INTERVIEW "Cake Boss" Buddy Valastro recommends strawberry shortcake as dessert after cabbage rolls

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Famous Italian American chef Bartolo "Buddy" Valastro, dubbed the "King of the cakes", has opened this month his 12th store in the Carlo's Bakery chain in Florida, and is willing to extend to other countries as well. In an interview granted to AGERPRES he mentioned, however, that his main concern is to ensure the same high quality of products in every location.

Photo source: Buddy Valastro / Facebook

Carlo's Bakery is a well known chain of bakeries known for their pastry, deserts and cakes. It is a family business founded in 1910 by Carlo Guastaferro, the maternal grandfather of Buddy. After the premature death of his father, Bartolo Valastro Sr. in 1994, the business was continued and expanded by Bartolo "Buddy" Valastro Jr. together with his mother, Maria Valastro, and his sisters Grace, Maddalena, Mary and Lisa. This family business is also the subject of a popular reality show titled "Cake Boss".

Buddy Valastro has, in turn, four children. He became one of the best-known bakers in the world due to his culinary masterpieces. His work is synonymous with excellence and challenges. For him, there is no impossible.

AGERPRES: Mr. Valastro, your cakes are quite remarkable and you are rightly called "King of the cakes". Beyond taste, their shape is amazing, and one might think of something else than a dessert. How did you get the idea to create such true pieces of art?
Buddy Valastro: I just wanted to set Carlo's Bakery apart from other bakeries and supermarkets. Making elaborate, creative cakes makes us unique and something you have to specifically seek us out to get. I have so much fun doing it and I'm so happy we decided to go down this road.

AGERPRES: How do you achieve this original artwork — do you have in your team, let's say, some designers who bring their contribution to shaping such art forms? What kind of specialists are you working with?
Buddy Valastro: Our team is incredibly talented. We have a wide variety of artists — decorators and sculptors — on staff that help play a role in what we can bring to life in the form of cake. Without them, it would be a real struggle to pull off a lot of what you see on Cake Boss.

AGERPRES: Can you define the Carlo's Bakery products as one hundred percent healthy? Do you offer in your shops diversified products, ones specifically addressed to children and others to adults?
Buddy Valastro: I wouldn't say our products are unhealthy — we use quality, fresh ingredients — but I'm a big believer in everything in moderation. I think we definitely have items that appeal more to children than adults and vice versa but overall, outside of decoration, dessert appeals to sweet tooths of all ages.

AGERPRES: Is your work inspired by predecessors in the field, who in their turn became famous, as, for example, a Romanian confectioner, Grigore Capsa, who succeeded to get numerous gold medals at the profile exhibitions of that time (late 1800's)?
Buddy Valastro: I was inspired by my father growing up. Seeing how hard he worked and how dedicated he was to making Carlo's Bakery a success was something that really motivated me to be a great baker and businessman.

AGERPRES: Being a baker-pastry chef is a tradition in your family. Are your children interested in continuing this tradition or are they attracted to some other things?
Buddy Valastro: They're still young, so they change their minds a lot! One day one of them wants to be a baker, the next they want to be a veterinarian. I'm supportive either way.

AGERPRES: It is well known that all your family members are involved in this business. How do you collaborate with them at work and how do you share the kitchen chores at home?
Buddy Valastro: We're so lucky to have the opportunity to work so closely together. The bakery keeps us really busy and I don't think we'd have the opportunity to see each other as much if we didn't get to work together. I couldn't do what I do without them.

AGERPRES: What are your favorite combinations of ingredients and what do you avoid by all means?
Buddy Valastro: I love peanut butter and chocolate; the two just go so perfectly together. I avoid combining eggs and cheese. A lot of people in my life think its weird but I just can't eat my eggs with cheese.

AGERPRES: You own more than 10 bakeries in the United States and wrote that you also intend to expand beyond. Which countries do you have in mind and what would guide you when making the respective choice? Would you like to choose Romania as the first country in Europe to host a Carlo's Bakery Shop?
Buddy Valastro: I'm open to taking Carlo's Bakery all over the world. Right now, my number one priority is making sure no matter where we are, we're providing the same high quality product in each and every location. When the right opportunity presents itself, we'll bring the bakery to Europe.

AGERPRES: On winter holidays, Romanians usually like to eat Romanian traditional food, like pork — cabbage rolls, head cheese, meat jelly — and turkey. What kind of cakes do you recommend at the end of a such a meal?
Buddy Valastro: It sounds like a light cake would go well with a heavier meal like that, so for that I'd suggest a strawberry shortcake. That's probably one of my favorite things to prepare because I'm crazy about our homemade whipped cream.

AGERPRES: Do you have any unfulfilled dreams?
Buddy Valastro: I'm living my dream every single day. AGERPRES

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