There’s no denying that Americans are fascinated with all things food, so it’s no surprise that Food Network has become wildly successful. In addition to the television channel, there’s also a magazine, an app, and a full range of kitchen products. What really keeps devoted fans coming back, though, is Food Network’s many big personalities.
Chefs are creative, headstrong types by nature and when you add in the celebrity factor, you have a perfect recipe for creating a scandal. From rumors of discrimination and sexual harassment to very public spats, there are a handful of Food Network stars that are consistently in the mix.
One of them is Buddy Valastro, AKA the Cake Boss, who has a number of shows on both Food Network and TLC. Despite being at the top of a super-sweet industry, fans liken him to a toddler who constantly throws tantrums.
Becoming the Cake Boss
There was really never a question as to whether Valastro would become a baker, but rather when. As the son of a third-generation baker who immigrated from Sicily, Bartolo “Buddy” Valastro began going to his father’s bakery when he was just a child. According to The Recipe, the senior Valastro wouldn’t allow his son to practice baking cakes for customers, so the first one he ever made on his own was for his mother, a rum concoction when he was about 12.
The Valastro family has owned Carlo’s Bakery, the now-world-famous bakery featured in several TV shows, since 1963 when Valastro’s father purchased it with his life savings. Valastro Sr. passed away from lung cancer in 1994, just three weeks after his initial diagnosis. Tragically, that news came on his son’s 17th birthday. The younger Valastro promised his father he would someday make Carlo’s Bakery into a household name and he dropped out of high school to run the bakery and work toward that goal.
Food Network shows
It’s safe to say that Valastro made good on his promise to his dad. Starting with the original Cake Boss series that premiered in April 2009 on TLC, Carlo’s Bakery has become known all over the world. Cake Boss is still airing new episodes today and Valastro has hosted numerous other shows over the past decade, including Bakery Boss, Buddy’s Bakery Rescue, and Big Time Bake. He also stars and participates in several shows, such as Buddy vs. Duff, where he goes head-to-head with longtime rival Duff Goldman, otherwise known as the “Ace of Cakes.”
Fans think of Valastro more as ‘Boss Baby’ than the ‘Cake Boss’
There are some key things that majorly contributed to Valastro becoming so famous. His large Italian family and his in-your-face personality are two of them — could you imagine Cake Boss without those elements?
However, Valastro’s larger-than-life disposition seems to be wearing on fans. It’s true that Valastro is often boastful and tends to talk a lot, but Food Network viewers have noticed that he’s easily set off. One Reddit user wrote, “Buddy’s temper tantrums drive me nuts! He acts like a toddler who missed his nap.” Another commented, “I’m sure if Buddy started on Food Network his fake mob boss persona would have never developed like it did on TLC.” Yikes!
In these viewers’ defense, Valastro has certainly done some questionable things, both on and off the screen. According to ABC News, when he was pulled over for DWI (driving while intoxicated) in New York City in 2014, Valastro yelled at the police officers, “You can’t arrest me! I’m the Cake Boss.” He was ultimately arrested anyway, spent a few hours in jail, and took a plea bargain that required him to pay a $300 fine and not drive for 90 days. It’s easy to understand why not everyone is a big fan of the Cake Boss — the show or the man.