Photo by Marvin Oredain
Buddy Valastro, the energetic, wise-cracking star of TLC's Cake Boss show, is hitting the road with his "Homemade for the Holidays Tour." The fourth-generation master baker heads up Carlo's Bakery in Hoboken, N.J., where he and his crew make thousands of elaborate, tricked-out cakes every week. In addition to Cake Boss , Valastro also has a second TLC series called Next Great Baker , where 13 would-be confectionary artists vie for the chance to work with him at his bakery.
Valastro's third book, Cooking Italian with the Cake Boss , has just been released and his tour makes a stop at the Landmark Theater on Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m. But if you come to the show thinking that he's going to make a cake on stage – fuhgettaboutit.
RM: How did Carlo's Bakery fare during Hurricane Sandy?
BV: We lost power but there wasn't any water damage. We were one of the lucky ones.
RM: Tell me about your "Homemade for the Holidays" tour.
BV: I thought of a show that I would bring my family to. You can bring a 4-year-old or your great-grandma to the show. It's for everybody. It helps you get into the holiday spirit. There's a lot of fun with it. I'll tell holiday stories and do some cake decorating techniques that people in the audience can pick up. I will be calling people up from the audience to compete with each other. It could be a dance contest, trivia, etc. During the finale, I will call a family up and they have to work like a family to make something to win a grand prize. [He's not sure as of this writing what that prize will be.]
RM: How did you come up with the idea for the tour?
BV: I got asked to do a speaking engagement and when I was done my agent said, "You are a motivational speaker." I didn't want to just go and talk about my life. I wanted to do something fun. I want to do different shows and I came up with the idea for a super show for the holidays.
RM: What's your favorite part of being a baker?
BV: Making cakes. I go into my zone.
RM: If you had to choose one cake that you've made that was your favorite, which one would it be?
BV: The Transformer cake. [His gigantic,1,500-pound Bumblebee Transformer cake – think a bumblebee transformer toy joined with a life-size Chevrolet Camaro -- was commissioned for the New York Auto Show and the 2011 release of the film, Transformers: Dark of the Moon. ]
RM: Have you gotten used to having a reality show?
BV: At first it was a little bothersome but I am used to the cameras now. It's like part of the family. I don't know the cameras are there any more.
RM: How much time are you taking off from the bakery to do the holiday tour?
BV: Two and a half weeks.
RM: How has your life changed since Cake Boss hit the airwaves?
BV: I get recognized everywhere I go. It's been a blessing. I work harder than I have ever worked before.
RM: When you want to sit down and eat a piece of cake, what cake do you choose?
BV: I like a vanilla cake with French crème and fresh raspberries.
RM: In addition to Cake Boss , you're also doing Next Great Baker. How do you like working with the contestants on that show?
BV: I love it. It's so much fun. It's so different from Cake Boss . Some of them are really talented and some are less talented. I try to get a range of people. I like to see them grow on the show.