ACE OF CAKES
INSIDE THE WORLD OF
CHARM CITY CAKES
BY DUFF GOLDMAN
and WILLIE GOLDMAN
When Duff Goldman, Food Network's "Ace of Cakes," envisioned Charm City Cakes in Baltimore nearly a decade ago, his goal was to make wonderful cakes for friends and family. As word spread about his fabulous creations, his dream grew into a nationally renowned business staffed by a team of talented professionals, including musicians, artists, and creative souls with experience in architectural modeling, graphic design, deejaying, coffee making, performance art, dog walking, sculpture, painting and more.
Aces of Cakes: Inside the World of Charm City Cakes is a celebration of the bakery that started it all. This colorful scrapbook is loaded with stories about Duff's early days as a graffiti artist turned young chef, his successes and hilarious disasters, and the amazing team he built step-by-step. Through candid interviews and profiles and hundreds of photographs, illustrations, and collages, the book shows how energy, inspiration, collaboration, and a bit of luck can conspire to help anyone achieve their creative vision.Of course, at the center of this stunning book are Charm City's Cakes. From the simple to the breathtakingly complex, Duff shows off some of the bakery's more unusual techniques and tools that shape their famous creations. He also offers a behind-the-scenes look at his Food Network show, shares his most incredible customer stories and requests, and reveals some of the bakery's favorite cake facts and tips—along with a comprehensive episode guide and a monster cake montage featuring seven years' worth of the bakery's astonishing cake creations.
Duff Goldman, Food Network’s “Ace of Cakes,” studied at the Corcoran School in Washington, D.C. A former graffiti artist with degrees in philosophy and history, he started working for acclaimed Baltimore chef Cindy Wolf while attending the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He studied pastries at the Culinary Institute of America and worked as a stagiere at the legendary French Laundry restaurant in Yountville, California, under acclaimed pastry chef Steven Durfee.
Duff has also served as the executive pastry Chef of the Vail Cascade Hotel and Resort in Vail, Colorado, and as a baker for Todd English’s Olives in Washington, D.C., where he worked under executive chef Steve Mannino. In 2000, Duff opened Charm City Cakes in Baltimore. In addition to owning and operating Charm City Cakes, Duff is also a sculptor, artist, and musician—he plays bass in an indie instrumental band and is an all-around good guy with the cleanest hands in town. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
Willie Goldman is a Los Angeles–based screenwriter and producer. He began his career at NBC in Burbank, where he worked on such shows as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Later with Greg Kinnear, and Hang Time. He later moved to Warner Bros., where he worked on the Emmy Award–winning drama ER for seven seasons. In addition to writing several original drama pilots and an adaptation of the acclaimed James Crumley novel The Last Good Kiss, Goldman is also the co-creator and co-executive producer of Ace of Cakes. He lives in Los Angeles, California.
Fans of the television show Ace of Cakes rejoice! The book you dreamed of is baked to perfection and ready to serve. However, if you are not a fan, or have never seen the show, you are still in for a delicious treat. Meet Chef Duff Goldman and his staff that make up the group that is like a family and works at Charm City Cakes, as well as all being part of the crew that gets things cooking on the Ace of Cakes show. They now come together in this wonderful book that is prepared more as a work of art/novel, than a cookbook--just like the show is more documentary that reality type television.
What you get in the book is information about each of the talented people that are on the show that make up the always creative, often times wacky, group of cake artists. Duff along with younger brother Jeff have put together a book that may look like it belongs in the kitchen but will more than likely wind up on a coffee table somewhere to be read and shared quite often.
The same love of what they do on the show is evident in the book. Filled with full-color photographs, you get to meet each member of the show as they are all such a gifted crew, each with a specific talent that has translated into the cake decorating business. Each person has a section of their own on what their own experience is like at Charm City Cakes and on the show. They tell how they came to be in the cake design business. Hundreds of photographs cover the bakery and cakes as well as some of their interesting customers. The photographs are smaller than you might expect but I am pretty sure it is because they had so much they wanted to share. It is more than just pictures that make this book so unique. The story of Charm City Cakes and the people who make up the business and the show are the real stars here. Yes, this is a book you will drool over but you will also read with interest and delight, especially if you are already a fan of the show. If you aren't, it is my guess you soon will be.
Along with each Charm City Cakes staff member writing about themselves, they also each created a special cake for this book. The baking and decorating tips are as amazing and the humor irreverent so you get the true feel of the artistic, creative, and laid back mood of the show and its boss. This is a book you will go back to many times to read and to look at. I found it a great deal of fun, filled with lots of interesting stories about the creative staff, and the most amazingly decorated cakes one would ever find anywhere. If you aren't enchanted by this Charm City Cake group and its head honcho, Chef Duff, then obviously it is not your cup of tea, or let's say, your slice of cake. But most likely you will delight in the cakes, the stories, and the pictures....there is something for everyone in this--yum!
THANKS TO SHAWN AND THE GOOD PEOPLE
AT HARPER COLLINS PUBLISHING,
I HAVE TWO COPIES OF THIS GORGEOUS
BOOK TO GIVE AWAY. HERE IS WHAT
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