Lumps in the gravy? Turkey still frozen? Supermarket launches first ever emergency Christmas dinner helpline

Lumps in the gravy Turkey still frozen Supermarket launches first ever emergency Christmas dinner helpline
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day twitter feed to be manned by professional chefs

How is it that your mother-in-law always manages to turn up on Christmas Day just at the moment when your confidence in the kitchen has reached its lowest point

Well, from this year you won”t need to ask her for advice on how to make your turkey cook faster, how to make your gravy smoother, or why people put little crosses in Brussels sprouts.

Tesco has set up an SOS online helpline to save cooks from Christmas dinner nightmares as they prepare the biggest meal of the year.

Trouble in the Kitchen Tesco will set up a helpline on Christmas Day and Eve to help people who are cooking a Christmas dinner

Trouble in the Kitchen Tesco will set up a helpline on Christmas Day and Eve to help people who are cooking a Christmas dinner (posed by models)

The supermarket has put 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, more importantly, how to 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.

Chefs will then give immediate solutions to anyone”s 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 contact 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.

Stressful enough without having to worry about the food: Christmas can be a fraught family affair, but Tesco has enlisted the help of professional chefs to guide you through

Stressful enough without having to worry about the food: Christmas can be a fraught family affair, but Tesco has enlisted the help of professional chefs to guide you through (posed by models)

“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.

Those who work with Tesco to develop recipes and inspire new dishes will also be on hand.

They are all 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.

Merry Christmas: Make your family meal more like this one by ensuring all the food is ready on time and cooked well (posed by models)

Merry Christmas: Make your family meal more like this one by ensuring all the food is ready on time and cooked well (posed by models)

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.”

The hotline will build on 2009″s Turkey Hotline set up by the British Turkey Federation.

Eight experts offered advice over the phone on defrosting, cooking times and carving techniques to hundreds of callers until 5pm on Christmas Eve.