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Ace of Cakes: Inside the World of Charm City Cakes Hardcover – October 20, 2009


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Ace of Cakes: Inside the World of Charm City Cakes + Ace Of Cakes: The Complete First Season - 3 DVD Set - Duff Goldman + Ace Of Cakes: The Complete 2nd Season
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks (October 20, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006170301X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061703010
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #371,021 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

When Duff Goldman, Food Network's "Ace of Cakes," envisioned Charm City Cakes in Baltimore nearly a decade ago, his goal was to make wonderful cakes for friends and family. As word spread about his fabulous creations, his dream grew into a nationally renowned business staffed by a team of talented professionals, including musicians, artists, and creative souls with experience in architectural modeling, graphic design, deejaying, coffee making, performance art, dog walking, sculpture, painting and more.

Aces of Cakes: Inside the World of Charm City Cakes is a celebration of the bakery that started it all. This colorful scrapbook is loaded with stories about Duff's early days as a graffiti artist turned young chef, his successes and hilarious disasters, and the amazing team he built step-by-step. Through candid interviews and profiles and hundreds of photographs, illustrations, and collages, the book shows how energy, inspiration, collaboration, and a bit of luck can conspire to help anyone achieve their creative vision.

Of course, at the center of this stunning book are Charm City's Cakes. From the simple to the breathtakingly complex, Duff shows off some of the bakery's more unusual techniques and tools that shape their famous creations. He also offers a behind-the-scenes look at his Food Network show, shares his most incredible customer stories and requests, and reveals some of the bakery's favorite cake facts and tips—along with a comprehensive episode guide and a monster cake montage featuring seven years' worth of the bakery's astonishing cake creations.

About the Author

Duff Goldman studied at the Corcoran School in Washington, D.C., and was a young graffiti artist of some notoriety. He started working for acclaimed Baltimore chef Cindy Wolf while attending the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He studied pastries at the Culinary Institute of America and worked at the French Laundry under acclaimed pastry chef Steven Durfee, at the Vail Cascade Hotel and Resort, and at Todd English's Olives restaurant in Washington, D.C., before opening Charm City Cakes in Baltimore in 2000. Duff is also a sculptor and artist, and a musician who plays bass in the rock band . . . soihadto . . . . He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.



When his younger brother was born, Willie Goldman couldn't pronounce "Jeffrey." It came out "Duff," and the name stuck. A screenwriter and producer, Willie began his career at NBC Burbank, where he worked on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Later with Greg Kinnear, and Hang Time, and then moved on to Warner Bros. Television, where he worked on the Emmy-winning drama E.R. for seven seasons. Willie also wrote an adaptation of the acclaimed James Crumley novel The Last Good Kiss. The co-creator and coexecutive producer of Ace of Cakes, Willie lives in Los Angeles.


More About the Author

Duff Goldman studied at the Corcoran School in Washington, D.C., and was a young graffiti artist of some notoriety. He started working for acclaimed Baltimore chef Cindy Wolf while attending the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He studied pastries at the Culinary Institute of America and worked at the French Laundry under acclaimed pastry chef Steven Durfee, at the Vail Cascade Hotel and Resort, and at Todd English's Olives restaurant in Washington, D.C., before opening Charm City Cakes in Baltimore in 2000. Duff is also a sculptor and artist, and a musician who plays bass in the rock band soihadto. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

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Customer Reviews

The pictures and illustrations are very well done.
Karie Hoskins
What I liked about the book: * Easy read * You can skip back and forth.
J. White
This book goes deep behind the scenes of the show Ace of Cakes.
Joseph Tidline

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Tidline VINE VOICE on October 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Let me just start off by saying that I have the utmost respect for Duff Goldman and his staff at Charm City Cakes. I went to Culinary School and worked in a bakery right after graduation, so I can respect what they do day in and day out. And I only wish I had a fraction of the talent that they do. And after reading this book, everyone can also understand what they go through into making those beautiful, awe inspiring cakes that they produce every day. This is no cookbook. This book goes deep behind the scenes of the show Ace of Cakes. You learn all about Duff, how he got his start and how his crew at Charm City Cakes came to be. The book is filled with excellent photos of the cakes they make and of the staff themselves. And spread out through the book are stories about the staff and how they came to meet Duff. What makes both the book and the television show, Ace of Cakes, so special is that these are not just a group of people working in a bakery every day, doing a job. These are a group of friends that have grown into a close knit family and you can see that they love what they do and it shows in each and every cake that goes out their front door. So if you are a fan of the show or just have an interest in baking I highly recommend this book.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By BOOK REVIEW VINE VOICE on October 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'd give this book 10 stars if I could! I love the program so was curious to learn more about the "cast," their stories, more about what its "really" like to work together etc. I had no idea that Duff's brother was one of the co-executive producers of the show. Hearing about that story alone gave me goose bumps all over. Duff is an awesome writer as well as a cake designer, so the narrative was "extremely" enjoyable to read. Lots of pretty photos of very inventive cakes too. This isn't a cook book or a how to book but it does offer inspiration and some recommendations if you are interested in becoming a cake designer/decorator, but mostly its about the background story of the people working on the show which is incredibly interesting, fun, heart warming, and extremely rare and unique.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Karie Hoskins VINE VOICE on October 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Though I am an avid Food Network devotee...I never really watch "Ace of Cakes". It's not that I have anything against the show itself...it's just that I am one of the, what, 5 people in this country that despise reality TV. The snark, the nastiness, the stupid game-playing, the total lack of shame and/or pride of the people involved...no, thanks.

And yet, from reading "Ace of Cakes"...it appears that this is one reality show that has none of what I dislike about reality TV. This show is real, for one, and is about nice, talented people who love what they do and where they work. Whod've thunk?

The creator of the style of cake, the place (Charm City Cakes) and the great working atmosphere is Duff Goldman. In this book, the reader learns a great deal about him and the people that he's drawn together to create magic. His talent and outlook on life and art are what inspire his business, his show and now, this book.

"Yes, art can be something that hangs on a wall, but it can also be the shape of a building, the sleek lines of a race car, or lighted images projected on a screen. And, yes, art can be something you can eat. Food as art is a temporary medium, but, like all lasting art, where it matters most is not on the plate but in your memories."

I think what made this book so interesting for me was the love and passion that came through...mostly from Duff, but also from the other artists at Charm City Cakes and those who are now part of that family by way of the show. These people love what they do and where they work. They also love their city (Baltimore) and the man who brought them all together. All parts of "Ace of Cakes" come together in this book...the artists, the clients, those involved in the show...even those people who blog about the show.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By S. Young VINE VOICE on October 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
You'll love this book.

This is the show in book form. No, they don't teach you how to cook or make frosting. Yes, they show you a few ways to make their cakes.

But mostly this is how Duff started his business and how the TV show came about. You'll learn about everyone who's in the show (and even some you never see) and everyone behind the scenes.

It's a funny book and a good read, if you love the show you'll want this book. If you like the show (as I am, I see it once and that's enough) and this book a good one time read. You'll laugh and then you'll laugh harder. But overall, this is a coffee table book. It's not something I would read more than once. And for this it's a 4 star rating.

Mind you, I enjoyed it enough I was glued to it until I got to the people in the production of the show part then skipped to the end (sorry behind the scenes guys). But would I read it again? Probably not.

Tons of pictures, lots of laughs, if you have an Ace of Cakes fanatic, they'll love it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Erana Leiken on October 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Love the show! Love the book! Ace of Cakes Fans: "This One's for You!"

All the ingredients for what goes into the show. This is an Ace of Cakes "family album," including the cake decorators, an episode guide and of course the incredible cakes. You can follow the history of Charm City Cakes from its start to becoming the Food Network's Ace of Cakes.
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