Food Network’s Chef Duff is in the House!

I’m a foodie, and I know of Chef Duff from The Food Network’s Ace of Cakes.  Duff Goldman is a master cake baker and decorator who owns a business called Charm City Cakes in Baltimore, MD, which is more like part art studio, part pâtisserie. He is the only one of the team who attended culinary school. The others went to art schools, or worked in the field of design. Because he thinks outside the box and can make the most fascinating cakes, his bake shop receives a number of unusual requests, often resulting in him using power tools or a blow torch. He even made a life-sized , working Ducati motorcycle with smoke, lights, sound effects,  a key in the ignition, and a motor. How’s that for unconventional? They usually produce about 15 cakes a week, which typically cost $1,200 – $1,500. Of course, that number goes way up for extraordinary works of art like that motorcycle!

When I heard he was coming to town, you better believe that I made sure my schedule was clear! My town was one of the many stops of the promotional tour of his book ACE OF CAKES: Inside the World of Charm City Cakes.  The local Kitchen Kapers hosted this one. This is not a recipe book, but actually a scrapbook of sorts documenting the journey leading to the Food Network reality show, and is co-written with his brother Willie.

Besides being a brilliant cake decorator, he is also the bassist in the indie rock band …soihadto…  Their album will be release in February 2010. I saw an interview where is said he thinks of the bake shop and the television show as a front to support his rock & roll lifestyle. His business pays for his passion of making music. But wait, based on the cakes I’ve seen him produce, it looks like he has two passions in life!

The book signing ran smoothly. The photographer in me was thinking this event is going to be a great photo op. The baker in me was dreaming of fondant and royal icing. I purchased my book, waited in line to have it signed, had my picture taken with him, was offered a mini cup cake (which I declined, since it wasn’t made by him), and left with a big smile on my face. Hmm. I wonder if any of his skills were transferred over to me. We all know the answer to that, but I can tell you that he has certainly inspired me to decorate a cake for the next birthday party!

This is a cool coffee table book. Just flipping through the pages makes me smile, and sometimes laugh. I am in awe of their creativity from concept to execution. Many times you can’t even tell there’s a cake inside the brilliantly designed form. Chef Duff and his team are not the only ones who decorate unique cakes, but they certainly have educated the masses on how these works of art come to life, and have also inspired many! I’m sure my daughter can’t wait to see what I have planned for her next birthday party!


7 Responses to “Food Network’s Chef Duff is in the House!”

  1. Tasty post, there, ShutterBug!

    I’ve enjoyed your Tweets for a while – know I know where to go for fuller portions.

  2. I was at the Duff book signing as well – my 8 year old daughter is a huge fan and before him never realized you could mix art, baking & rock-n-roll!

  3. shutterbuggeek Says:

    Collier, thanks. I hope to be writing more often now, so be on the look out!

    Lynette, Chef Duff is a rock star…literally! LOL! His cakes are amazing, so I can see how kids would be a fan. Who wouldn’t want one his his cake for their birthday?

  4. That’s awesome that you got to meet him ! My wife and I have watched the show for a long time, they have the most, IDK ‘eclectic’ group of people working there, but they always make fantastic cakes. Watching them try to get the cakes to the venues is often the most fun 😉

  5. shutterbuggeek Says:

    Mark, he’s touring the country signing his books, so you might get lucky to meet him. He’s such a down to earth guy. His book is nice too. I might get creative & make a cool cake for my daughter’s birthday in the spring. It’ll be a Harry Potter theme, so I could make a giant cauldron cake. 😀

  6. Great idea this. It is always difficult to think of varied things to cook especially for a hungry family and some of the ideas here and elsewhere on your site have given me some great ideas so thak you!

  7. A great idea for future recipes this. Thank you for sharing it. Have you noticed how so many people appear to be cooking again? I wonder if the lack of funds due to the current climate has something to do with it and we all appear to be cooking again! its great!

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