Buddy Valastro has been baking cakes on television since 2009. The owner of Carlo’s Bakery in New Jersey is also a reality TV star, building intricately constructed cakes and yelling at his family-member employees in equal proportions on the hit show Cake Boss.
Now he is taking his show on the road, coming to the Stranahan Theater on Saturday night. Before the event, we sat down for a little e-mail interview about the show, baking, and the importance of family.
Q: What do you do on your traveling show? When the people come to see you here in Toledo, what will you be doing?
A: I’m doing a little bit of everything. I’ll be sharing my favorite cake decorating tips and stories form the bakery. I’m also going to be pulling fans on stage for some fun contests.
Q: Why do you like cakes and baking? What is it about the process of baking that makes you want to spend your life doing it?
A: Baking and decorating cakes is like therapy for me. I’m so in the zone when I’m decorating, everything is just right in the world.
Q: Do you have a sense of why your television show, Cake Boss, has been so popular?
A: Honestly, I think people really relate to our family dynamic. The cakes are always fun to watch come to life, but it’s the ups and downs we go through as a family that I think people really like about the show.
Q: You are currently shooting episodes of a new show, Bakery Boss. What is Bakery Boss, and how will it differ from Cake Boss?
A: I’m really excited about Bakery Boss. I’ve been traveling to bakeries across the country and helping these families and business turn things around. If it’s the product or issues within the family, we tackle everything.
Q: Which is more important to your customers, the cake itself — the flour, sugar, and egg part — or its frosting, shape, and structure?
A: At the end of the day, you’re eating that cake, so it better taste good. A cake can look like the most beautiful thing, but if it doesn’t taste good, it will ruin the whole experience.
Q: Could you tell me about one or two of the most interesting cakes you have made?
A: The NASCAR cake was an experience. We used over 2,000 cakes to create the life-size race car and it weighed tons.
Q. A few years ago, you had a well-publicized tiff with fellow television cake-baker Duff Goldman, the “Ace of Cakes.” Is there any bad blood still between the two of you?
A: Not at all. I actually think it’s good to have friendly competition. It keeps you on your toes, but bad blood? No, there’s enough cake to go around.
Q. The ultimate New Jersey question: Sinatra or Springsteen?
A: That’s a tough one for sure, but I’m also a son of Hoboken, so I gotta go with Sinatra.
Q: Your mother, Mary, has been a fixture on the show since the beginning. Last year, she was diagnosed with ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which is also called Lou Gehrig’s Disease. How is she doing now?
A: She’s doing as best as she can. Thank you for asking. You know, we’re doing everything we can for her and she’s still fighting.
Buddy Valastro will be at the Stranahan Theater at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $25.75, $37.75, and $95 (this top price includes a premium seat, a chance to meet Mr. Valastro, and a copy of his new cookbook, “Family Celebrations with the Cake Boss.” For information, call 1-866-381-7469.