I’ve heard good things about this show, so I decided to try an episode. I’m coming into it with the general bias that I don’t really like cooking shows, not even Top Chef, which is surprising since I love most reality tv surrounding competition (with the noted exception of Paris Hilton’s My New BFF).
The show follows the daily work of a cake shop in Hoboken, New Jersey. The bakery is owned by Carlo Valastro and Buddy Valastro and is run primarily by the family. The bakery designs enormous, intricately designed cakes specially requested that cost a minimum of $1,000 but often cost much more.
This episode opens with them showing us how they make checkered cake. What’s bothering me about it is that he sort of addresses the audience as though we have the IQ of a two year old: “Cut the circles in equal rings and then swap the circles so inside a white circle is a black ring then a white ring then a black ring. Do that for all the layers and then stack them. And when you cut them it’s black white black white. Checkers. So its a checker cake. get it?”
Then they have a catastrophe as he is making cannolis and someone left the cannoli cream out! so it spoiled. Because I don’t really care about cake, this doesn’t really make me feel particularly bad for him, but I do get why it’s a big deal.
Then they have to make a very intricate dragon cake. The cake artists have made amazing looking dragons that are…too big. Like five-ten times too big. Now he has to change the whole design of the cake! But you gotta do what you gotta do. The artist is stubborn and maintains that it’s way better this way. Buddy kind of looks like he wants to yell at her. I will admit, it does look freakin’ cool. So cool that I wouldn’t really want to eat it.
We leave the cake shop to see Carlo take his wife on an anniversary date. He made the top filling of their wedding cake filled with her favorite cake filling. It’s sweet, but whether because I haven’t watched enough of the show or because she’s not around much, I don’t really care that much.
In another episode he is hired to make an FAO Schwartz themed cake and a beach themed cake. At the same time, there is a weight loss competition going on at the bakery, guys vs girl. The guys issue the challenge whle digging into boxes of fattening foods, so you sort of wonder how exactly they plan to win. They weight loss will be judged by total body loss percentage, at the guys’ insistence. Which you think is odd, since they are at an automatic disadvantage there. 5 pounds of 200 pounds is a much small percentage than 5 of 100. But don’t worry, the guys have a secret weapon…exercise. Very little, since they don’t want anyone to have a heart attack. Not to be upstaged, the girls decided to join the gym as well. They went the extra step by asking for a motivational trainer.
The FAO Schwartz cake, complete with toy soldiers and a big piano slowly takes shape and starts to look really cool. It has drums, blocks, trains, marbles, teddy bears, cars, etc. Any kid would feel awesome to have that as their birthday cake. (They spilled a few poppy seeds on the cake and being obsessive compulsive, buddy made them pick them off with toothpicks.) I think the kids were too young to even fully appreciate the cake but at least the parents thought it was cool.
The beach cake had beach balls, tiki huts,people (kids, a woman in a bikini, and a fat man), sand castle, water, rocks, sand, umbrellas, etc. It gets a full applause when they bring it to the party. Receptions like that are “the pay off.”
The men decided to lose the weight by eating lighter pastries. And because men lose weight faster they can eat some extra cannolis. Good plan!
The final weigh in…the girls won. As expected, since it was done by percentage not pounds.
All in all, the cakes they make are really awesome to see, but the show can’t hold my attention. I also wonder how good the cakes actually taste.