Twitch, Food & Gaming: Interview with SushiDay
How was your stream originally born?
My husband and I started streaming cooking on our SushiDay channel on Twitch almost three years ago, and then about a year ago decided to dabble in creating videos for YouTube. At the time, our YouTube videos were sushi only, but after a few months we stopped because we were having a lot of trouble creating high-quality videos (and just doing sushi gets VERY repetitive.)
In January of this year, we were doing more streaming on our SushiCodes Twitch channel, creating game prototypes, and we bought a new camera so we could both have face cams for the stream. Then, a month later, we started our SushiCodes YouTube channel, dabbling in Let's Play content and devlogs.
We hadn't intended to get back into creating food videos for YouTube, but in May of this year, another streamer suggested editing our stream VODs to create short recipe videos. At the time, we were also starting to get a little burnt out on streaming. We tried making short videos from our stream VODs, and then realized, we have a fancy new camera, why not use that? We did a test run of a full video, realized how much easier it is to create videos now that we have a nicer camera, and we've been making food videos ever since!
What helped excite your early audience and get your community engaged?
Much of our original YouTube audience came from our Twitch community. Our old viewers and fellow streamers have been incredibly supportive.
Both on Twitch and on YouTube, we've always had a huge focus on quality. We used to always have new viewers coming in asking about our cameras and remarking on our video quality, and we try to keep the standards high for our YouTube channel as well. We're both huge nerds, so geeking out about cameras and lighting is a lot of fun for us.
When we live-streamed, people always noted how fun we are as a couple, so we try to bring that lighthearted goofiness to our YouTube videos as well. And Shrimpy made an appearance a few times in the original sushi videos, and our viewers loved him - so we recently brought him back as a "sous chef"!
We do our best to cook interesting food, but make it look both amazing and accessible. We've had so many people make the recipes after seeing our YouTube videos.
What did you learn about yourself through becoming a food-focused creator on Youtube?
There's a huge difference between Twitch and YouTube, at least for the way we streamed. Twitch is very social, and more about hanging out - your viewers are watching you for hours while you make a dish, so most of the time you're just chatting about random things, being silly to entertain them, and filling the downtime when something is simmering for a while or in the oven. I'd always try to choose recipes that weren't extremely complicated and didn't require too much concentration - it's not as much fun if you're so focused on the cooking that you can't chat with your viewers.
On the other hand, our YouTube channel is much more focused on the food. I can really geek out about recipes, make more complicated things, and spend extra time on recipe development/testing. I never thought I'd have any interest in recipe development, but I had a TON of fun coming up with those Incendiary Jalapeno Poppers for your Bite the Bullet game. It's also easier to get the really gorgeous food shots because of the way we film I'm never trying to cook and talk to the camera at the same time. And we've realized that my husband really enjoys geeking out about the editing side of things - he's having way more fun with that than either of us ever expected.
What makes the food community so special?
I'm still very new to the food community on YouTube, but the Twitch food community really is something else. It can be so hard to grow or find your people as a new streamer on Twitch, but from the very beginning, the food community welcomed us with open arms. Both the viewers (many of whom you'll see all over the food community) and streamers were always friendly and supportive, and there are a lot of people from Twitch whom I now consider good friends. I've had the opportunity to meet so many of the viewers and streamers in person, and they've all been absolutely wonderful.
Which streamers influenced you the most?
Back at the beginning, in 2017, there were only a few cooking streamers. HealthyAddict and CookingForNoobs were the first cooking streams I ever watched, and a lot of my original inspiration came from them. TheHungerService and MikeSci have been good friends and have great streams, and they've been a huge influence as well. ChefDeParty was another that welcomed us from the very start, and when he became a Twitch partner and created the Bone-In stream team, that did a lot to bring together the community of cooking streamers.
On YouTube, MrSporksHands was the YouTuber who most encouraged us to start creating videos. I've also known FoodWishes for years (I met him at a food blogger conference a decade ago), and he's been a huge inspiration as well.
Any fun stories or wild moments you can share?
Nothing too wild has happened yet on our YouTube channel (aside from that one time a light fell on my face), but there were definitely some in our Twitch stream! We accidentally deep-fried a camera once (2 years later, it still works fine!)
What's your favorite memory as a gamer?
Oh, so many! Sinking hours into Pickle Wars and Chip's Challenge as a kid, getting ridiculously good at Minesweeper as a teen, playing Mario Kart and WoW with my husband to relax after work or streaming in more recent years! But my favorite memory has got to be the time we were both in tears, ugly crying from laughter while playing Overcooked 2 on video for our Let's Play series earlier this year. I kept getting run over, he thought it was the funniest thing ever, and by the end I'd never ugly laugh-cried so hard on the internet before.
Who will enjoy your stream the most?
If you like interesting food, Asian food, gorgeous videography, a very goofy couple, or Shrimp puppets... then you'll probably enjoy our channel!
Anything else you'd like to add?
Loved the opportunity to mix games and food, thank you again for being so willing to work with our YouTube channel and the Food & Drink streamers on Twitch!
INCENDIARY JALAPEÑO POPPERS