Anyone who knows Hoboken knows Carlo's City Hall Bake Shop. And anyone who knows Carlo's knows that Buddy Valastro's talent is the force behind those fabulous, towering cakes.
Well, now the whole world will know. Valastro will be featured in a reality TV show called "Cake Boss," which airs this Sunday night, April 19, on TLC. "Cake Boss" follows Valastro's life both in and out of the Hoboken bakery, and shows how he makes his amazing cake creations under pressure.
"I'm the Cake Boss," said Valastro, 32. "At first, I didn't want to come off as cocky on the show, but now people joke, 'Oh, you're the cake boss,' and it's like, 'Yeah, I guess I am!'"
Valastro said TLC contacted him: "They were looking for a show about cakes and bakeries; they casted a lot of different cakes and people, but then they came to me."
Valastro is no stranger to being on television; he's appeared on several Food Network challenges, even winning the $10,000 top prize in the Food Network's "Battle of the Brides" wedding cake challenge last month.
The cameras will follow Valastro, his assistant bakers and the jumble of sisters, cousins and kids that run around his family-run bakery. Cameras will record whatever Valastro does in a week, whether it's making cakes, pastries, running the business or arguing with a family member.
Valastro's father owned Carlo's before him and Valastro has been working in the bakery since he was 11. Carlo's is owned and operated by Valastro's "big Italian family;" you'll often see his mother, three sisters, three brothers-in-law and occasionally his wife, Lisa, behind the counter.
When Valastro took over as the head baker ten years ago, he had a vision of creating elaborate cakes.
"My dad was a good baker, but we were doing old-fashioned cakes," he said. "I really wanted to step it up a notch."
Valastro, who did not go to culinary school, took his father's "old-world techniques and styles and added my own flair -- the fondant, the sugar flowers, the modeling chocolate, the buttercream swirls." The result? Be they for weddings or birthdays, cakes from Carlo's are known throughout northern New Jersey and New York. He even created a circus-themed birthday cake for Britney Spears this year.
Viewers will get a look inside Carlo's kitchen above the bakery and see first-hand how Valastro makes his celebrated confections.
"I'm a baker, an old-school, old-fashioned baker," said Valastro, who now lives in East Hanover. "I'm going to make Hoboken and Jersey City proud. We're going to show them how we do it."
And it's not likely Valastro will forget his Hoboken roots anytime soon.
"When I first I heard the show, I was like, 'Is my North Jersey accent that heavy?'"