2020 is undoubtedly the year of virtual experiences. With the pandemic keeping us in, many of us have discovered our inner chefs. Well, it’s time to take your kitchen experiments a notch higher. Sound Excursions & Where Ya At Matt launch Chef Box Live, which is all about curated virtual experiences with livestreams accompanied by custom event kits, live chats, and chef Q&A.
After producing large-scale food and beverage events for nearly a decade highlighting culture and food with favorites like Bacon Eggs & Kegs and Sumo + Sushi, the team behind Sound Excursions (local couple Sam Minkoff and Cassie Hendrickson) has taken their event talents virtual. Through their food-centric events, they crossed paths with the talented Chef Matt Lewis, owner of Seattle favorite Where Ya At Matt food truck, and became close friends after years of working together. The two entities then joined forces to create Chef Box Live, an exciting lineup of local cooking, cocktail and crafting experiences.
With top local chefs and bartenders guiding the way, locals can experience interactive livestream classes from pasta making with Chef Sabrina Tinsley of Osteria la Spiga to a craft cocktail experience with Erik Hakkinen of Roquette to an evening in the Mediterranean with renowned Seattle Chef Zoi Antonitsas to a variety of Southern family recipes with co-creator Chef Matt Lewis.
“People are really missing the experience of discovering a new favorite restaurant or dish. Similarly, chef’s feel the need to share their creative outlet and watch people enjoy that perfect bite. This platform gives both sides of the screen something to look forward to. We want to help build that connection with the chef and create that sense of discovery in a space where guests can ask questions and hear a response in real-time. It’s also been a focus for us to showcase the talents of local chefs of color, female chefs, and LGBTQ+ chefs through these experiences,” said Chef Matt Lewis, co-creator of the platform.
Each guest receives custom event kits delivered straight to their doorstep complete with all ingredients or elements needed for that experience – aside from basic pantry items. The team has gone above and beyond the basic video-call to create its own platform (dubbed Chef Box Live) that is more interactive, with a dynamic three-camera rig paired with professional lighting and audio to create an immersive studio-quality experience. It’s also a social occasion where friends can join in together. They have built-in unlimited private chat rooms where up to six friends can video chat during the class to interact, laugh, and have fun as they would in an in-person experience.
The series is intended to help uplift restaurants and chefs right now as much as it is also a social activity for locals. The restaurant community needs support and these events provide both financial support for the chef or instructor and exposure to new potential customers who can order from their establishments.
“Our events have always supported local restaurants, chefs and bartenders by compensating them for their food and their time. When the pandemic hit and our restaurant and food truck community was hurting so badly, we wanted to create income-generating opportunities that share their incredible knowledge with locals and provide fun cook-along experiences for people at home,” said Cassie Hendrickson, co-owner and operator of Sound Excursions with her fiancé Sam Minkoff.
Upcoming Class Lineup:
August 8 – Paint & Sip at home with Seattle artist Gabrielle Abbott (Mandalas)
August 8 – Pasta Making with Chef Sabrina Tinsley of Osteria la Spiga (Tortelli di Spinaci al Burro e Salvia)
August 15 – Terrariums & Tequila with el Jimador
August 15 – Sri Lankan Supper with Chef Liz Kenyon of Rupee Bar (Bhel Puri, Turmeric Curry & Black Cod)
August 16 – Creole Jambalaya with Chef Matt Lewis of Where Ya At Matt
August 22 – Discovery Bay Clams & Oysters with Johnson & Gunstone Shellfish (oyster shucking demonstration, mignonette, fresh clam pasta)
August 22 – An Evening in the Mediterranean with Chef Zoi Antonitsas (roasted salmon filet, flatbread, tzatziki)
August 28 – Colorful plant-dyed pasta art with Salty Seattle’s Linda Miller Nicholson
August 29 – Paella Party with Chef Manu Alfau of Eat With Manu
August 29 – Derby at Home with Woodford Reserve (hat making and more!)
August 30 – The Brunch Box: Eggs Benedict with Chef Matt Lewis of Where Ya At Matt
August 30 – Shrimp & Grits with Chef Matt Lewis of Where Ya At Matt
How It Works:
- Sound Excursions builds custom kits and delivers directly to customer’s homes.
- The next day customers log in to a livestream and cook or craft along.
- Throughout the livestream, the chef or bartender takes questions from the audience.
- If the customer can’t make the livestream, they receive access to the video-on-demand after the live class is over.
- If a guest has three friends who also purchase kits for the same class, they get their class for free (available for a limited time).
Reservations for each experience are available online at shop.soundexcursions.com and new experiences are continually being added.