When Food Network's 'Ace of Cakes' chef Duff Goldman created Charm City Cakes in Baltimore in 2000, he just wanted to make a few cakes for his friends and family, but as word got out about his uncommon creations, he quickly outgrew his home kitchen and two bakeries. Today, Charm City Cakes has grown to a staff of 11: a ragtag group of musicians, artists and creative souls with experience in architectural modelling, graphic design, sculpture, painting, DJ-ing, coffee slingin', performance art, massage therapy and waitressing.
The Ace of Cakes is an artful celebration reflecting the spirit of the bakery that started it all: a fun, visual, colourful scrapbook infused with Charm City Cakes' hip record-store-meets-surf-shop-meets-bakery vibe. Each chapter - a visual feast filled with grafitti-inspired art - ranges in topic, from a biography of Duff to a breakdown of the business: a typical work week, how the shop runs, tools of the trade and much more.
The book features an all-star lineup of Charm City's cakes, from the simple to the complex - those with armatures, supports, structural elements - and describes some of the bakery's traditional and more unusual techniques, from carving and fondanting, welding, cutting, sawing and gluing to airbrushing, piping and sculpting!
The Ace of Cakes also offers a behind-the-scenes look at Food Network, with sidebars about pitching, scripting and editing the show; the motley bakery staff decorators; the most incredible customer stories and requests; and some of Duff's favourite cake facts, tips and techniques.
And if that's not enough to get you inspired, take it from Duff: "There are no limits to what we can do here at Charm City Cakes. You dream it, we'll bake it, you eat it."