The self-proclaimed Great British Chefs brand has produced this free app for iPhone and iPad. It is underwritten by the giant UK food retailer, Tesco, and their funding must have been generous indeed, since the app manages to be both charming and educational, with a well-designed user interface, great graphics, and some features not often found in freeware. The 105 child-friendly Christmas and/or winter recipes are browsable by category, degree of difficulty, or by the chef who supplied them. There’s also a search box for searching by ingredient. The roll call of chefs include many a restaurateur including Vivek Singh, from London’s Cinnamon Club, who offers an Indian-style pizza on naan, and Andy McLeish, from Kent’s Chapter One, who serves up fish dogs with winter relish. There are bios for each chef, of course, along with info and photos of their eateries.
Kids will not only enjoy helping to concoct the various main dishes, snacks, sides and desserts, their digital-native minds and tiny hands may be a necessity for navigating through the numerous icons, scrolling lists and pull-down menus. Touch the checkbox next to any recipe ingredient to either add it to a shopping list, or, in a bit of British marketing brilliance, click the Tesco button to purchase the items directly from their online grocery website should you happen to be in the UK. If you do not happen to be in the UK, one button converts all the app’s measurements from metric to U.S. imperial. There is a timer function, voice command options for moving forward and back, and best of all a Hints section that contains over 3 dozen brief videos covering a variety of basic techniques. These are narrated by a child with a pristine British accent who begins each by saying, “Wash your hands.” If listening to this young boy explain how to melt chocolate doesn’t put you in the holiday spirit, nothing will.