Cake Boss sans the icing
He’s a cake chef extraordinaire but how is he as a dad or what’s a typical day in his life like when he’s not baking cakes and breads or taping new episodes for his show? Does he also cook? Does he watch his sugar intake?
Cake Boss Buddy Valastro sat down with INQUIRER.net for an exclusive interview last Friday in between the master classes on cupcake decorating that he conducted in Manila as part of the TLC Festival 2017.
Here’s our conversation with him:
What’s a normal day like in Buddy Valastro’s life when he’s not working or baking cakes?
If I’m not working or baking cakes my favorite thing to do is just be home…Hopefully, it’s football season so I’ll watch a little bit of football on TV… have a glass of wine, spend time with the family and just enjoy… maybe go outside and play football with my son, go catch a fish in the lake. You know, just kinda hang out and chill out.
Do you get to do that very often? Every Sundays?
Not every Sunday. Depending on the time of the year and stuff. I often say I try to make it like two or three Sundays out of a month. Unfortunately, this month’s been crazy here.
You said you make your own coffee. Do you also cook?
I do cook. I do cook but Sunday is usually my day to do nothing. This day I just wanna lay on the couch and watch re-runs of Cake Boss… whatever is on the television. My wife usually cooks on that day.
On the days that you get to cook, what do you usually prepare for your family?
Depends on what they are in the mood for. Depends on—if I caught a fish then I’m gonna cook it, or depends on what my wife is in the mood for, or special request from the kids. Or if me and my wife are challenging each other in a cook off. It could be anything.
What is your favorite comfort food?
My favorite comfort food. Wow. Probably fried chicken. Fried chicken is probably my favorite comfort food.
Are you health conscious?
I am and I’m not. I don’t want to live in a world where you know you can never eat a cupcake but I’m not eating 12 cupcakes a day. When I see that I gained a couple pounds, I’ll try to diet. But I definitely go to the doctor and maintain my blood work and I’m pretty healthy. Thank God.
Do you work out?
Sometimes two days a week… But I’m on my feet all the time. I’m always walking and moving. I’m usually good for ten thousand steps a day.
How are you as a husband and as a dad?
I would hope to say I’m a good husband. My philosophy is easy: happy wife, happy wife. So I try to make my wife happy. I definitely think I’m a great dad. I have a special bond with all of my children. I love them very much and sometimes my wife is jealous with the relationship that I have, you know, because of the fact that I’m so close to them. Not jealous but you know she’s like “you’re the one who travels, you work, but it’s like you’re the good guy.”
You’re very successful. What else do you aspire for?
I wanna come up with new challenges or do new things. Whatever landscape is in front of me, I tackle it. You know we wanna have bakeries in every continent, across the world. I wanna remain healthy and happy with my wife and kids… that’s a big priority for me. And I wanna try to give, make time to give back. Make time to smell the roses. And enjoy different things in life.
What do you like about this country?
Well the thing that I definitely like the most about the Philippines is the people, they are warm, they are family-oriented, they make me feel at home, they make me feel loved and welcome, so definitely that would be my favorite. The food is not bad at all because I enjoy eating here as well and you know just be able to come here and show my Filipino fans how much they mean to me coz a lot of them travel to the US back and forth. We have a large Filipino community in New Jersey so I’m very familiar with the people.
Have you done some traveling here? Have you heard of the Philippine beaches?
I’ve heard about them. But then again, boss lady makes me work when I’m here. I don’t get time to go to the beaches. Unfortunately, I haven’t got to experience everything the Philippines has to offer. Other than being able to be with the people a little bit, have some great meals, went on a tricycle. We did a couple things like that. Just a feel of the flavor and flare of what Manila’s all about.
There’s more to the Philippines than Manila. I hope one day you can come back and explore. Anyway, what is the most fun part about baking cakes?
The payoff. You know when you put your heart and soul into something, you have a vision of it, you execute it, you step back and look at what you created, there’s that feeling of like “wow!” …and that’s the best part of being a baker.
Where do you draw your inspiration in designing cakes?
From everything. From surroundings, from architecture, fashion, nature, you know, you look around and you see different things…
Don’t you run out of creative ideas?
Never. Because you gotta be a dreamer. If you’re a dreamer, you’re a visionary, you always see things. And things are always changing in style. How does Chanel or Valentino never run out of ideas? It’s the same thing.
What is your advice to young bakers who would like to be successful like you?
My advice to young bakers would be: follow your dreams. You gotta work hard, you gotta believe in yourself but most of all— never give up! You gotta have the drive and determination and you could move mountains.
Buddy Valastro is a New York Times best-selling author, the owner of Carlo’s Bakery and host of the popular TV show “Cake Boss.”
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