Ace Of Cakes In Boston: Batter Up

While the Boston Celtics were parading around the streets of Boston in duck boats last Thursday, a delicate bit of culinary triage was taking place in a Hub hotel room. Chef Duff Goldman was rebuilding … would you believe … an edible phone booth. The creation was the centerpiece for the charity premiere of the movie “Get Smart” at the Wang Theatre. Local boy, and “Get Smart” star, Steve Carell was there to ratchet up the celebrity factor, but for me, the real stars were the gang from Charm City Cakes.

The Food Network’s “Ace Of Cakes” is a weekly slice of workplace commedia dell’arte. Duff and his crack band of pastry shop commandos create wildly inventive cakes for customers in the Greater Baltimore area. Duff’s stroke of genial genius was to hire his friends, instead of the latest grads from culinary school, and in doing so formed an edgie, indie, street smart company that’s willing to try just about anything.

We’ve seen goth cakes, guitar cakes, cigar cakes, theatre cakes … and we’ve seen near disasters, as post-frosting crashes have led to last second fixes. Duff remains unflappable throughout, putting his faith in his pals to pull it off.  And you know what?  They do.  What a concept … trust your instincts and your friends.  I’m sure a lot of MBA’s out there slept through that class.

So yeah, knowing Duff was in town I turned to the deep resources of my blog empire … since I had to chronicle the exploits of the guys in green for NewsCenter 5 at 6:00 … I sent my daughter Mallory with note pad, camera, and press pass in hand.  She’s a big fan of the show too, and managed to have a quick chat with Duff.

Q: What was the most difficult aspect of this cake?

A: All of the sides of the cake fell off and we had to re-do all of them in our hotel room.

Q: In one “Ace Of Cakes” episode you had to cover a splotch in the guitar cake … you made a strap to do it.  Do you think that there’s a metaphor for life in that?

A: Definitely.  If you are ever at a wedding and you see a flower (on a cake) that looks strange … under that flower there might be a thumb print.  It’s like … with this cake, when it fell apart … we didn’t panic.  We realized it would be at a certain state when we got to the hotel and a different state when we got here (to the premiere).  We just handled it like the good boy scouts we are.

And Duff did have two of his main scouts with him for the event. Mary Alice, who is the receptionist, and air-traffic controller at Charm City Cakes … and Geof, the sly, deadpan architectural wizard who can sculpt just about anything out of layer cake. They posed, and chatted up all the good people who put down a lot of dough (sorry, couldn’t help myself) to attend the “Get Smart” event. The folks with “A Premiere Cause” couldn’t have picked a better trio to help them fight cancer … and dazzle donors at the same time.  Good call.

Duff and the gang are back in Baltimore now … their phone booth cake will be part of an episode for the new season of “Ace of Cakes.” I’ll be rooting for Duff to keep his quirky little bakery piping hot with customers. Success on your own terms just tastes so good.

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One Response

  1. I absolutely ADORE Duff. I’m thinking of ordering a b’day cake for my boyfriend from them

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