SOS helpline set up by Tesco to save Christmas dinner nightmares

12 Dec 2011

A unique Christmas dinner SOS helpline to rescue Brits from kitchen disasters as they prepare the festive feast is being set up by Tesco.

A unique Christmas dinner SOS helpline to rescue Brits from kitchen disasters as they prepare the festive feast is being set up by Tesco.

The supermarket has pulled together a crack team of experienced cooks who will be on hand to offer personalised first rate advice on how to create the perfect Christmas dinner and avoid any potential nightmares.

Anyone running into difficulties on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will be able to contact the team via the supermarket’s Realfood Twitter site to get immediate solutions to their culinary quandries.

Tesco senior marketing manager Breige Donaghy said: “Imagine the scenario – your guests are due to arrive for the most celebrated meal of the year and to your horror your turkey is undercooked, your bread sauce too thick or your roasties aren’t crispy enough.

“But instead of panicking, cooks will now be able to speak to our team of expert chefs who have cooked thousands of meals between them and who know all the tricks of the trade for putting on a fabulous Christmas feast with as little stress as possible.

“We think the helpline will prove especially useful to those embarking on cooking their first ever Christmas dinner. And our experts will also be around on Christmas Eve in case anyone needs help planning the big meal.”

The team will include Cordon Bleu standard chefs as well as others who have been trained by top London cooking school Leiths and top restaurants plus those who work with Tesco to develop recipes and inspire new dishes.

As importantly they are accomplished home cooks, who between them have made hundreds of Christmas dinners in their own kitchens and understand the pressure of delivering a feast for the whole family, in-laws and all.

The team will run two help sessions. One will offer planning and preparation tips between 10am and 8pm on Christmas Eve and the other will help solve actual cooking dilemmas on Christmas Day, between 8am and 4pm.

Anyone wanting to contact the team will need to log onto Twitter on those days and then navigate to Tesco’s Real Food Online Twitter page (@tescorealfood), and send off their question. They will then be sent a tweet with a solution to their problem

Breige Donaghy added: “This is the first time that any supermarket has ever tried anything like this and if it’s a success then we will look at running similar kitchen helplines for Easter and other big occasions.”

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Note to editors:

On the Real Food website ( Tesco has developed a Christmas zone to help customers with everything they will need in the run up to Christmas. The tools on the site include:

- - Easy-to-follow cooking videos
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Working out the right cooking times with a turkey timer. The timer can also work out the cooking times for salmon, gammon, chicken and beef.
- - How to carve a turkey
- -
How to steam a Christmas pudding
- -
Cocktail recipe tool: type in your preferred spirit or ask for suggestions based on taste and/or glass type.

There is also an Advent Calendar on the site for daily helpful tips on getting ready for Christmas with the added chance to win daily prizes and a meal planner to help with Christmas meal ideas.

To help with any leftovers, type in the left over ingredient and the tool will recommend recipes.