Duff Goldman

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Duff Goldman
Born(1974-12-17) December 17, 1974 (age 37)
Detroit, Michigan, USA
EducationUniversity of Maryland, Baltimore County, Corcoran College of Art and Design, Culinary Institute of America
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Duff Goldman
Born(1974-12-17) December 17, 1974 (age 37)
Detroit, Michigan, USA
EducationUniversity of Maryland, Baltimore County, Corcoran College of Art and Design, Culinary Institute of America

Jeffrey Adam "Duff" Goldman[1] (born December 17, 1974) is a pastry chef and television personality. He is the executive chef of the Baltimore-based Charm City Cakes shop which was featured in the Food Network reality television show Ace of Cakes.[2] His work and talent have also been featured on the Food Network Challenge, Iron Chef America, Oprah, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.


Early life

Goldman was born in Detroit, Michigan into a Jewish family, and moved shortly thereafter to Missouri. Goldman's nickname Duff came about when he was a baby.[3] His toddler brother was unable to pronounce the name and kept saying Duffy.[1] When he was four, his mother caught him in her kitchen wielding a meat cleaver and watching food personality Chef Tell.[4]

After the divorce of his parents when he was ten, Goldman spent time living in both in Northern Virginia and in the town of Sandwich on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.[5] In 1992, Goldman attended McLean High School in McLean, Virginia where he played on the Highlanders ice hockey team. In 1993, he graduated from Sandwich High School[1][6][7] in Sandwich.

From the age of fourteen, he began to work in kitchens; his first job was at a Bagel Store at a mall.[8] Goldman has said that when he was a sophomore in college, he went to what he considered the finest restaurant in Baltimore, Charleston, and was inspired to apply as a cook there. The head chef, Cindy Wolf, looked at his résumé and noted that it consisted of irrelevant experience. However, Cindy did offer him a job to make cornbread and biscuits only, and this is what Goldman cites as the turning point in his career.[9]

Shortly after college at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, he attended schools such as Corcoran College of Art and the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in Napa Valley, California. After working under acclaimed chefs in California, including a job at the French Laundry and the Vail Cascade Hotel in Colorado, he returned to Washington, D.C., to work at the Olives restaurant baking bread.

Charm City Cakes

Charm City Cakes

In 2000, Goldman opened his own business called Charm City Cakes. Initially, his cake sales began as he worked out of his house in Charles Village with the help of two assistants he employed.[2] As the requests for his unusual cakes increased, he hired more employees – many of whom did not have any culinary experience as pastry chefs, but were instead experienced painters, architects, and sculptors.[10] Today, Goldman's bakery shop is unusual in that blow torches, as well as power tools such as grinders and drills, are used to help form the underlying supports of the unique edible creations. With his crew, Goldman has created unusual cakes including the likenesses of Elvis in the form of a 3-foot butter cream sculpture, an anatomically correct ear, a smoking volcano, a three-dimensional German Shepherd, as well as a replica of a CAT scan machine, a Jeep, and an edible Wrigley Field.

Goldman has made cakes for a number of celebrities including Tom Clancy, the cast of Lost, the 30 Rock cast (along with a cake prop) and Sir Roger Moore.[11]

In October 2009, Goldman and his brother Willie released the book Ace of Cakes: Inside the World of Charm City Cakes from HarperCollins/William Morrow, providing an exhaustive look at both the bakery and the show.

Personal life

Goldman currently lives in Baltimore, Maryland. He played bass guitar in an instrumental band called "...soihadto...". He claims his alternate dream job would be to perform as bass player with the band Clutch. Goldman has made a wedding cake for Clutch's lead singer, Neil Fallon.[12][13] In addition, Fallon's younger sister and Goldman's friend from college, Mary Alice Fallon-Yeskey, works at Charm City Cakes as the office manager.[14]

Goldman also officially entered the Guinness Book of World Records for baking the world's largest cupcake on March 30, 2008. The massive entirely edible cupcake weighed in at 61.4 pounds (27.9 kg) and was over a foot (305mm) tall. It was reportedly 150 times the size of a regular cupcake and required 16 pounds (7.2 kg) of butter, 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of sugar, and three ounces (85g) of food coloring. The record-breaking pastry was created to support the Great American Bake Sale, which raised $10,000 and awareness for the Share Our Strength charity. However, as reported in a 2009 episode of Ace of Cakes, Goldman was stripped of the record due to the cupcake having been made in two parts.

Duff lost a cooking competition on Iron Chef America season 8, episode 7 against Michael Symon. Goldman also competed on Food Network Challenge and lost the competition.

Goldman is Jewish.[15] He is actively involved in Tzedakah, the Jewish practice of performing charity and philanthropic acts to enhance ones spirituality.[16] In an interview with Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, Goldman said “Tzedakah is very important to me. I’ve been so fortunate with everything that has happened to me, it would be a crime not to give back.”[17]

Acting career

Goldman has made a few notable guest appearances on various TV shows. In 2009 Goldman made an appearance on Jon and Kate Plus 8 in the episodes "Kate's Birthday Surprise" and "Sun, Seashells and Scrapes" during the show's fifth season. Also in 2009, after doing a cake for the cast and crew of King of the Hill, Duff and Geof were invited to do the voice for two characters in the episode, "To Sirloin with Love" where Bobby Hill joined the Meat Examination Team. Goldman made a guest appearance on an episode of The Imagination Movers as Baker Ben, the Muffin Man in late 2009. In 2010 Duff played a clown in a movie called Below the Beltway.[18] In 2012, Goldman was a guest on MTV's Ridiculousness. [19]


  1. ^ a b c "10 Things You Didn't Know About... Duff ",The Food Network Retrieved on 2010-8-3.
  2. ^ a b Julekha Dash. "Audacity brings chef sweet success." Baltimore Business Journal. Accessed January 20, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-01-20.
  3. ^ "‘Raising Duff Goldman, A Mother’s Perspective by Jacqueline Winch", Retrieved on 2010-8-3.
  4. ^ Staff Writer. Following an undergraduate education at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)—where he graduated with a degree in East Asian History with a minor in ethics—he attended the Culinary Institute of America (Greystone) in Napa Valley, California, "About Duff the Baker." Charm City Cakes – Official Website. Accessed January 20, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-01-20.
  5. ^ Food Network, Best Thing I Ever Ate, "Hometown Favorites", Episode 2010-01-08
  6. ^ Goldfarb, Bruce. "The Sweet Life of Duff Goldman", Welcome To Baltimore Hon, 14 September 2009. Retrieved on 2010-8-3.
  7. ^ ", The Cape Relay, Retrieved on 2010-8-3.
  8. ^ Food Network's Chefology teaser, August 9, 2009
  9. ^ Julie Scelfo "Bake It Like a Man." MSNBC Newsweek Entertainment. Accessed January 20, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-01-20.
  10. ^ Nina Callaway. "Duff Goldman, Ace of Cakes." hi:-) About.com - Weddings. Accessed January 20, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-01-20.
  11. ^ "Ace of Cakes" Season 3, Episode 5, "The Spy Who Caked Me" February 21, 2008, http://www.fancast.com/tv/Ace-of-Cakes/95532/1022731229/The-Spy-Who-Caked-Me/videos
  12. ^ Staff Writer. He has made television appearances on The Tonight Show, four Food Network Challenges, Christopher Lowell's show and others. "Duff Goldman." Food Network. Accessed January 7, 2009. Retrieved on 2009-01-07.
  13. ^ Staff Writer. "The Cake Guy." Baltimore City Paper. Accessed January 20, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-01-20.
  14. ^ Alan H. Feiler, "Flour Power", Baltimore Jewish Times, Mar. 2, 2007
  15. ^ Pfefferman, Naomi. "‘Ace’ holds all the cards when it comes to cakes", Jewish Journal 14 September 2006. Retrieved on 2010-8-3.
  16. ^ Miller, Gerri. "The AJL Mini Hot List: Duff Goldman (Hot Baker)", American Jewish Life Magazine 4 September 2007. Retrieved on 2010-8-3.
  17. ^ Perlman, Aviva. "Duff Goldman: On the Sweet Fringe",Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life 20 September 2007. Retrieved on 2010-8-3
  18. ^ "[1]." IMDB: Duff Goldman. Accessed March 16, 2010. Retrieved on 2010-03-16.
  19. ^ http://www.mtv.com/shows/ridiculousness/episode.jhtml?episodeID=193691

External links