The Escapist Presents: Recipe For Disaster

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Recipe For Disaster

Can a videogame teach two cooking noobs to cook without causing a fire?

Thanks to America's Test Kitchen: Let's Get Cooking for providing the game!

Watch Video

My first thought was "Why is this about Runescape?"
Then I realised how Nerdy I am.

It's good though ^^

I can unfortunatly say The same still a good video

That kitchen looks an awful lot like mine...oh wait.

That was pretty fantastic. And now i'm hungry.

Lol, that was an interesting video. I had always wondered if these educational programs actually worked effectively. Now the question has been answered ^~^! At least where one game is concerned. Though I am curious how much additional help was needed with this cooking program ;).

A video that was both informative and funny.
Mostly at how useless at cooking they were!

Though, I'm probably equally, if not more useless. Might have to take that advice on board now, seeing as I have a DS.

sprout:
That was pretty fantastic. And now i'm hungry.

Hehe, yeah! But, goes to prove video games can...sometimes, a little bit be enducational XD

Very cute, guys.

Would be interesting to know how much help was needed. For example, what kind of terminology did the game use without explaining? Do the recipes lay out what equipment you'll need, along with the ingredients of the recipes? Also, how many recipes does the game come with and are there vegetarian options, as well as meaty?

It's pretty cool how those two are experimenting a game that has tons of recipes for food and teaches what to do.

Great job you guys.

Waif:
Though I am curious how much additional help was needed with this cooking program ;).

I'd guess that if Funk didn't know that measurements for butter are printed on the side of the sticks, probably enough to be worth mentioning. ;)

Logan's fancy onion dicing isn't something that the average novice cook would be doing either.

Is this going to be a series? Cause it seems like it could get old fast with them simply cooking each week. And if it is a series what are they going to do? Other educational games maybe?

Is this going to spell the decline of the cook book in favour of being walked through the stages with videos? Actually now that I think of it websites that do this very thing already exist and are making a lot of money, free membership usually but have advertising.

Spyre2000:
Is this going to be a series? Cause it seems like it could get old fast with them simply cooking each week. And if it is a series what are they going to do? Other educational games maybe?

No, just a one-off.

Andraste:
Very cute, guys.

Would be interesting to know how much help was needed. For example, what kind of terminology did the game use without explaining? Do the recipes lay out what equipment you'll need, along with the ingredients of the recipes? Also, how many recipes does the game come with and are there vegetarian options, as well as meaty?

It did lay out all the equipment and ingredients, and it comes with hundreds.

And we had Susan watching us from just off-camera. Interesting fact: What we call "shredded" cheese, they call "grated" in the UK. Made for some interesting mixups :)

The game actually does a fair job of filling in the blanks, assuming you take the time to watch the instructional videos and read the background info. That said, there's no substitute for just plain trying something. Were we to do another one of these, I think you'd see that Funk's cooking skills had leveled up drastically.

The game also has a variety of recipes, everything from soup to breads to desserts to vegetables. All courses. It doesn't have an overwhelming number of each kind of recipe, and the main course dishes naturally get the lion's share.

But as for how much help they needed, not as much as you might think. But some. There was a lot of wincing behind the scenes. :)

"We had a lot of help."

Yes, I bet you did. Hmmm . . . Susan Arendt is listed as Field Producer . . . I wonder what a field producer does, exactly? ;)

I'm not as much of a fan of the skillet lasagne; I prefer the baked version. Still, the chicken looked good! Now just master some vegetables to go with it and you're laughing. Nobody should be without at least one or two recipes under their belt. I prefer Italian, but whatever works. Paring knives . . . eh, never bothered, removing peel is what fingers are for. A professional chef might find it useful, because they prepare hundreds of meals at a time, but a kitchen chef not so much. It's worth getting a good knife too, if you keep up with this. The mass-produced stuff they sell for ten-a-penny down the shops really isn't worth the hassle. One good knife, kept sharp, will do almost anything you want it to.

To be honest, I think a perfectly fine cooking book is equally effective, and this "game" is probably just a cooking book which some bloke reads to you.
So it can be perfectly replaced by a guy capable of reading, a bottle of beer for his expenses and a cooking book written in normalspeak.

Chrinik:
To be honest, I think a perfectly fine cooking book is equally effective, and this "game" is probably just a cooking book which some bloke reads to you.
So it can be perfectly replaced by a guy capable of reading, a bottle of beer for his expenses and a cooking book written in normalspeak.

True, but if it gets more people to try cooking, just because of the novelty, we're on our way to healthier people. It's often much healthier to cook for yourself (cuz you know what's going into it) than to buy food out. Usually cheaper, too.

What I did like about the program is the time references the game gave. "Brown the meat, about five minutes." That's a helpful gauge for people who really don't cook at all and for planning preparation.

Well, maybe it can help me.

Although I doubt it. I am the only person who can turn ginger snaps into a fine sludge. I am a terrible cook.

Chrinik:
To be honest, I think a perfectly fine cooking book is equally effective, and this "game" is probably just a cooking book which some bloke reads to you.
So it can be perfectly replaced by a guy capable of reading, a bottle of beer for his expenses and a cooking book written in normalspeak.

Of course, but what's neat about the game is that it breaks everything down for you nicely. You will need the following tools, you will need the following ingredients, you will need the following time. If you don't know how to do Step X, you can watch this here video to learn.

It's also pretty clear that the game is hoping to get families involved, as you can keep track of individual's birthdays, their favorites, recipes they want to try, and suchlike. It also suggests menus for special events like Mother's Day. I could easily see dad and the kids following along to make some special meals for Mom as a fun group exercise.

Outtakes please :D I want to see the help :P

Susan Arendt:
[...]That said, there's no substitute for just plain trying something.[...]

I totally agree. If you want to learn how to cook, well, cook! :)

If you never cooked before, don't be afraid, the kitchen won't bite :) Start with something simple, like take a frying pan, put some oil in it, heat it up, put a nice piece of meat in it, cook it until golden brown then season it with whatever you like. You can't go wrong with plain fried meat. If you a vegetarian, take a few potatoes, peel them, cut them up, put them in a pot full of water and boil until soft (poke them with a fork every now and then to test). Pour the water off, and season with whatever. There you go, your first self-cooked meal.

If you feel like leveling up, just stand in the kitchen, shout "DING!", turn the lights on and off a few times, and then try adding to the recipe. For the fried meat, try coating it with beaten eggs, flour and sesame seeds (in that order) before frying. For the potato, after pouring the water off, (while the potatoes are still hot) warm a glass of milk in the microwave (not too hot), drop a stick of butter into the pot, pour the warm milk and then mash the whole stuff with a potato masher. There you have it, some nice fried meat with mashed potatoes.

Some tips from a gamer cook:
Don't worry about measurements and precise seasoning, forget the cookbook until you feel comfortable in the kitchen. Just grab some piece of meat or veggie and try to make the best of it! It doesn't matter if you put in one and a half tablespoon instead of one, or cook for twelve minutes instead of ten. Cookbooks contain recipes for someone else's taste anyway. Be adventurous, experiment with different spices, cooking times and ingredients, make it taste good to you! You can even try extreme combinations, like adding a little soy sauce or tabasco to your chocolate pudding, it might actually taste good! If you are not sure, use less salt and spices, remember, it's always much easier to put in some more afterwards than to take it back out :)

I hope I helped a little...

Playbahnosh:

Don't worry about measurements and precise seasoning, forget the cookbook until you feel comfortable in the kitchen. Just grab some piece of meat or veggie and try to make the best of it! It doesn't matter if you put in one and a half tablespoon instead of one, or cook for twelve minutes instead of ten.

Exactly. I tend to think of cooking as the art, and baking as the science.

Cooking - throw a bunch of ingredients together, using any techniques at your disposal. Eye-measure conservatively, and you'll wind up with something different and totally edible every time. Even if you mess up, just add another ingredient or technique, and it becomes potentially delicious again.

Baking - plan ahead to avoid catastrophe, and follow the recipe. You can fudge it a little, but it's largely a game of precision and repeatability. If you mess up, there is no way to salvage your work.

Interesting if I wasn't already adept in the art of making things hot then eating them it might be a good idea.

Also I did expect Funk to look so ehrm "broad" like some kind of football player or a soldier in Gears.

Cooking isn't very difficult...

The problem is that most fail and then don't cook again for ages. Then like half a year later they screw up again.

I have seen friends that cannot cook try taking on some really complex things as well. So when the guaranteed failure strikes they get even more dejected.

I started showing my brother how to cook through Kraft Mac. Learning how to make pasta well can keep you well fed for years!

Maybe I should get this game...

Then again, I am fully capable of scalding my face while trying to boil water...

I also once stabbed myself trying to make toast.

I stick to cereal nowadays.

I can see this being turned into a series for some strange reason.

CaptainCrunch:

Playbahnosh:

Don't worry about measurements and precise seasoning, forget the cookbook until you feel comfortable in the kitchen. Just grab some piece of meat or veggie and try to make the best of it! It doesn't matter if you put in one and a half tablespoon instead of one, or cook for twelve minutes instead of ten.

Exactly. I tend to think of cooking as the art, and baking as the science.

Cooking - throw a bunch of ingredients together, using any techniques at your disposal. Eye-measure conservatively, and you'll wind up with something different and totally edible every time. Even if you mess up, just add another ingredient or technique, and it becomes potentially delicious again.

Baking - plan ahead to avoid catastrophe, and follow the recipe. You can fudge it a little, but it's largely a game of precision and repeatability. If you mess up, there is no way to salvage your work.

Agreed. Well, baking is very late-game stuff, needs a lot of power-leveling to do it right. With baking, there is no quick-load, only game over if you mess up. A burned cookie or cake cannot be salvaged, sadly. I'm still too n00b for baking, so I haven't really baked anything yet, but I'll try it sometime.

With cooking, you can save the food most of the time, even if you mess up real bad (I speak from experience ;)) The most common error is using too much spice or salt. When that happens, just soften the food up a bit, add more water or sour cream to dilute it and stir/simmer well, that should take care of strong spices nicely. Don't forget to add a little more of the other ingredients as well to balance things out, but if you don't have it, don't sweat it, you'll just have more sauce than usual :)

The other common error is singeing or burning the food. When that happens, quickly add some water or other diluent (like sour cream) to stop it from burning (turning the heat down is not enough, trust me), and with a wooden spoon, quickly scrape off the burned stuff from the bottom of the pot and stir it well into the food. Then add some green spices, like basil, thyme or oregano. It might sound crazy or even disgusting to some, but it will give the food a nice smoky flavor, and sometimes it will actually even taste a lot better this way! (When serving, don't tell anyone you burned it, and they won't even notice ;))

Personal Trainer Cooking is also really novice-friendly as it has a glossary you can jump to for a lot of terms with pictures showing examples.

Now if they make one of these for just baking I'd be all over it! My cookbooks are taking up too much space and I seem to always end up improvising techniques anyway...stupid Foxhound cheesecake.

Susan Arendt:

Of course, but what's neat about the game is that it breaks everything down for you nicely. You will need the following tools, you will need the following ingredients, you will need the following time. If you don't know how to do Step X, you can watch this here video to learn.

It's also pretty clear that the game is hoping to get families involved, as you can keep track of individual's birthdays, their favorites, recipes they want to try, and suchlike. It also suggests menus for special events like Mother's Day. I could easily see dad and the kids following along to make some special meals for Mom as a fun group exercise.

Yes, this is the logical step that follows all "new media".
First you learned how to cook from your mom or grandma, hence the time where the women "belonged in the kitchen" since the man was hopelessly lost in it, and would probably put arsen instead of salt into his soup.
Then came printing times. Books with various recipes gathered and put into one.
You bought a simple book, followed itīs instructions and bingo, you learned how to cook something foreign, like Salsa sauce.
Then came cooking shows, hence the ever growing popularity of TVs in the Kitchen.
Youīd watch the show and follow the guys instructions. Hope he sais what you have to do in the comercial break.
Now itīs games. And with that, comes new and improved ways of people to "learn" how to cook, or make something new, or whatever.
You can also whip your DS out and watch the recipe on the ride home to memorize it somewhat.
But when Iīm handling dangerously tempretured liquids, powders and sharp objects, I donīt want to have a valuable piece of electronics around...
I can dry a wet page. Or slap the guy standing in my way.

After all it boils down to "is it worth it."
I dunno, a DS and a cooking game seems kinda more expensive then a cooking book and a beer for my readerfriend, but if you already have a DS, it becomes less expensive.
BUT might still be more expensive then a simple book.

(Me being a learned Offset-Printer doesnīt count into my favoring for printmedia in any way <.< )

This concept + Cooking Mama = COMEDY GOLD!

This game just might make me buy a DS.

I like your mutton chops Mr. Funk.

I want that N7 shirt...

This was actually pretty awesome. I think if I had a DS I'd pick that game up, simply to know how to cook some stuff now.

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