American celebrity chef Buddy Valastro is well-known for being the owner of Carlo’s Bakery as well as TLC’s beloved television series called Cake Boss. The show follows Buddy around as he goes around his workweek at his bakery where he makes beautiful and curated cakes for his clients.
Since his rise to fame on the Cake Boss show, Buddy has starred or appeared in numerous other shows such as Kitchen Boss, The Next Great Baker, Buddy’s Bakery Rescue, Buddy’s Family Vacation, The Apprentice where he is a guest judge, and Food Network Challenge where he is featured as a guest mentor for the competitors.
Buddy Valastro Jr. - The Beginning
Bartolo Valastro Jr, also known as Buddy comes from a baking background. While growing up, his family ran a bakery shop called ‘Carlo’s Bakery’. The bakery was purchased by his father in 1964 who also worked as a Baker. It is this bakery where Buddy started working at only 11 years old.
As Buddy grew older, he decided to follow his father’s footsteps to work as a baker and even collaborated with him to run their bakery shop together. But tragedy struck when Buddy Valastro Jr. was 17 years old. During this year, his father passed away and Buddy was left to take over the family bakery shop.
Through hard work and determination, Buddy was able to make a name for himself and his family’s bakery. He learned how to make stunning wedding cakes that became popular with the local crowd.
Soon, Buddy Valastro's creations were getting featured in bridal magazines, giving him the exposure and an invitation to the “Food Network Challenge” in 2007.
From his time on the “Food Network Challenge”, Buddy made connections and received requests to make his own show. From there, the “Cake Boss” show was created.
It was built upon Buddy’s vision and ideas and featured Buddy himself along with his mother and sisters. Upon launching, the show became an immediate hit, gaining Buddy Valastro and Carlo’s Bakery even more fame.
Cake Boss Journey
Cake Boss documents the life and work of Buddy and his family and employees at their bakery in Hoboken, New Jersey. The show aired on the cable television network called TLC and has since become one of the most popular shows on the TLC channel.
Each episode of the show follows Buddy Valastro and his helpers around as they brainstorm ideas to make their cakes come into reality and surprise their customers with their exceptional creations.
Buddy’s four sisters - Lisa, Maddalena, Grace, and Mary are also in the show and the five of them sometimes deal with sibling and family drama.
Working with your family means you also deal with a lot of personal drama, especially when buddy’s cousins and brothers-in-law are also working at the bakery.
The show does a great job of not only showing how the bakery makes its famous creations, but also the relationship between the characters and the warm-hearted moments between family members as they wrap-up their workday.
Part of the success of the show can also be due to Buddy Valastro’s memorable personality as well as the personalities of his loud sisters. Since the first episode of the season aired on April 19, 2009, it has since inspired many spin-off series’ including Next Great Baker, Kitchen Boss, Bake You Rich, and Bakery Boss.
Cool Facts About Cake Boss Show
So you’ve enjoyed watching Buddy bake his heart out on the Cake Boss show, but did you know that he wasn’t known as the Cake Boss until the show was created? It’s true!
Before becoming the lead character on Cake Boss, Buddy saw himself as just another baker at Carlo’s Bakery and didn’t want to look like he was better than anyone else by getting the Cake Boss title.
But needless to say, the title now suits him quite well and has since become part of his identity. Here are some more facts that you probably didn’t know about the Cake Boss show.
Another fact is that cake boss Buddy isn’t usually working at the bakery. You probably wouldn’t have guessed this from watching the show since it looks like Buddy was in all the time.
In fact, insider reports say that Buddy rarely comes into Carlo’s Bakery which may be disappointing to fans who are making a special visit to the bakery to see Buddy at work.
So where is Buddy if he’s not at the bakery all the time? Well, since the rise in popularity of the show, Buddy has been working extremely hard expanding the business and may have to visit the store’s other locations.
At the same time, Buddy has to maintain his filming work with TLC, as it’s not easy being a reality T.V. star whose life is documented on camera!
One more fact is that since his mother Mary Valastro passed away in 2017 after being diagnosed with ASL, Buddy did not visit the Hoboken store for a long time. His reason for not going?
Too many memories of his mother at the location. “That was her store,” Buddy said during an interview, and if he were to return there he is sure he’ll break down.
The last fact you might not know about the show is that a lot of the filming that TLC producers do is no longer taking place at the Hoboken store location. In fact, the staff has revealed that the T.V. crew rarely shows up there anymore. Instead, the majority of the filming has become centralized and is done at the shop’s factory instead.
Buddy’s Most Memorable Creations
Over the years, Buddy Valastro and his Cake Boss crew have created numerous jaw-dropping cakes that make you wonder - “how on earth did they pull that off”?
It’s part of the reason why we watch the show, to see behind the scenes on all the details and the creative process which leads to Buddy’s final masterpiece.
Since the first episode, Cake Boss has revolutionized the way people look at cakes. Here are some of the most memorable creations from the Cake Boss show.
Tanks For The Memories
Not only is the name for this cake a clever pun, but it also comes in the shape of a large tank! Created for the US Army's 237th birthday, Buddy and his team designed this giant cake shaped like a tank. It was a 500-pound treat that was cut during a ceremony in Times Square for army veterans and recruits to enjoy.
The Leaning Tower Of Pisa
A client of Carlo’s bakery commissioned this wedding cake in the shape of the Leaning Tower of Pisa and Buddy and his team delivered! The final cake creation stood at four-and-a-half feet tall. With a cake that tall and complete with all the details down to the graceful arches and the brickwork, it’s sure to make a memorable wedding for the bride and groom and all their guests.
Real Roulette Cake
Buddy has a knack for creating cakes that are both beautiful and functional. This roulette table cake he created for a businessman actually has a spinning roulette wheel on the inside. Not only is it edible, but it is also fun to watch this cake in motion!
In this Cake Boss episode, Buddy was tasked with making a cake that commemorates both the Chevy Camaro and a Transformers movie. The end result was a 2,000-pound vanilla pound cake that was so large in size that Buddy had to piece it together outside of the bakery.
The cake’s design showcased the Transformers character Bumblebee in both Autobot and car form and even has glowing eyes and fireworks to tie it all together.
A local aquarium reached out to Buddy to commission a mermaid cake, and Buddy confessed that he’s been wanting to make a mermaid cake for a long time. For this cake, Buddy and his team decided to put a life-sized mermaid for the cake’s design, and they even cut out hundreds of scales to put onto the mermaid’s tail.
These scales along with the mermaid’s bright purple hair and glossy skin made the cake look like a mermaid that’s just came out of the ocean.
Buddy Valastro’s Life Behind the Cameras
So you know all about Buddy and his life’s work at Carlo’s bakery. You might be curious to know more about his private life. Besides his mother and sisters you see on the show, Buddy actually has a family of his very own!
If you’re a big fan of the show, you might have seen Lisa Valastro who occasionally appears on the show. Buddy has been married to Lisa since 2001 and the two of them have four children. Buddy is a family man as he maintains strong relationships with all his children and even takes them along when he travels.
Buddy enjoys doing many activities with his children and often goes fishing with his second-oldest son - buddy Jr. It seems like Buddy has also passed his baking genes to his oldest daughter - Sofia, who enjoys doing some baking of her very own in her free time.
If you're interested in other US chefs why not check out our blog on Bobby Flay.