"Make a chatbot" is the new "make an app," with everyone getting on the bandwagon whether it's useful or not. But we're actually quite fond of the new Heston Bot on Skype, a way to talk to a sort of cloud-based Blumenthal.
As Heston says himself, it makes sense to follow a recipe this way rather than on a static webpage – it's more interactive, and you can go at your own pace.
The chatbot – created in partnership with Microsoft – also includes tips, flavour pairings, video messages and anecdotes from the chef. It'll be updated every month and every season – you don't want to be trying to find strawberries in December because "a chatbot told me to."
The flesh-based Heston said:
"Working with Microsoft to develop the Heston Bot has been fantastic – together we’ve created an interactive experience that really puts my motto to the test: ‘question everything’.
Anyone who’s curious will have access to exclusive tips and techniques that are constantly updated throughout the year, as well as lots of recipes to make every day cooking easier. People will get a real insight in how I think and how I cook, and I hope everyone is inspired to experiment and have fun with my recipes."
To talk to iHeston, you can either search "Heston Bot" in the Skype Bot Directory or add it here. You'll need the latest version of Skype, for which we apologise.
Main image: Alisa Connan