The Year in Food 2007

Virtual Dinner Party

Banking on the idea that there are gamers out there dying to duke it out with a virtual whisk, a batch of cooking games hit the market this year. In March, Nintendo introduced Cooking Mama Cook Off for its newly launched Wii system. Using the batonlike remote as a universal utensil, players can chop, grate, slice, and stir their way to victory in a series of timed challenges. Throwing successful dinner parties on your hand-held DS will boost your social standing—in your second life, at least—while Master Chef offers a more educational gaming experience for the young domestic diva: It’s driven by cooking quizzes and the elements of various world cuisines. Still, tapping buttons only takes you so far in the real world—like dialing for takeout. —Laura Neilson