Food Network Viewers Don’t Understand Why Buddy Valastro is So Popular

Food Network has produced a solid bumper crop of people who became famous because of their shows, including but hardly limited to, Rachael Ray, Guy Fieri, and Emeril Lagasse. Now, Buddy Valastro has come along, and some Food Network fans aren’t sold on his particular brand of baking. 

On the one hand, just being on Food Network is a credibility boost. But that doesn’t mean people will always take to you, or that the fame will last longer than the standard 15 minutes. Buddy Valastro might find that out if he reads message boards like Reddit.  

Who became famous on Food Network? 

Buddy Valastro
Buddy Valastro | Mireya Acierto/FilmMagic

The Food Network began in 1993 with relatively understated cooking shows. It was like 24 hours of those celebrity chef segments you might spot on Entertainment Tonight or Good Morning America.

Just when it seems like there won’t be an audience for 24 hours of something, be it music videos, reality TV or cooking shows, a cable network will go and prove them wrong. 

Food Network has become an industry unto itself, and so have many of the people who became famous thanks to their network. Guy Fieri alone has certainly capitalized on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives by starting his own restaurant. Love him or hate him, few can argue Food Network made him famous.

Other Food Network luminaries, some of whom have endured better than others, include Aaron Sanchez, Ina Garten, Donatella Arpaia, Ree Drummond, Paula Deen, Jamie Oliver, and Tregaye Fraser. 

Who is Buddy Valastro?

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Buddy Valastro’s biography can be found on the website for Carlo’s Bakery, which was featured on the TLC show Cake Boss. The original boss was Buddy Sr, a native Italian who transplanted the business to the States, specifically in Hoboken, New Jersey, also famous as the home of Frank Sinatra. 

Valastro said in a 2012 interview with The Daily Meal: “My father was my biggest influence. He taught me everything I know about baking and business. When I was 17 years old my father passed and I took over the bakery. I worked to make Carlo’s a staple in Hoboken and I’m still working to make it bigger and better.” 

Asked what the key was to success, he said, “Practice, practice, practice. It’s the only thing that will get you where you want to be.”

Valastro began appearing on the Food Network show Food Network Challenge in 2007, but he made his name on TLC with Cake Boss  from 2009 to 2017. Last year he started doing shows on Food Network, including Buddy Vs. Duff and Bake You Rich. To hear some fans tell it, the move hasn’t been entirely beneficial. 

What are some fans not sold on  Buddy Valastro?

On Reddit, fans asked why Food Network was trying to push Valastro when his style is “old fashioned” and he doesn’t seem to have the nicest personality. The answer came quickly: Corporate synergy.

“Because Discovery, which owns the network he was on, TLC, bought Food Network (and HGTV and DIY). Since TLC focuses on relationship shows, they moved him to Food Network. It was a good move—for them, at least, maybe not for us: Buddy vs. Duff was their highest-rated show of 2019,” one fan said. 

Another fan said: “I used to love Buddy’s show on TLC…. back in 2009. He should have stayed there lol. After they started showing him outside of the bakery and diving into his personal life it got a little ridiculous in my opinion. It especially cracked me up how he wore his chef uniform everywhere. Honestly I’m pretty over him and I tend to avoid any show on Food Network that features him now.”