The Ace of Cakes: Duff Goldman

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Best and Worst Cakes

Best and Worst Cakes

LHJ: So Ben specializes in the moving parts cake?
Chef Duff: Yeah. I started making those, and he kind of took my idea, and he's taken it 10 levels up. So now I just help him when he's doing stuff. When he's like, "Weld me up, fabricate a metal part that looks like this," I'll make something for him.

LHJ: What's your favorite technique to use on cakes?
Chef Duff: I think, for me, it's really the visualizing. Taking something that's an idea in my head, putting it on paper, and then creating whatever it is that I drew. It's probably the most rewarding. There are a lot of little techniques, like if you have to pipe a large area with a small tip and then you get the little peaks and valleys, you take a little soft paintbrush, and you put a little water on there, and you kind of paint it back down. You know, little things like that.

LHJ: What was your favorite cake?
Chef Duff: We did that big castle for Harry Potter. Unbelievable. Such a fun trip, and such a great payoff. When you've got Harry Potter himself just standing there, marveling at it, you know you've done a good job.

LHJ: What was one of the most challenging cakes?
Chef Duff: It was probably the cake we made for Lost. We made all the stuff in Baltimore. [When] we got to Hawaii, it was so humid, everything melted, and we had to redo everything. We had people like, "Wow, that cake looks pretty simple for what they usually do." And it's like, "Man, we're working out of an army kitchen, and we had to redo everything." So yeah, it would have been so much more amazing if we had planned for the disgusting humidity of Hawaii. But that's all right. Hey, that's what we do. It was still an awesome cake.

LHJ: What's one rule for decorating a cake that you always abide by?
Chef Duff: Just go to town. It's only a cake. Don't be scared.


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