The cylindrical cooking base, engraved with a delicate floral design and resting daintily on tiny, clawed feet, bears little resemblance to the coal-fired, sooty, massive ranges endemic to Victorian kitchens. Unlike conventional Victorian ranges, Alexis Soyer's Magic Stove is not attached to a wall but instead is a free-standing device mounted on a low platform base. While the illustration of the Magic Stove conveys casual spontaneity, the illustration of the Kitchen Apparatus evokes the mechanical uncanny. Middle-class dinner parties, which blurred the distinction between dining at home and dining out, subverted the gendered division of spaces that gastronomy attempted to sustain. More significantly, however, the portable design of stove crossed gender lines to signal an appeal to middle-class men to acquire sufficient skills for basic cookery. The Magic Stove offered a vision of cookery as a means of fostering male bonding, outdoors or in bachelor households, where the values of gastronomy, spontaneity, and fellowship could be celebrated without feminine interference.