http://gamezplay.org - The Nintendo DS is no stranger to nontraditional games, and What's Cooking? with Jamie Oliver makes a marked departure from already quirky titles like Cooking Mama by billing itself as an interactive cookbook. A portable video game might not be the first place to turn to for recipes, but the simple interface makes it accessible for anyone willing to get past the obvious gimmickry. The main draw of What's Cooking (and a missed opportunity in Cooking Mama) is the inclusion of 100 recipes by Oliver to make in the real world. Each listing comes with an image of the completed dish, an ingredient list, step-by-step instructions and additional comments by Oliver, which makes for a decent amount of content. It's a convenient and portable package, even if you might feel silly checking your shopping list on the portable system while in the supermarket. You might feel even sillier saying "next" and "previous" to cycle through steps while cooking at home, though it's a nice way to avoid touching the screen while using it in a less-than-ideal environment. To be sure, there's still a timed game mode that tests how well you use the DS touchscreen to chop or stir virtual ingredients, but there's a noticeable lack of polish: Grated lemon zest looks the same as grated kiwi (wrong in more ways than one), and mixing items from one bowl to another invariably triggers the sound of falling liquid, whether it's something wet or not. The best application of What's Cooking may lie outside the kitchen. Browsing through recipes on the way home (you can sort by type or ingredient) may trigger brainstorming for your next meal. For the really adventurous, there's a freestyle version of the game mode that allows for playing around with ingredients while recording the amounts used and techniques applied to create your own recipe on the fly. This kind of interactive freethinking is a boon to visual learners. There's plenty of Jamie himself throughout the game, from his telling you that the "spicy sweet potato soup with goat cheese crostini" is "a light lunch with a tasty twist" to images of him and his befuddled smile that appear after each completed task. Awkward, but not without its charms. What's Cooking? with Jamie Oliver (Atari, $29.99 for Nintendo DS), available at GameStop. ESRB Rating: Everyone.