'Cake Boss' hits the road with holiday show

Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionDecember 10, 2012 

— New Jersey has given the world mob bosses and “The Boss,” as in Bruce Springsteen.

But now the state has Buddy Valastro, dubbed the “Cake Boss” on his popular TLC show of the same name.

Sure, cake and machismo don’t normally go hand in hand. But Valastro runs his Hoboken, N.J., bake shop with larger-than-life bravado, creating cakes that resemble motorcycles, fire trucks and zombies. And he’s taking that persona on the road.

“It’s a holiday family show,” he said in a recent interview. “Bring your 4-year-old and your great-grandma. It’s set to holiday music to get people in the spirit.”

During his 20-city tour, Valastro tells stories about how he became the “Cake Boss,” takes questions and offers cake decorating tips “so your cakes can look a little like mine.” He brings people on stage to compete for prizes.

The worst thing that has clouded his spirit this year is his mother Mary’s battle with ALS, a neurodegenerative disease better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. “It’s very tough,” he said.

The show starts filming its sixth season in January. With two other TLC shows, “Next Great Baker” and “Kitchen Boss,” Valastro spends 10 to 11 months a year with cameras in tow. He’s used to his hectic schedule: “You take things one day at a time.”

TLC came up with his nickname “Cake Boss” when the show debuted in 2009, part of a raft of cake-oriented reality shows such as “Ace of Cakes” and “D.C. Cupcakes.” He said he was skeptical at first because he thought the name “came across as too cocky,” Valastro said. “Now I really embrace the name.”

Valastro is surrounded by sweets all the time but says he hasn’t gained weight in recent years.

“The camera adds 15, 20 pounds,” he said. “Everyone says I look skinnier in real life.”

“At the end of the day,” he added, “how many people trust a skinny baker?”

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