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      Game Culture

      Twitch, Food & Gaming: Interview with The Practical Escapist

      Twitch, Food & Gaming: Interview with The Practical Escapist




      How was your stream originally born?

      I was making a YouTube channel for cooking pop culture-inspired dishes gone vegan. My husband streams gaming on twitch and I thought it would make a great way to promote my YouTube channel. As it turned out, I fell in love with streaming so much that I started making videos to promote my twitch streaming. In the end, I did the exact opposite of what I had originally planned. This question makes me laugh every time because of this.



      What helped excite your early audience and get your community engaged?

      My audience loved watching my cats and my daughter. My very first clip was of my youngest cat jumping on my head while I was measuring out molasses for gingerbread. My tag line In the early days was “come for the snacks, stay for the cats”. Also, a lot of audience members were interested in the plant-based cooking, which is often misunderstood.



      What did you learn about yourself through becoming a food-focused streamer on Twitch?

      I’ve learned so much! I think what I’ve learned most is how to be more confident. I’ve also gotten much better at laughing at myself. If you make a mistake while live, it can really sour the audience’s mood to get broody or upset, so you have to laugh at yourself, for them. And eventually, you learn to laugh at yourself for your sake, too.



      What makes the food community on Twitch so special?

      We’re kind of like a big family. It’s one of the smaller non-gaming categories so we’re pretty tight and a lot of us know each other. Like food, there’s plenty of twitch love to go around, so everyone shares their communities and has no trouble spreading the love.



      Which streamers influenced you the most?

      Rattenni’s Kitchen was the first cooking stream I watched regularly. I saw the production, the incredible food, and the fun banter, and I was blown away. I was immediately inspired. Also, I love TheHungerService—he’s such a wonderful presence and everything he makes is amazing. HappyChefTV’s presentation is just beautiful and he is so fun to watch. And MrsRuvi is hilarious and creative—and a fellow mom as well—so I can both enjoy her show and relate.



      What's your favorite memory as a gamer?

      In March of this year, I was playing Borderlands 3 on my husband’s stream—I was also 9 months pregnant. During his stream, I was having really intense Braxton Hicks (practice) contractions and was getting quite uncomfortable. We ended the stream at midnight and headed to bed. The contractions ramped up, and we rushed to the hospital. At 3:57 am, she was born!



      Who will enjoy your stream the most?

      People who are looking for a friendly community. The viewers always feel like family, and there’s always room at the table for more. We even celebrate viewer birthdays!



      Anything else you'd like to add?

      If you’ve ever considered streaming, I highly recommend just diving in and giving it a try. Have no expectations and have fun with it. Equipment and skills will improve. If you’re genuine, if you be yourself, and if you do what you love, everything else will come after.


      Support a great cause, and celebrate the Twitch food community

      September 8 and 22 at 8:30 PM

      Atlantic Time

        Twitch, Food & Gaming: Interview with Chef Sandy

        Twitch, Food & Gaming: Interview with Chef Sandy




        How was your stream originally born?

        I was on Xbox, watching Mixer grow, hearing about Twitch and wanted to throw my "skills" into the ring then POOF Pipeline became a thing and I found a strong base to set a foundation for learning what a stream was, how to brand it, and how to grow a community.



        What helped excite your early audience and get your community engaged?

        Mixer was still growing and honestly I was a new sort of variety gamer I feel like - a baby Dr D set out to entertain the masses.



        What did you learn about yourself through becoming a food-focused streamer on Twitch?

        It's a nice niche to fall into - it isn't as Saturated (pun intended) as many other forms of streaming and WIRE MANAGEMENT is key for kitchen cams.



        What makes the food community on Twitch so special?

        I am still relatively new to Twitch and have yet to see everything to offer, but am excited to use this opportunity as my stepping stone.



        Which streamers influenced you the most?

        #1 Dr.Disrespect. I've learned from all streamers including the Pipeline with StoneMountain64 and Snoopeh, but beyond the big names out there I enjoy Doc because he is an entertainer = streamer which is the balance I hope to find between my food and gaming.



        Any fun stories or wild moments of how you made the transition from Mixer?

        I thought Mixer would be home, but the first Twitch stream (before my Mixer career) I broadcasted was to a military buddy playing Rockstar games for the Mayhem.



        What's your favorite memory as a gamer?

        Probably way, way back in the day when I can't remember my age exactly but I remember Christmas morning walking out to see the Atari / Nintendo Combo both plugged in and playing menus -- Fondly remembering Donkey Kong as it was the Star of the Show.



        Who will enjoy your stream the most?

        If you enjoy Adult Swim, Anthony Bourdain, a disdain for authority, or a good ol' cursing then I'm probably a candidate.



        Anything else you'd like to add?

        The most important thing to remember is to always ask the new hire to bring you the "bacon stretcher" or "rice peeler" while orientating as this is one of the most important team-building exercises known to man.


        Support a great cause, and celebrate the Twitch food community

        Friday 4 - 8 pm Eastern,
        Saturday 4 - 8 pm,
        Sunday 4 - 8 pm.

        Bullet Appétit - Volume Five

        Bullet Appétit - Volume Five



        The whole is greater than the part, and a video game is all about immersion. A video game is more than just code.It is its story, its art, sound design, gameplay, its localization, its challenges. To create a great game, each of these pieces have to come together in harmony.

        Without question, it’s the same with any great recipe. It’s not just about the recipe, but the quality of ingredients, the effort behind the making, and the passion to create something delicious.

        When we began working on Bite The Bullet, we wanted to pay homage to great games of the past while incorporating modern game design and polish that our fans would love. The world-building and game mechanics are all built around eating. Expressing our universal love for food and elevating the beloved retro feel we’ve come to be known by was fulfilling as it comes for our team.



        We also understood that we were in a fantastic position to affect change, which led us to partner with Feeding America. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment has soared and food insecurity is on the rise. In 2020 more than 54.3 million people may face hunger because of coronavirus. In the apocalyptic universe we created in Bite the Bullet, we couldn’t help but see the parallels, and set off to rally our fans and partners to come together to make an impact.

        The intersection of food and gaming culture has more in common than we’d ever imagined. Throughout our journey, we met so many amazing brands that took the same level of passion into their domain to create something shareable and delicious to bring happiness the world over.

        We cordially invite you to come meet some of the fantastic food purveyors and tasty treat artisans that also shared our vision, mission and palette.




        5 Generations Baker

        Scott Baker is President and founder of 5 Generation Bakers. He oversees a young but rapidly growing company that manufactures gourmet cinnamon swirl breads for retail and food service outlets. Locally the bread is marketed under the Jenny Lee brand name. As the name of the new bakery implies, Scott is the 5th generation of the Baker family in the baking business.

        When Jenny Lee Bakery closed a few months shy of its 70th anniversary in 2008, Scott’s first move was to secure the trademark rights to the Jenny Lee brand name and soon began creating a business plan for his new bakery. Nearly 2 years later,, he fired the ovens up once again. Since then, 5 Generation Bakers has reached customers in over 4500 supermarkets, retailers, restaurants and food service operators from Chicago to the East Coast, France, Japan and Trinidad! Throughout Scott’s business career, he has been very involved with the community. Scott founded the Run Your Rox Off 5K in 2009 which has raised tens of thousands of dollars while creating a popular community event that attracts hundreds of runners and spectators to McKees Rocks annually. He has been recognized and awarded for his volunteer efforts by Rotary and the University of Pittsburgh and has been involved with many other charities and fundraising events.

        Favorite Gaming Memory: ”I remember reading (I think) PC World Magazine in 1988 and creating some Olympic programs on my TI-99. There was a running game, a pole vaulting game and I think hurdles. I got pretty fast at toggling two buttons back and forth very rapidly!!”


        Scott’s Cinnamon Swirl Bread French Toast


        Scott Baker: “People eat every day. It’s one of the few things that we can do for both necessity and for pure joy. Learning to cook allows a person to control and fulfill both. This is the recipe that made our cinnamon swirl breads famous!”




        Onesto means "honest" in Italian. After having children, Jane Ciccone and her husband, Jesse wanted to continue the same Italian tradition they both grew up with: gathering in the kitchen as a family around 5 o’clock and sharing an antipasti platter before dinner. However, their young daughter at the time seemed allergic to gluten. Rather than give up the delicious combination of crackers, cheese, olives and roasted veggies, Jane began searching for gluten-free crackers that her daughter could eat. Discouraged at the amount of overly-processed and preservative-filled options on most grocery store shelves, Jane began tinkering with her own recipes and promised to never use less than honest ingredients.

        Favorite Gaming Memory: “Playing Frogger in my living room on Christmas morning after BEGGING my parents for Atari (yes, I am totally dating myself!).“


        Jane’s Onesto Cookies and Crackers Guide


        Jane Ciccone: "There is nothing else that can nourish your body and soul more than sharing delicious, healthy food (that you cooked) with your family and friends. It doesn't have to be fancy or overly complicated. Just sharing your love of others through food speaks volumes."



        The Happy Vegan

        Sharon Gregory adopted a vegan and gluten-free lifestyle in February, 2014 after a shocking Big “C” (cancer) diagnosis in January, 2014. She learned that she could help herself by taking better control of her health through a lifestyle transformation. After some fun kitchen-time, she began to realize how amazingly delicious this lifestyle could be…not to mention how fantastic it made her feel!

        This led to the creation of her company, The Happy Vegan, LLC that initially focused on education and cooking demos for plant based foods. Throughout this journey, she realized that transitioning to a plant based diet was easier than anticipated, EXCEPT giving up cheese!

        When she was unable to find a dairy-free cheese sauce product in the local stores, she was inspired to create her own. The challenge to create something that was nutritious, uber-delicious and had an amazing “cheesy” flavor resulted in the unique product, Notcho Nocheez™.

        Favorite Gaming Memory: “In 1977 Atari hit the market and I can remember sitting for hours playing the binary-looking game with my brother; shortly followed by my addiction, and near mastery of Pac-Man!”


        Sharon’s Chocolate Power Balls


        Sharon Gregory: “ Cooking at home can be super simple, healthier, and actually a bit fun! When you cook at home not only do you control what is in your food, you can have a sense of accomplishment for making a nutritious meal or snack and even save some money! Here’s a delicious chocolate power ball snack that takes only 7 ingredients and 5 minutes to create the perfect blend of nutrition and taste to keep your energy while playing even the most intense games! These are definitely a gaming-friendly snack!"


        Bullet Appétit - Volume Four

        Bullet Appétit - Volume Four



        Everything in life has a learning curve. From killstreaks, to kielbasa: no one is born an expert. While talent can be innate, skills have to be cultivated, and it’s our belief that you can do anything you put your mind to. Cooking is a life skill that everyone should invest some time into. Better fuel makes you feel, and perform, significantly better. Taking into consideration the hours of grinding you give your favorite RPG, or to perfect your gaming skills, we can see that the discipline exists and simply needs experience to level up.

        Like anything new, it can be challenging at times, but the rewards are delicious!


        It’s ok, Mama still loves you.


        The thing is, you don’t avoid playing a game because you don’t know how to play. Part of the fun is discovering how to navigate and utilize your abilities, and it should be the same in the kitchen. Akin to discovering a secret level, there is no greater joy than finally finding the trick to making your favorite dish. Not the mention, the bragging rights!


        I too cried the first time I cooked a perfect egg, Adam. I know them feels. Mmm..eggs.

        Cartoon kindly granted for use by Adam Ellis


        But where to start? If you regularly find yourself burning toast it’s important to remember that both cooking and gaming require a similar set of skills: patience, perseverance, and paying attention to the tutorials! Our friends, a group of gamers with mad chef skills, have graciously created a few to get you on your way to becoming the next Mega chef!




        LFG BAR

        Amy Spalsbury is 30 years old Kalamazoo, Michigan native, where she founded LFG Bar. They are the first retro video game and arcade bar in Kalamazoo, and have been open a little over a year. In her free time she plays Overwatch, hangs out with her pets and husband, watches anime, sings in the shower, and writes. Gaming has been a huge part of her life since she was a child, and her goal is to continue bringing a fun place where gamers can come together as a community.

        Favorite Gaming Memory: “My parents had a Sega Genesis in their room when I was a kid. I grew up on Sonic, Echo the Dolphin, etc. The game that my mom and I enjoyed playing together the most was ToeJam & Earl. Still to this day we occasionally sit down and play the game together. We still have the original copy, along with our original Sega. Actually 90% of the retro consoles in LFG are from my house that my mom kept over the years.”


        Amy’s Bechamel Sauce for Mac and Cheese


        Amy Spalsbury: “Cooking has a special place in my heart. I went to culinary school about 8 years ago and I’ve been cooking professionally ever since. It’s very important to learn the basics! So you can provide food for yourself and those you love! So, it makes sense for me to give a Bechamel recipe. Bechamel is one of the French mother sauces (sounds epic right?), and can be used for soups, dips, sauces, gravy, etc. Add cheese to this recipe and you’ve got a great mac n cheese sauce!”



        Coaching For Geeks

        Robin Bates is the self-styled overlord of Coaching for Geeks; a nerdy introvert who turned from physics and engineering to coaching, and is a regular on the UK Comic Con gaming Expo scene. Drawing on the 'teach what you know' mantra, CfG helps geeks, nerds, and introverts with confidence, careers, cosplay, cooking, and other things that don't begin with the letter 'C' but handily fall under the broad brackets of Life Skills and Geek Culture. He will lovingly call you a 'daft twatbag' before helping you get what you want from life.

        Favorite Gaming Memory: My first gaming memory is of watching my dad play Elite on the BBC Micro Model B in all its wireframe glory, i would be been about 4 year old, which ages me somewhat. Favourite gaming memory may be the first time we had an apartment full of people of widely varying gaming abilities playing New Super Mario Bros Wii, screaming "BUBBLE!" and then losing because everyone went in their bubble. We always have great food on hand.


        Robin’s Scrambled Eggs


        Robin Bates: “Let's start simple. Scrambled eggs. People really overcomplicate eggs, this the simplest of recipes, will get you delicious, creamy, scrambled eggs cooked to your preferred consistency. Whether you like them almost liquid or solid like an omelette, we got you covered. A high protein, healthy fat start to the day that fills you up, and goes great with all the breakfast classics of toast, bacon, sausage, and of course being from the UK... baked beans”



        Kinda Funny - Cooking with Greggy

        Greg Miller is an online comedian and host on the YouTube comedy channel, Kinda Funny. As a former employee of IGN, Greg left the network in 2015 in order to put more focus on Kinda Funny and its newer channel, Kinda Funny Games. He currently resides in San Francisco, California. Greg was born to eat chicken wings and play video games. He does both in the name of Kinda Funny.

        Favorite Gaming Memory: “Favorite game and food memory? Eating Sir Nick's pizza in Mike O'Brien's basement while we all played WWF No Mercy on N64.”


        Greg’s Chicken Wings


        Greg Miller: “ Chicken wings are what got me into cooking. They are my favorite food!”





        Bullet Appétit - Volume Three

        Bullet Appétit - Volume Three



        Gaming works up a mean appetite. This is especially true when you’re world-hopping and gripping your controller tight with grueling boss battles. We here at Mega Cat know all too well how easy it is to forget to fuel up when traveling and working.



        Some of us have wholesome, nutritionally dense, often Vegan diets. Others are unevolved meat-eating cavemen. Some of the cats at the office subsist on Pop-tarts.



        Good food helps us perform and feel better. It’s not just good diets that create good games. We also take time to enjoy simple pleasures like a great drink or sumptuous dessert. We work hard, we play hard, and it's important to reward yourself from time to time.



        Once again, our food influencer pals have come to the rescue with a variety of different dishes and treats to tantalize the palette! Whether you are a kitchen ninja or a master of take out, these recipes are sure to be a hit with cooks of all skill levels.




        The Succulent Bite

        Nico Norena is the founder of The Succulent Bite. Born in Chicago in 1993, raised in Madrid and with a Colombian family, Nico grew up traveling the world and exploring various food cultures. What started as a passion for food and photos, soon progressed to a social media marketing company that works to take the most succulent bites from Miami and travel directly to you!

        When you look through his feed, you can expect nothing less than indulgent and mouthwatering content, from the most mesmerizing cheese pull, to a spoon diving into a freshly baked souffle. Awarded Best Food Instagram 2019 by the New Times, he tags every place he visits, so everyone can go get themselves a piece of deliciousness.

        Favorite Gaming Memory: “ I remember as a young boy playing Pokemon in my GameBoy color. I had the red version and my cousin had the blue. We used to stay hours playing and advancing levels together, trading Pokemon and sharing endless memories.”


        Nico’s Walnut Chocolate Fudge Brownies
        & Ice Cream


        Nico Norena: “Why cook?: Sharing a meal or a dessert with someone means spending time (even if just a few minutes) and enjoying the delicacy together. Each of these moments will have a story, create the best ones!”



        Appeasing a Food Geek

        Kelsey Tenney is a food scientist and product developer that loves to dabble in making home cooking more approachable. Always a food nerd, she uses the science behind cooking, baking, and ingredient interactions to create recipes that are understandable for any level of home cook. She also loves to drop general geeky food facts in the mix too, because why not? She lives in the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco, and you can usually find her reading a cookbook, baking, or testing out a new twist on the dirty gin martini.

        Favorite Gaming Memory: I remember playing Fatty Bear's birthday surprise on my family's old-school PC when I was a kid. I loved it because the big priority of the game was to find ingredients to bake a surprise cake for Fatty Bear's owner (he's a stuffed animal), Kayla. I must have played that game dozens of times every month.


        Kelsey’s Sweet Potato Broccolini Sheet Pan Hash


        Kelsey Tenney: “Cooking is great fun. It can be experimental, meditative, routine, or simply a way to cure a craving. It is often viewed as something that's intimidating, but once you conquer a couple meals, it's very freeing. This recipe is a great way to start if you're new to cooking or a great add to the repertoire if you're a kitchen veteran.

        You can make this recipe work with whatever is in your pantry. It’s extremely versatile for veggies and seasonality. I used broccolini here, but cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, and squash would all work wonderfully! Also reducing the potatoes and adding more veggies makes it more nutritious. Plus, it all gets roasted on one sheet pan, so clean up couldn’t be easier. Bonus: springtime herb sauces would be amazing here as well. Enjoy!”




        Giovanny Gutierrez is a technology evangelist, thought leader and serial entrepreneur. Giovanny is Founder of Chat Chow TV, a mouth-watering video podcast where he goes behind the scenes with the chefs, owners and mixologists of Florida's celebrated food industry and is currently operating as Director of Interactive Media at Tinsley Advertising in Miami, FL. Previously Giovanny was founder of Ionic Studios, making viral videos like my Wii Fit Girlfriend and teaching web design/programming at Miami Dade College.

        Favorite Gaming Memory: “Playing a Ms. Pac Man cocktail for the first time. I was instantly hooked!”


        Giovanny’s Havana Especial


        Giovanny Gutierrez: “Opened in 1912, hordes of tourists arrived from New York aboard the "Havana Special' first-class train service, which would take them in 42 hours aboard train and steamships from Key West to Cuba. Havana Especial ran until 1960 when it ceased operations.”




        Alyson Nachman started over 5 years ago out of a passion for family, travel, and food! Cruise over and you’ll find helpful reviews and photos of cruises, resorts, and destinations…plus all the food that comes with them. She is obsessed with the culinary aspects of vacationing (and so are we). Taking pictures of what’s around her, on her plate, and even the menus: you’ll find it all on her website, as well as on her social media posts. She can talk cruising and food all day long! Maybe she’ll take us with her next time!

        Favorite Gaming Memory: “ Lots of gaming memories here! Both of my boys were immediately obsessed with gaming from the day they were born so MANY happy occasions and milestones have been celebrated with gaming gifts throughout the years.”


        Alyson’s Bermuda Beef

        Alyson Nachman: “One benefit of travel is to discover other cultures. I love to recreate dishes that I’ve had when visiting other regions. It virtually brings me back to vacation mode! An easy and favorite recipe is one that I created after visiting Bermuda and sampled their amazingly delicious skewered beef at Harbor Nights, one of their popular summer festivals”



        Buddy The Traveling Monkey

        Vicky Sosa is a Florida-based blogger traveling around the world with her stuffed monkey Buddy. From a very young age she dreamed of traveling the world and got her first real chance after joining the Army. Since then, she’s had many different jobs and lived in many different cities.Two years ago, tired of the 9-5, she sold all of her stuff and started traveling and writing full-time.

        She started her website Buddy The Traveling Monkey to provide others with useful travel tips, inspiration, and destination guides. Although she writes about her travels all over the world, she loves to focus on Florida and show how much more there is to the state than the typical tourist attractions.With her blog she hopes to inspire people to get out there and see the world, whether it’s a weekend trip or traveling for a year.

        Favorite Gaming Memory: “A favorite gaming memory of mine was following along as a guy I was dating at the time played "The Last Of Us." I've never been good at actually playing video games (I'm horrible with controllers) but I've been a pretty good helper. As in, I watch and point out things the gamer might miss, help with mini games, etc. "The Last Of Us" had an incredible story though and I was hooked from the beginning, more so than any other video game. I remember being so emotionally invested that I cried at a few key storyline parts. It got so bad that I wouldn't let my boyfriend play the game unless I was there because I didn't want to miss any of the story!”


        Vicky and Buddy’s Italian Meatloaf


        Vicky Sosa: “I love this Italian Meatloaf recipe because it's different from your traditional meatloaf and is very easy to make.”



        Meals Maven

        As Owner of The Meals Maven, Stacy does more than create delicious recipes. With an eye on simplicity and common sense, she’s dedicated to protecting the place of real food in our everyday lives through an established system of meal planning.

        Favorite Gaming Memory:I wouldn't call myself a gamer but I've had my hands on games a couple of times in my life. When we were kids, my brother and I had to share this electronic handheld pinball game. I loved it and was way better at it than him. My husband tracked one down for me on ebay for my birthday one year, which was really sweet. It's in pretty rough shape but I'm still good at- even better than my kids. I live in a family of gamers, but I prefer cooking. It's kind of like a game...

        The other, slightly-more-recent gaming attempt was a hospital sim game. At first I thought I could do it, but when patients started relieving themselves in the hallways and garbage started piling up, I quickly realized there was no way to recover and I had to concede.”


        Stacy’s Sweet Potato Chana Masala


        Stacy Westman: ” Nutritious and healthy food is food that is colourful. It’s food that I want to eat. It’s a meal that I want to sit down and savour and enjoy every bite, and it’s food that challenges my taste buds and delights my eyes and tickles my nose. Nutritious and healthy food is food that supports my body- in its entirety- it makes me feel energetic and strong.”