Cooking Mama Cook Off, a Nintendo game released in March, offers foodies a competitive way to brush up on their cooking skills. Cooking Mama allows you to use a game control to slice, dice, stir-fry, separate eggs, pipe cream puffs, and open cans (for shame, Cooking Mama, don’t you make things from scratch?). You can even go up against your friends, to see whose cuisine reigns supreme.

There’s at least one foodie getting in on the action. Monkey Gland, author of the British blog Jamfaced, has become one of Mama’s disciples.

Cooking Mama puts you in the kitchen, chopping, simmering and folding pastry all under the expert eye of Mama. A woman who’s eyes become flames when you get things wrong, so not too dissimilar from my own mother. … It’s addictive and frantic silliness and I’ve even found myself pondering a few of the recipes for future real life cookery. The fried gyoza look particularly tasty, if only I could get the pastry folding bit right.

A couple of more sessions and I’m sure that flame-eyed Mama will have whipped his pastry-folding skills into shape.

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