Many Americans fell in love with the passive aggressive bakery family when the initial reality series, Cake Boss, premiered in 2009. In loving memory of Buddy’s father, also named Buddy, the Valastro family has continued Carlo’s Bakery, located in Hoboken, New Jersey. The series has followed the trials and triumphs of the close-knit family, and as a country, we all seemed to fall in love. Though I was always more of a fan of Food Network’s Ace of Cakes, I’ve found myself liking TLC’s bakery series more and more as time went on.
Since 2009, The Valastros have expanded their horizons from their native New Jersey town. There are now multiple bakery locations in places like Manhattan, Las Vegas, and various places in New Jersey. A bakery in San Diego is coming soon as well. Cake Boss also followed the construction of a factory in Lackawanna in Jersey City. I know that I love stopping by the Cake Boss Café in NYC to grab a sweet treat and spend time with the classy Buddy bobble-head. Check out the pictures below for an idea of the Manhattan cafe.
The Next Great Baker is a reality competition show that tests contestants’ cake creating skills. You want to be the next Buddy Valastro? You’re going to have to work through crazy themed challenges, and you can’t be afraid to get your hands covered in flour. I actually really enjoyed watching the most recent episode, which premiered last night. The episodes contain two challenges each: initial and elimination. Even though I think Cake Boss is extremely staged and a little obnoxious, he didn’t bother me at all in The Next Great Baker. There are now four teams left, so if you want to catch the end of the season, watch TLC at 9 p.m. on Tuesdays.
We’ve all been to a rundown bakery that is in grave need of a make-over, and it turns out that Buddy Valastro is now a bakery doctor. In this most recent episode, the Cake Boss helped out Prince Street Café and Bakery in Boston, Massachusetts. Honestly, some of the dishes were making my mouth water, but a lack of space and esthetics left the shop flat. Not only that, but the owners were 50-60k under in debt. But, have no fear, Buddy is here to help. I liked the idea of the show, which is very similar to some concepts on Food Network. I have to mention, though, that is a little heavy. There tend to be deeper issues than just a failing bakery, so if you’re looking for a light, fun show, this isn’t what you want. I did really enjoy it though, so I would suggest giving it a shot.