Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Buddy, The Cake Boss - Kinder And Gentler

I have to admit I expected a slightly different show as I watched Cake Boss. I thought Buddy, the boss of the family business, would be a big, mean bully and that there would be at least one screaming sister and a spurious uncle...I was sure that Buddy would have to work amidst a maelstrom of family drama to create his masterpieces. 

But no, not really. Buddy DOES yell, but he's mostly just a hard working guy, who is also very sentimental. The other family members in the business also seem pull their weight and are very competent at what they do. There doesn't seem to be much need for yelling.  

At the beginning of the episode, we learn that the bakery is going to produce a fire engine cake for retired firefighters. We meet Joey, Buddy’s baker and brother-in-law AND a volunteer fire fighter, who acts as the project's technical advisor.

Apparently, there’s a difference between a fire truck and a fire engine. Who knew? “This is for real firemen. It’s got to be for real.” says Buddy. Joey gets his cohorts to drive both right up to the front of the bakery. They study the trucks with an engineer's precision. Buddy says they're going to do an entire fire scene with smoke, lights, sirens and "a screamin’ lady.”

Next we see Christine, Tony and Sunshine. Siblings? They’re making the other elements for the fire scene using modeling CHALK-ko-lot, as Buddy says. They have 3 days to do 6 days of work. They make a massive pound cake using sugar, butter and cream cheese. 

Meanwhile, Buddy also has to think about a cake for 2 fashionistas. He starts with a shoe box, then adds a shopping bag, shoe and pocka-book all covered with fondant. He quilts the pocka-book. Then Mama (“Buddy’s Mama and Business Manager”) comes walking into the kitchen. Her big booming voice comes in way ahead of her. Her job is to “keep the peace” between Buddy and his sisters, although, so far, I haven't seen any need for a mediator.

Buddy starts the fire engine cake. Jeez, it’s huge. He uses a brick stencil on the Fahhn-DAHHHNT to make the building’s sides. And black Fahhn-DAHHHNT is covered in poppy seeds for the roof. 

Sunshine (sister or not?) works on the Fashionista Cake. She decorates it with Gum Paste – “A pliable sugar dough that hardens when dry”. Wow, it really is gorgeous. Buddy gives it to Stretch to deliver. Is Stretch the future son-in-law perhaps? Maybe little Sophia (whom we haven't yet seen) will like older men...

Stretch drives the cake to its destination and when he arrives he sees that the side has fallen off. He calls Buddy, who goes ballistic, but he comes right over to replace the back side of the cake. Luckily, he doesn't whack Stretch...not yet anyway. 

The team finishes the fire engine, snaking actual wires through it and soldering stuff. Is that gonna be safe to eat? The lights and sirens actually work. 

Then, to relax a bit, Buddy and his buds drop about a ton of flour on top of Stretch. He better watch out...the next time it may be explosives.    

Next Buddy turns his attention to a cream puff cake in honor of his father - its inventor. The cake is huge and kinda over the top. He finishes it off with an icing picture of his father. I love cakes like that. I saved my son's face from his graduation cake and it turned all green in the freezer. Really cool. 

Buddy finishes the Fire Engine Cake. It's amazingly impressive. The cake cleared the elevator doors by "the hairs of his chinny, chin, chin". Somehow they deliver it to the firemen, who are naturally thrilled.  

Back at the neighborhood trattoria, Buddy, his mother and family are having a dinner in honor of his father. Is that Buddy's wife we get a glimpse of? He serves ENORMOUS slices of his special cake. 

At the end of the day, it seems as if a beautiful cake will always make everything all right. 

Frankly, I'd like to see LESS baking and more family. Where's the wife? Where's the part with the sisters going out with unsuitable guys and Buddy getting all hot under the collar? We saw his cute kids on GMA earlier this week, but nowhere here. Where's the mom plotting against her son? Oh wait, I have to remember that this is Buddy's family, not Tony's, but still.

The funny thing is that, in spite of Buddy's gorgeous cakes, I didn't really care how they turned out. With the Ace of Cakes, I can't wait to see what those wacky cooks - each one stranger (in a good way) than the last - come up with. 

HERE, I just wanted to see more of the Valasco’s. THEY'RE the thing. The baking is just the backdrop. I admit I want to see if sweet Sophia grows up to be Meadow, and I'm sure going to hope that little Buddy doesn't take after A.J. in the least. 

Actually, maybe it says more about Buddy as a family man that his small kids are only shown for seconds at the end, than if we WERE allowed to follow them closely. Okay, leave the kids out of it, but, at least, give me some drama queen sisters.


all recipes said...

your food site is really great..
i like this too much...

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I thought perhaps this would resemble Kitchen Nightmares when you first started talking about it. Everyone on that show seems to be a stereotype.

Sue said...

Thanks, AR. I appreciate it.

I guess they decided to portray the family as they really are - old fashioned and hardworking - and NOT to make this a faux-reality show. But I can still hope for some fireworks and not just coming out of a fire engine cake.

goldengirl4 said...

I really love the show. old fashioned hard working individuals is the best role model for today's children.