My Sim self making mac and cheese.

© Courtesy of The Sims 3, EA Games
My Sim self making mac and cheese.I've always wondered what it's like to be an ambitious, charismatic and kleptomaniac chef. Last night I lived out my fantasy by playing The Sims 3, the newly released version of the popular life-simulation computer game The Sims, now with special features for the virtual foodie.

Using the Create-A-Sim tool, I came up with an avatar that has the above-mentioned personality traits. My Sim self reads cookbooks (such as Cooking Vol. 2: Why You Need Baking Soda), takes cooking classes at the local grocery store and practices making everything from mac and cheese to sushi, all in an effort to move up from Kitchen Scullion to Celebrated Five-Star Chef at Little Corsican Bistro.

So far, things are going pretty well in my virtual life: I’ve eaten pancakes and waffles for breakfast every day, gotten promoted twice and "acquired" new furniture for my home (OK, so I stole lamps and chairs from the bistro, but kleptomania is an acceptable mental disorder in The Sims 3). I just hope my stealing habit won't derail my culinary aspirations.