I can not believe I had the opportunity to meet Buddy Valastro – The Cake Boss. It was a dream come true! I was a Grand Prize winner in the TLC Bake with the Boss Sweepstakes that ended over the summer. The trip was delayed because of Buddy’s very busy schedule. It seems he was just about everywhere. After all – we all love to eat cake.
My trip to New York City took place the week before Christmas. It was magical. My mom was my traveling partner and we had the most spectacular time. It was freezing the day we arrived. We sure were bundled up coming from a warm 83 degrees in Southern California. It was in the low 30′s with snow all over the place. I think we brought them a heat wave because it got up to 69 degrees by the time we left. We only had to wear a sweater. Our holiday could not have been any more fantastic. We visited the famous Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree! Simply gorgeous. There was so much to do in NYC. We made the best of our time before our Baking Day seeing lots of the NYC sites. We also took a bus ride to visit Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken. A couple of cupcakes, and a couple of the best cannoli ever! Yummers.
The moment had arrived. Myself and 2 other winners plus guests were whisked away (no pun intended) in a stretch limo to Carlo’s Bakery in New Jersey. Walking in the front door was an aromatic delight. They were making the most delectable smelling cakes. I was drooling, it smelled so good! As we waited in the lobby, we could see a few of our favorite Cake Boss people. Grace was munching on a cookie tray, Lisa was carrying some papers, Maurizio was making a delivery through the lobby doors and Buddy’s two sons were playing on the intercom. It really made the whole experience real to see everyone! As we were escorted through our factory tour – Mauro waved to us from one of the baking rooms and Joey was spotted too. Frankie passed by our baking room and waved to us all. I even saw Sophia making cookie trays!
Our baking class was held in the same room where they film The Next Great Baker. I felt in the presence of baking artists. Buddy had one of his instructors teach our decorating class but we had a very special helper. Marco (Buddy’s son) stayed and made a cake with us. He was a joy to be with! He really knows his way around the bakery. He was showing us all how to use the equipment! We were provided with a cute layer cake and the fondant in blue and white colors to make a holiday snowflake cake. The instruction was easy to follow plus we had expert help from one of the other bakers. Working with fondant was a first for me but I got the hang of it pretty quickly. The snowflakes were giving me issues so I just made my cake with circles. My bow – well it needed a lot of help. Funny thing is – it has always been a dream of mine to be a cake decorator. Marco’s cake was adorable, until he got a hold of the black piping bag. It was still the bakers son’s masterpiece. Thanks for the smiles Marco! You are a doll.
As the class proceeded, a warm and smiling Buddy walked into the room. I actually got to meet The Cake Boss! Let me tell you, he is a true friendly and caring person. His passion for what he does spills over into helping others to be the best decorators ever. He took the time to help us with the cakes and spent time with each of us chatting, laughing and taking lots of pictures. I brought him something from Southern California – my favorite See’s Candies that he could share with his family! Buddy, I hope everyone enjoyed the chocolates, it was my way of saying thanks. My mom and I had a special connection with Buddy as she grew up in Hoboken and I was born there. He said he loved meeting fellow Hobokenites!
A bit of comedy – I actually asked Buddy for a job. (I can’t believe I did that.) I mentioned it was one of my dreams to be a cake decorator and we both looked at my cake. I had to giggle and tell him ” well my cake did not show it”. He responded that all I need was a little more practice. I told him I would be the first one to apply when he brought Carlo’s Bakery to Orange County. I bet it comes soon!
Our cakes were boxed up for us to take. The cake made it on the plane back to Southern California for the centerpiece of our holiday dessert table. I made it! It was more than a cake – it was a memorable, once in a lifetime experience to be part of Carlo’s Bakery even for just a moment. My deepest heartfelt thanks to Buddy and his outstanding crew. We felt like part of the family! I can’t wait to visit the Carlo’s Bakery in Las Vegas – opening soon. Save a cannoli for me!
My thanks to TLC for the incredible trip, the incredible show and for the unforgettable memories.