Connect with Duff
Chef Duff has been cooking since the age of four, when his Mom caught him in the kitchen swinging around a meat cleaver while watching Chef Tell on TV. When Duff was in second grade, he camethisclose to cutting of his pinkie off while carving a pumpkin. He was destined to work in the kitchen. Chef Duff started working professionally when he was 14 at a bagel shop in a mall, and has been working in kitchens ever since.
When people ask how he got into making cakes, you might say he really had no choice in the matter. Duff’s Great-Grandmother, “Mamo”, who came from theUkraineand was a baker herself as well as a renowned cook and fiber artist. Her daughter, Duff’s grandmother, “Nana”, was a silversmith, enamellist, painter and photographer who prided herself on her skills in the kitchen. Duff’s Mom Jackie is also an artist who began in ceramics and is now an accomplished stained glass designer on the west coast. Duff himself studied at theCorcoranSchoolinWashington,D.C.and was at one time a graffiti artist of some notoriety.
Duff started working for acclaimed Baltimore Chef Cindy Wolf while attending theUniversityofMaryland,BaltimoreCounty. After graduating, Duff leftBaltimoreto study at the Culinary Institute of America inNapa Valley,California. While inNapa, Duff was astagiereat the French Laundry, working under acclaimed pastry Chef Steven Durfee. Duff leftCaliforniato become Executive Pastry Chef of the Vail Cascade Hotel and Resort in the mountains of Vail,Colorado. There he worked with such notable chefs as Jessie Llapitan, now Executive Chef of the Houstonian inHouston,Texas, and Chef Jason Rogers, late of Olives inAspenand now at the Borgata of Atlantic City. Duff then leftColoradoto bake bread for Todd English’s Olives inWashington,D.C., where he worked under Executive Chef Steve Mannino. Duff left Olives in 2000 when he came back toBaltimoreto open Charm City Cakes.
In addition to owning and operating Charm City Cakes, Duff is also a sculptor, artist, and musician- he plays bass in the indie instrumental band “so I had to…” and is an all around good guy with the cleanest hands in town. Duff and his Charm City Cakes staff star in the Food Network series,Ace of Cakesairing Thursdays at 10pm and 10:30pm ET/PT.In 2009, Duff released his first book based on his wildly popular show, “Ace of Cakes: Inside the World of Charm City Cakes” (Harper Collins, 2009), which offers a behind-the-scenes look at what makes Charm City Cakes such a success.
More information about Duff Goldman can be found on his website,www.charmcitycakes.com.