"Cake Boss" and family bake up elaborate creations

Tue Nov 10, 2009 2:21pm EST
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By Christian Wiessner

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - With his New Jersey accent, strong devotion to an often bickering family and a bakery steps from the Hudson River waterfront, Buddy Valastro could be aptly cast as the personal baker to "The Sopranos."

But long before organized crime earned its notorious reputation along the docks of Hoboken, Carlo's Bakery was turning out elaborate cakes, pies, pastries, doughnuts, cookies, breads and the Italian dessert staple, the cannoli.

Valastro's cable television show "Cake Boss," which includes his mother, four sisters, three brothers-in-law and other extended family who don't always see him as the "boss," recently began its second season.

He spoke to Reuters about the elaborate cakes they create for occasions ranging from weddings to baby showers and museum exhibits, as well the often heated arguments between family members as they race to meet seemingly impossible deadlines.

Q: Who came up with the idea for the show?

A: "TLC (the cable television network) saw me on different things like the Food Network and asked me if I wanted my own show. I said, 'To tell you the truth, I have a great idea.' The show concept with the whole family was mine. I sent TLC the first tape, it was two or three days and they had an offer. They knew it was going to be good."

Q: What's the difference between your show and the other baking shows currently out there?

A: "My show is about a bakery, not a cake shop. You can walk into my bakery and buy a cupcake. Other shows, you got to make an appointment. You're not allowed to go there. They turn you away. It's a whole different experience. Also, we do 10, 20, 30 times the volume of what those other places do. There's a lot going on, so right off the bat, you're busier and crazier."   Continued...

<p>Buddy Valastro puts the finishing touches to one of his signature cakes at his bakery earlier this year in Hoboken, New Jersey, in this handout photo. REUTERS/Heather Swanson</p>