her cooking when I was not convinced she washed her hands. Gross!”—Jackie Sargent, Upper West Side

What exactly is in those plastic containers?

“In my experience, the ideal roommate never cooks, never enters the kitchen, nothing. I once had a culinarily-gifted roommate hit a bad or busy or week or two. This resulted in a towering stack of dishes overflowing from the sink, food scraps and shavings on counters and floors enticing pests to visit, or even move in (one time into our oven!), and a refrigerator full of unidentifiable gelatinous masses in foggy plastic containers that remained for a season or so!”—Cameron Stuart, Bushwick

Variety, please

“I’d love a roommate who loves to cook. I am so tired of microwaved, gluten-free, dried-out chicken and soggy veggies. Sigh.”—Paula Taylor, Chelsea

The verdict: By a small margin, a majority of these New Yorkers would prefer to live with a home chef over a takeout aficionado.