Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Buddy Valastro Takes The Cake

Buddy Valastro, the star of TLC's Cake Boss, often hears "That's the Cake Boss!"
32-year-old fourth-generation baker who not long ago was relatively unknown.

Cake Boss, currently airing in its first season, has become one of the hottest food shows on cable and TLC announced that is has ordered a second serving of the hit series. The series has averaged 2.3 million viewers since its premiere May 25.
Production has already begun on the 18-episode second season, which is scheduled to start airing this fall.

Cake Boss chronicles the escapades of Valastro and his colorful Italian family with lots of attitude. The show includes his four sisters, three brothers-in-law, his mother, an aunt, his wife and a few cousins making 50 to 60 wedding cakes, 300 to 600 birthday cakes, 2,000 cupcakes, thousands of pastries (cannoli, lobster tails, biscotti, ├ęclairs) and several complex, intricately designed cakes.

Valastro says he thought this show would appeal to viewers. "I knew it was going to be funny because of the cast of characters. My family, my business is a fun place. Everybody knows a family like ours — a big Italian family. I'm goofy. I yell. I scream," he says.
"What's unique about our business is it's still an old-fashioned bakery that you used to go to with your mom. And at the end of the day, we make some amazing stuff."
Valastro gives credit for his success to his beloved father, who owned the bakery before him. Its name, Carlo's City Hall Bake Shop, comes from the original owner, who sold it to Valastro's dad. "My father came from Sicily at 13 and didn't have shoes on. He died a success. I'm a picture of what America is based on."
TV industry observers say the show has a lot going for it. "The cakes all have personality, and they are larger than life because the family in this show is larger than life with personality to match," says Shari Anne Brill of media buyer Carat. "That's what makes it engaging. It's the dynamics of the people on staff — the drama, the comedy, the action and the accents."

The most rewarding part of the show is its appeal to families, Valastro says. "If I can bring families together for half an hour each week, that's golden. That's great."