Chef Duff Goldman made many people take notice as the star of the Food Network reality show “Ace Of Cakes.” But the reality is that “Ace Of Cakes”— which aired for 10 seasons— is only one facet of Goldman’s career, as the executive chef has not only been part of other television shows, but also a best-selling author and in-demand collaborator for major brands. And that is without factoring in the opening and operation of Charm City Cakes West, his second shop, in Los Angeles.
I had the pleasure of doing some Q&A with Goldman himself when he was in New York for the Kellogg’s NYC Café’s first-ever restaurant residency. Held in partnership with No Kid Hungry – who he also collaborated with on a recent product line for Williams Sonoma – Goldman unveiled unexpected savory (and sweet!) recipes featuring quintessential fall flavors, showing his culinary abilities beyond cakes and pastries. Goldman opened up about his ties to the music world, although I did not have the chance to ask about his playing bass in the Elvis tribute band Danger Ace or the indierock band Sand Ox.
Jewish Journal: You are an in-demand collaborator when comes to brands and new products. Do you remember the first time your work as a chef entailed doing something beyond working in a kitchen?
Chef Duff Goldman: When I was developing a line of ice cream I got to go to ice cream HQ and start with fresh milk and go from there. It was super-exciting. There were incredible machines and thinking about making LOTS of ice cream changes the way one approaches it.
JJ: One of your recent collaborations was with No Kid Hungry, which entailed work with Kellogg’s NYC Café. How long does something like that take to prepare for?
CDG: I think we collaborated for about six months prior testing recipes and trying out the cereal. It was a totally new kind of process for me.
JJ: No Kid Hungry aside, what is coming up for you career-wise? Any upcoming projects you can talk about?
CDG: “Halloween Cake-Off” premieres in October on the Food Network.
JJ: Is there a career accomplishment that you are most proud of?
CDG: Having children and adults tell me I’ve inspired them. Not just to bake, but in life in general. That never gets old.
JJ: When not busy with your career, how do you like to spend your free time?
CDG: I’m chill. I go to the beach a lot. Ride my bike. I’m in a band…
JJ: I’ve read about your ties to the music world, like you playing in the band Foigrock, but how did you wind up making a wedding cake for Neil Fallon of Clutch?
CDG: Neil’s little sister and I had been friends since college and he was getting married in Colorado very close to where I was working as a pastry chef at the time.
JJ: Speaking of hard rock musicians, have you ever encountered Duff McKagan?
CDG: I have. We were at the premiere of a documentary about Jaco Pastorius together.
JJ: Finally, what first inspired you to get involved with Tzedakah?
CDG: My parents. It was very important to them growing up to make sure that I knew there were people in the world who were less fortunate than me and to always help anyone whenever possible. It’s been a blessing that they did, because the joy and fulfillment one can feel from giving is a singular emotion not felt in many circumstances.
More on Chef Duff Goldman can be found online at www.charmcitycakes.com, while Goldman can be followed on Instagram and Twitter via @DuffGoldman.