A virtual reality food-travel series that brings the world's most immersive and exciting dining experiences right to your goggles
IMMERSIVE CULINARY TRAVEL
From the indoor birch forest at Spain’s El Celler de con Roca, to the raucous mongers at the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, to the virtual dining room at Shanghai’s UltraViolet, A Seat at the Table focuses on the most extravagant and fascinating experiences in the food world bringing them alive in a unique way when viewed in the 360-degree environment of VR.
Roughly following the formula of familiar TV shows like Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown or Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods, each episode introduces a locale and visits 1 to 3 thematically connected destinations in a single geographical spot.
ITHAA underwater restaurant, Maldives
In each segment, there will be a driving narrative element of the hosts visiting a new place and seeking out an experience, but that will always be supplemented with enhancements and “easter eggs” to encourage a full use of the VR medium.
For example, as our hosts follow Wolfgang Puck through a Chinatown farmer’s market, there is a full three-dimensional range of activities going on in every direction. If the viewer turns and focuses on selected elements, such as a vendor hawking live geese, a new story thread seamlessly emerges and the viewer is treated to what feels like an impromptu interaction with the goose vendor.
These bonus elements are called “enticements” (special hot-spots in the VR world that trigger an edit to a new segment). This allows different viewers to have personalized viewing experiences, and encourages all viewers to linger longer and really explore the worlds exposed in each episode.
Fanweng Restaurant, China
UNIQUE. PERSONAL. INTIMATE.
Any good show requires an entertaining and provocative host, but the unique nature of the VR experience creates an opportunity for an even more intimate relationship between host and viewer.
The VR audience expects a genuine and immersive experience to really feel like they are in this new environment with the hosts, and A seat at the Table delivers this in a unique way. Our two hosts (One (Neil Patrick Harris-type), a dedicated foodie, perpetually seeking out the “perfect” experience, and the other (Sarah Silverman-type), a cynical everywoman reluctantly going along for the ride) share the full range of their experience and their “real” feelings—both good and bad—that they encounter in the course of the travel and adventure that the show documents.
For example, when the kabab lunch from a sketchy Istanbul street vendor catches up with her, Sarah must squeeze her legs together to keep from erupting in diarrhea all the way through the 12-course Turkish tasting menu, all the while Neil is haranguing her for not following local customs properly.
Snowcastle Ice restaurant, Finland
And this intimacy goes a step further. These are your travel companions and the relationship between the two hosts is part of the story too. The travel, and the forced new experiences strain them very nearly to the point of breaking. Perhaps even culminating in an episode where there are two distinct story threads and viewers can choose which of the hosts to follow.
The inclusion of this subplot about the inner experiences of the hosts is not simply a gimmick (though it will serve to add a comic-narrative thread that will keep viewers engaged). It also rhymes with the visually immersive aspects of the medium; we want viewers to really feel as though they’ve traveled to these places and shared these experiences, and that means including the jet-lag exhaustion, and the emotional challenge of being away from the comforts of home, as well as the giddy joy of eating the levitating dessert at Alinea, or feeling the dizzying inebriation when everything comes together for a truly perfect experience at N/Naka.