We had the good fortune of connecting with Casey Specht | The Tasty Babe and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Casey, every day, we about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
The Tasty Babe was created when I first moved back to San Diego from New York and needed to channel my boredom into something creative. I have always loved food, cooking, beer, and travel so this was a natural direction to go in. While I have spent the last 8+ years working in marketing in the hospitality and tech spaces this was a chance for me to use my skills on my own project. Over the years, I curated The Tasty Babe to be a collection of food, beer, and travel moments that I have enjoyed in San Diego and across the country. This of course has changed drastically since the pandemic began as I have not dined at a restaurant or traveled since March. Due to the pandemic I have also been out of work since April as the hospitality industry has been affected in a way that is almost beyond belief. For almost the last year, my content has pivoted to cooking with a side of takeout.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
The last year has been full of more change than ever before. In April I was laid off from my marketing job in the hospitality industry and went from working full-time to being unemployed overnight. It was a shock to my system. I was already adjusting to not dining out, not traveling, and rarely seeing my friends and family as my parents are both high-risk and this was something I did not see coming. As I have navigated the world of unemployment, The Tasty Babe quickly transformed from just a fun side project to my main creative outlet. Pre-pandemic, my content was a combination of restaurant experiences, travel adventures, brewery visits, and cooking. Since March, it has transformed primarily to cooking with the occasional takeout as I try to support my favorite restaurants when I can. As someone who has worked in hospitality almost my entire career I do my best to buy local and buy direct when I order out (the amount of commission a majority of third-party apps take is disturbing and a huge burden to restaurants, especially during these times). While my focus has shifted, I feel like my content has never been more me. Nearly every photo is a representation of a woman just trying to make it through the pandemic by cooking good food. Good food feels good, simple as that. Since this year has been so insane and unpredictable, I am just grateful to have a stocked fridge and someone to enjoy meals with. Despite it being a challenging time, I have also had exciting opportunities come my way. I have worked with brands I really admire including the San Diego Opera, Winc, and a few others that I cannot share yet. These types of collaborations remind me to try to find the silver lining in every situation. If you follow The Tasty Babe, you will find approachable recipes, too many breakfast sandwiches, and some Guy Fieri memes thrown into the mix.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Assuming this is post-pandemic and everything is safely open I would recommend: Eat: Bankers Hill Bar & Restaurant – my all-time favorite restaurant. Go for happy hour and stay for dinner. They have the best truffle fries, brussels sprouts, and chicken schnitzel that changes seasonally. Fort Oak – creative cocktails, one of the best burgers, and a solid brunch. Commonstock – the owners and entire staff are so fun and they have one of the best Nashville hot chicken sandwiches. Sister’s Pizza – New York style pizza and a business that stands up for their community, what more do you need? Azuki Sushi – sit at the bar and order the chef’s special sashimi, Stardust roll, and crispy rice + spicy tuna. Born & Raised – one of my favorite steakhouses for rooftop happy hour or a special dinner. Order their old fashioned, tableside caesar, and everything on the menu. El Barbecue or Grand Ole BBQ – order the Santa Natalia tri tip sandwich at El Barbecue and order the brisket El Borracho style at Grand Ole. Drink: James Coffee – they have the best cold brew and a few different locations around town. Sycamore Den – they have a unique vibe, inventive cocktails, and old shows playing on their TVs. Modern Times, Societe, and Burning Beard – there are so many breweries to explore, but these are some of my absolute favorites. Bottlecraft – this is the perfect place to pick up a variety of beers from San Diego and beyond. Visit: Balboa Park – it is one of the most beautiful places in San Diego. Visit the San Diego Museum of Art then enjoy lunch and local beer at Panama 66 or have a boozy picnic in front of the Botanical Building. San Diego Zoo – pro tip: stop at one of their craft beer stands so you can day drink and look at animals. Windansea – pick up tacos at Oscars or pastries at Wayfarer Bread before you head to the beach. Hillcrest Farmers Market or Little Italy Mercato – these are two of the largest farmers markets in San Diego and they have a wide variety of local farmers and food vendors. Sunset Cliffs – one of the most stunning spots to watch the sunset.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My family has been my biggest support system throughout my professional career and side endeavors. I got my love of writing from my dad, my love of cooking from my mom (I also inherited her disdain for measuring anything so my cooking style is ‘do what feels right and taste as you go’), and my sister is one of my favorite people to dine and photograph with. I do not remember a time when the kitchen was not my family’s favorite hang out spot as food has always been a huge part of our lives. Growing up we would always have dinner together no matter what time everyone got home and that has carried on throughout my adult life. I love cooking for people and taking the time to talk about each others’ days. I think Bourdain sums it up perfectly as he said, “You learn a lot about someone when you share a meal together.” Outside of my family, I have close friends and a wonderful boyfriend who love food just as much as I do. They have all been incredibly supportive and I always enjoy cooking with and for them. During the pandemic, community has meant more than ever before and I am grateful I have my people and thousands of others I can connect with online.
All photos belong to me, Casey Specht