Michelin-starred British chef Heston Blumenthal has hooked up with Microsoft to launch a Skype bot.
Heston Bot’s aim is supposedly to help users overcome their fear of failure in the kitchen. Anyone who has ever bought Blumenthal’s “Fat Duck” cookbook and realized they’d made a grave mistake (who actually has a vacuum chamber, centrifuge, or liquid nitrogen lying around?) should find the Heston Bot a gentler master.
Heston Bot has an intro video from real Heston, explaining how he thinks a sense of childlike playfulness has led to some of his great discoveries in the kitchen, and a handful of pretty basic Easter recipes, without any Blumenthal wizardry. There’s a mini quiz on food pairings—get an answer wrong and Heston Bot is clearly disappointed.
(Heston Bot: “The buttery, salty roe with the rich, smooth chocolate? It’s fantastic.”)
There’s enough of a personal touch to make it feel like interacting with the man himself—though the pre-programmed responses—”Why, Heston?” and “Of course, Heston”—feel a bit like shouting “Yes chef!” His account of the meal that opened his eyes to what food could be as a 16-year-old comes across a nice, personal touch.