Since 2009, celebrated pastry chef Buddy Valastro has been captivating television audiences worldwide with his popular reality series, “Cake Boss.”
The show — which airs here in the Philippines on TLC every Wednesday at 9PM — follows the day-to-day operations of Carlo’s Bake Shop, the family-owned business in Hoboken, New Jersey operated by Buddy and his siblings. It also highlights the edible art cakes that they make at the shop.
Buddy, who was in town for the “TLC Festival” recently, told InterAksyon and other media that a big reason why “Cake Boss” is popular all over the world is because of the show’s emphasis on the relationships not just between him and siblings Lisa Valastro, Maddalena Castano, Grace Faugno and Mary Sciarrone but also among the other employees who work at Carlo’s Bake Shop.
“I think no matter what race, religion or culture you come from, the one thing that we could all agree on is family. Family is the most important thing. I think that has been the common denominator that’s been the engine that has been driving the show for as long as it has,” noted the 40-year-old Italian-American.
“I think the show is doing well in the Philippines because Filipinos all are about family, which is also what ‘Cake Boss’ is all about.”
The family-oriented operation of Carlo’s Bake Shop or Carlo’s Bakery as it is also known as, is a big reason for its success, even before “Cake Boss” started. Buddy’s incredible, humongous wedding cakes were regularly featured in bridal magazines. In 2004, he was invited participate in the “Food Network Challenge.”
Recognizing a growing interest in televised baking shows, Buddy saw an opportunity to push the bakery into new territory and jumped at the chance. A naturally charismatic “people person,” Buddy felt comfortable on TV and was never nervous in front of the camera. He also found that he had a gift for one-liners and clever sound bites. Over the next few years, he competed in four “Food Network Challenge” cake competitions.
Later encouraged to pursue his own show, Buddy started pitching a show featuring himself, Lisa, his sisters and his mom, a.k.a. the “Boss Boss,” as they go about their daily frenetic routine of running the shop. TLC picked up the show and “Cake Boss” became an instant hit. The show has since aired in 200 countries and has been dubbed in 45 languages.
Of course, Buddy’s creations are the highlights of the show. Over the years, “Cake Boss” has featured cakes of various shapes and sizes including a boat, a fire engine, a roulette table, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, a moving robot, a NASCAR race car, a battleship, a planetarium, a golf course — name it, Buddy and his team have probably done it.
Asked which is his favorite among his masterpieces, Buddy started showing everyone his smartphone.
“This is my favorite — the Transformers cake. I used this photo as the wallpaper on my phone. But we’ve done so many that I’m also fond of my other cakes including the fire-breathing dragon cake, the aquarium cake, a replica of wife, Spiderman, Dr. Seuss, so many more.”
But more than the cakes that they make for “Cake Boss,” Buddy said the most rewarding thing about doing the show is how it inspires people to follow their dreams.
“When a 10-year-old comes up and hugs me and then says, ‘I want to be a baker just like you and you inspire me to do everything’s possible in this world’, that’s a very nice feeling.”
But while his knack for making huge, beautiful cakes is likely going to keep him and “Cake Boss” on the air for many more seasons to come, Buddy is planning to further expand his presence, especially on social media. He intends to launch his own YouTube channel soon where he’s going to post a lot of “how to” content since many wonder how he was able to do this or that cake.
And yes, he just might feature do a Filipino-themed episode of “Cake Boss” soon.
“Filipinos are hardworking so they remind me a lot of my parents. I have a huge respect for the work ethics of Filipinos,” he concluded.