Food Network Star Buddy Valastro Has 3.6M Instagram Followers, But People Think Most of Them Are Bots

Celebrity baker and reality television star Buddy Valastro is adored by many worldwide.  The host and guest star of popular shows like Cake Boss, Kitchen Boss, and Bake You Rich is well-known for his family’s famous Carlo’s Bakery. Recently discussing his Food Network show Big Time Bake on Reddit, some folks question Valastro’s following. Does he really have 3.6 million Instagram followers? Or are they bots?

Buddy Valastro smiling straight at the camera
Buddy Valastro | Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

The Cake Boss

A fourth-generation baker, Valastro grew up working in his family’s bakery in Hoboken, New Jersey.  The young baker showed talent at decorating cakes at a young age, according to TLC. That was fortunate as his father passed away when he was 17 and it fell to him to take the reins of his traditional Italian family’s business. Valastro, with the help of his family, rose to the challenge and made Carlo’s Bakery a worldwide commercial success.

Valastro didn’t stop there. Armed with his family’s classic Italian recipes, Valastro opened a restaurant, Buddy V’s, in Las Vegas. Overseeing the daily management of his bakeries, he specializes in over-the-top cakes and authentic Italian pastries. 

After a guest stint on Food Network Challenge, Valastro found a career in TV. According to Mashed, the nickname “Cake Boss” was created for the show, and he wasn’t sure about it at first. “I didn’t want to come off like a jerk,” he explained. 

His initial show Cake Boss was a hit that ran from 2009-2017. Since then, he’s hosted and appeared in a number of hit shows like Big Time Bake and Buddy vs. Duff on the Food Network, TLC, and Discovery Family.

Hero or zero?

RELATED: Is Food Network’s ‘Big Time Bake’ Just a Ripoff of Netflix’s ‘Sugar Rush’?

Recently a Reddit user posted a topic: “Watching Big Time Bake. I love the show but hate Buddy Valastro.” The user explained that they found him condescending and opposed to anything original. They went on to say that in one of the show’s episodes, the other judges even accused him of having basic tastes.

It generated quite a discussion. Many users agreed with the original poster that while they enjoyed the shows Valastro hosted or appeared in, they found him personally hard to watch. One user was put off by a “meltdown” Valastro had in the first episode of Buddy vs. Duff.  Other users agreed, saying they found Valastro to be rude, abrasive, petty, and ill-tempered. 

Some discussion participants recommended a similar show called Sugar Rush. They said that it had everything they liked about Big Time Bake with the added benefit of not having Valastro on the show. 

When one user pointed out Valastro’s popularity on social media, it was immediately questioned. Yes, he has more followers than popular restaurateur Guy Fieri. Some argued that with the right amount of money, followers could be procured. It was even suggested that many of them were bots as opposed to actual fans.

You be the judge

Valastro’s Instagram account is updated often. Many of his posts show his devotion to family and celebrate moments of happiness with them. As he explained to Mashed, Valastro feels blessed that his family shares in his success and explains that they’ve worked hard for it. He explained that they each have a specific role and work long days six days a week. They are a tight-knit family and they all work well together.

Other posts on Valastro’s Instagram are dedicated to his baking and feature products, locations, and more. He also promotes his shows on the account for fans and the posts get thousands of responses on the social media platform. 

Are most of Valastro’s Instagram followers bots? Or are they genuine fans responding to the posts of a celebrity baker they enjoy? Opinions vary depending on who you ask. One thing that looks to be certain? Love him or hate him, Buddy Valastro doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.