Duff Goldman is the host of the Food Network's wildly popular Ace of Cakes. The show has been described as "Monster Garage meets cake shop." Duff staffs his bakery with painters, architects, and sculptors to create his masterpieces. Goldman is not your typical baker, yet he is one of the most sought after cake makers in the country. If on nothing else, fans Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton agree that his wares take the cake.
Charges at his bakery, Charm City Cakes, range from $6 for a slice to $20,000 for a major job. Goldman uses blowtorches, chain saws power tools and drills to form the underlying supports of his unique edible creations. With his crew, Goldman's cakes have included a likeness of Elvis, a smoking volcano, a three-dimensional German Shepherd, replicas of a CAT scan, a jeep, and an edible Wrigley Field.
"You know how people say, 'He marches to the tune of a different drummer?' In our family," says his mom, a stained-glass artist, "we say Duff has got himself a whole other orchestra."
Goldman was born in Detroit, Michigan and was raised in Northern Virginia and Cape Cod, Massachusetts. When he was four, his mother caught him in her kitchen wielding a meat cleaver and watching food personality Chef Tell. Growing up in McLean, Va., and on Cape Cod, Goldman nurtured his creativity by spraying graffiti on trains. From the age of fourteen, he began to work in kitchens, his first job being at a McDonalds. He attended the University of Maryland, graduating with a degree in East Asian History with a minor in ethics. When he was a sophomore, he went to what he considered the finest restaurant in Baltimore and applied for a job as a cook. The head chef looked at his resume, told him he had no relevant experience but offered him a job making cornbread and biscuits. Duff says this was the turning point in his career. He has worked at the Vail Cascade Hotel in Colorado, Olives in Washington DC and the acclaimed French Laundry in California.
Goldman trained at the Culinary Institute of America and attended the Corcoran College of Art. He and his cakes have been featured on the Food Network Challenge and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
Duff lives in Baltimore, Maryland with his girlfriend. He plays bass guitar in an instrumental indie rock band called soihadto (so, I had to).
NOTE: Bio is as it appeared in the Forum program from May 14, 2009.
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