Robert Irvine, the Food Network's answer to shouty chef Gordon Ramsay, will be making a two-week virtual appearance starting today in Zynga's new Facebook game, ChefVille. According to the press release, "Irvine will face his biggest challenge yet as he helps ChefVille players enhance their in-game establishments by mastering dishes from around the world, while improving their restaurants."
We're not entirely sure how consulting on imaginary restaurants constitutes Irivne's "biggest challenge yet," considering that he regularly works with clueless restauranteurs in serious, real-life debt on his show Restaurant: Impossible, but setting that aside, this a fairly brilliant marketing move for the celebrity chef. ChefVille is the number one game on Facebook and it's solid PR for his show's new season.
For the next two weeks, virtual Robert Irvine will guide Chefville players through a series of quests, even providing "a little tough love while necessary," as he "help[s] players avoid the common pitfalls that restauranteurs often run into -- from under seasoned dishes and outdated décor to budgetary constraints." Good thing, because there's no worse faux pas than having your cyber restaurant look too 90's.
We started playing ChefVille this morning for the first time in an attempt to spot the "muscle-bound, bespectacled avatar [Irvine] developed with the ChefVille team," but only ran into the chirpy Madeline ... and then gave up about ten minutes in, when the game started asking us for money and our friends had been subjected to enough ChefVille News Feed announcements to cause some embarrassment IRL.
Are you a fan of ChefVille? Have you spotted Irvine yet? Share your encounters with the Irvine avatar below.