Trade Secrets: Behind the Scenes at BuzzFeed’s Tasty

A look at life behind the scenes with O.C. resident Jasmine Pak and UC Irvine alum Katie Aubin
Tasty Video Producers Jasmine Pak Katie Aubin
“Tasty” Video Producers Jasmine Pak (L) and Katie Aubin (R).

Photo by Emily J. Davis.

Orange County resident Jasmine Pak and UC Irvine alum Katie Aubin are video producers at Tasty, a major online hub for recipes, food challenges, kitchen hacks, and more. They work behind and in front of the camera, often collaborating with one another, and their viral videos have amassed tens of millions of views.

What are some favorite videos that you’ve worked on at Tasty?

Pak: We have a series where Katie challenges me (and vice versa) to make a recipe that’s been put through Google Translate a bunch of times.

Aubin: I love to watch her struggle. But she’s so smart, she always figures it out!

Pak: So do you!

Aubin: Also, we went to Knott’s Scary Farm and tried to decorate a cake while monsters were scaring us. What you can’t see in that video is that because there’s a bright light on us, we couldn’t really see anything. And we were so focused. So when the monsters appeared, it was so scary because we couldn’t see them coming! We’re always down to try anything. We love food challenges. We share a passion for cooking competition shows.

How did you end up working at Tasty?

Aubin: I studied theater at UC Irvine, and I moved to L.A. to pursue comedy. I interned at “The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien” and then worked at “Conan” as a casting asso- ciate. I had a lot of jobs. I worked for Disney making online content. And then I joined Tasty in 2017.

Pak: I went to UC Berkeley and studied media. I got an internship at CBS in New York, and I was working on a wrestling podcast. I also worked at Omaze for a bit doing editing. But jobs where I only had one role made me feel trapped. So I joined BuzzFeed, and I worked my way up. I was a travel producer until the pandemic, which led me to Tasty.

You two seem to collaborate a lot. Why’s that?

Pak: I freaking love Katie! When we started working together, I was like, we speak the same language.

Aubin: She’s just so talented, and she can do literally anything. She’s just a hard worker. We immediately clicked. And she’s hilarious.

Did you have any background in cooking before working here?

Aubin: My aunt and grandma were big cooks, and I’d always bake as a kid. I’ve also always loved DIY and crafts, so baking is definitely an extension of that. When I worked for Disney,
I really got into that more because there was a lot of themed food we made. But over the past four years, I’ve really gotten a culinary education.

Pak: I’ve always loved cooking. We like to find new ways to combine it with other passions we have and bring narratives through food. For example, I’m obsessed with boba. I live, eat, breathe boba. For my first video, I decided to make boba. This was during the pandemic, so we were at home with limited equipment. But the video ended up doing very well.

Was it tough producing videos at home during the height of the pandemic?

Pak: It was a roll-with-the-punches sort of deal. Being at Tasty, I felt a lot of pressure because it’s a huge, global brand. But it challenged me to be a better creator. We had to wear so many different hats. When you’re left alone to film at home, you really master those different skills.

Aubin: And if you’re a perfectionist, you also learn to let some things go. But a lot of cool projects came out of that time. I was using my husband in the videos. And doing tons of dishes because I don’t have a dishwasher.

Pak: Oh my gosh, the dishwashing! That was something. How many hand lotions can you go through in a week?

How do you come up with video ideas?

Pak: We have a brainstorm every month, and sometimes we’ll just be throwing out unrelated ideas and seeing what could work together.

Aubin: One time, I was brainstorming for hours about a fun way to do a big cake, and we were like, wouldn’t it be cool if we made one of those science fair volcanoes, but out of cake? Then you have to problem-solve how to actually make it happen. The culinary team might look at you like, “Are you sure?”

Pak: They keep us in check. They’re like, “Um, is that really such a good idea?” And we’re like, “Yes!” They’re like, “Um … is it?”

Aubin: It’s definitely a fun, cre- ative job. And super challenging.

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