August 01, 2012 04:00 PM by Veronica Dudo
Buddy Valastro is the star of TLC’s hit reality TV series Cake Boss and host of Next Great Baker. The Hoboken native is a fourth generation baker who says he is proud to be from New Jersey. The accomplished master baker and cake decorator recently headlined the 2012 Atlantic City Food & Wine Festival. The father of four talked about his superstar status, traveling the globe to make appearances, the importance of showing the world his family’s values and shares a secret for the upcoming season!
To be a celebrity chef now is like being a rock star; how have you continued to grow your brand and your family’s brand?
It’s funny because I do a live theatre show and I travel all over the country–90 to 100 different cities and when I go out on stage to three, four thousand screaming fans you really do feel like a rock star! It is crazy, it’s such a feeling I still get nervous after 90 shows! But, to know that I’m showing NJ in a good light, I don’t feel like I’m a reality TV show because I have a talent in what I do and I also think from being on TV I’ve learned more about what is the Buddy brand of TV and entertainment and the essence is family. Our show is in 187 countries all over the world and it’s viewed by almost one billion people worldwide. I’ve been to South Africa, I’ve been to Australia and I got treated and received like a rock star and it was amazing.
What goes through your mind when taping the Cake Boss?
I’m a Dad, I have four children, I think of what I would want to sit down with my four kids and watch which is still entertaining to them but clean enough where they could see it and it’s not trashy–where it’s still fun to be an adult and have some humor. As much as I know I’ll be a baker for the rest of my life, I think my future in TV–I will be doing other things. I feel like I know enough about it and I understand what the content is.
In most of the episodes viewers watch as it appears as though you might not be able to make the cake you wanted to, but you always do it! What has been the biggest challenge so far?
The biggest challenge is definitely been the Transformers cake. It was really hard; we did succeed but I’ll let you in on a little secret for this upcoming season–I do fail. Do you want to know why I never fail? This is the truth–I hate to fail; it’s not in my DNA. I was taught to never give up, always figure out a way.
How do you manage everything in your life?
We try to take it one thing at a time. Whatever I do I devote 100 percent of myself to that project or that time at the end of the day, you can’t lose sight of what’s important. I still am a Dad, I still am a husband, a brother, a son, and there’s so many things that I still do. I’ve just always been the type of guy that I almost like responsibility, I like taking care of things and that’s just the way I am. I have a core group around me and we just handle any problems that come my way.
How do you think American cuisine is viewed today around the world?
Things like this food and wine festival help so much because I don’t want to say that America years ago didn’t understand food but I think our understanding of food over the last 20 years has evolved and blossomed and taken different cultures and mixing it together. We’re a lot more educated consumer then we were 20 years ago and American cuisine is taken a lot more serious around the world.
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Photo Credit: Tom Briglia/PhotoGraphics Photography