It’s 12:31 pm
Back in another life,Lori and I used to love to watch the Food Network,HGTV,The Cooking Channel and the DIY Channel. The shows were a lot of fun and we learned quite a bit as well. Some of our favorites were on The Food Network,The Pioneer Woman,Iron Chef,Dinner Impossible and the show I’ll be looking at today,”Ace of Cakes”.
“Ace of Cakes” was a show on the FN that featured chef Duff Goldman and his fun loving crew running Charmed City Cakes in Baltimore,Maryland. Goldman who was born in Detroit,got his start as a chef by working in a high end restaurant in Baltimore. Despite having no experience,he was hired to bake biscuits and cornbread. He later started his own cake business in 2000 in Baltimore.
When Duff’s business blew up,he opened Charm City Cakes and in a nod to his first restaurant job,he didn’t hire classically trained chefs but hired his friends who had no real experience before working for Duff. This looseness has created a fun,challenging and yet an especially creative environment.
Each season of “Ace of Cakes” features a crazy project,like making a huge cake for a movie premiere for Kung Fu Panda in Los Angeles and the logistical problems of getting a cake done in time for the show…and it has to feed 300-400 guests!
The various staff members are all featured throughout 13 episodes of the fifth season,some are on camera then most. Geof is Duff’s right hand man,he handles a lot of the bigger projects when Duff is out of the shop doing a delivery or a Food Network event. His dry humor is a stark contrast to Duff’s happy go-lucky persona. While Geof doesn’t show a lot of emotion,the episode where Charm City is asked to do a cake for the 100th anniversary of Milk Bone biscuits for dogs,Geof is clearly touched as his dog Cotton is used as the model for the cake. The episode “Gone To the Dogs” is a real highlight and was my favorite episode of the season.
The time and effort put into each cake is pretty amazing,the decor surrounding the cake itself is where the really hard work comes in. Making replicas of Fenway Park or the Lincoln Memorial takes a lot longer then one would guess. Because the cakes are so unique,Charm City has to be careful of how many orders they can accept.
The week where they had 22 orders in a six day window,the looks of the faces of the staff…I hadn’t seen such scared faces since we last watched “Deadliest Catch”!!
Unlike 95% of “reality” television,what you see on the screen is what seems to be really happening. There are no “scripted” work drama or created conflicts,the staff is really into making great cakes and happy memories.
Not to say there isn’t perks or silly hi-jinks like Duff swimming with the fishes at an aquarium in Kentucky or Duff and Geof going to Minnesota in an attempt to bake the world’s largest cupcake.
All in all,this was a fun show to watch when it was on. Food Network ended the run of “Ace of Cakes” after 10 seasons,I believe it was a mutual ending because Duff was getting ready to move to Los Angeles to open his second bakery shop.
I have to say that finding Food Network releases in the wild that are in good shape is a rare thing. In fact this was my first find since I have doing reviews with Paladin. I was lucky enough to have found this release at my Library.
While “Ace” had a 10 season run,Food Network has only released the first 5 seasons on DVD. This is not uncommon for Food Network,while people enjoy watching the shows on TV,the home market has struggled a bit…because personally I would love to buy the “Iron Chef” series.
The cheetah and I both enjoyed watching “Ace of Cakes” and definitely give this boxed set a huge thumbs/paws straight up.
Which Food Network/Cooking Channel show is your favorite? Drop us a comment below!