TLC’s Cake Boss: 8 Behind The Scenes Secrets
TLC has no problem dominating the reality TV genre with numerous intriguing and original series including Cake Boss. The series premiered in April 2009 and has now had eight successful seasons and spawned several tie-ins and spinoffs including Next Great Baker and Kitchen Boss. Running a successful business, building a brand, and also making time to film episodes is pretty challenging and fans get a pretty good idea about how Buddy Valastro operates as the “Cake Boss” through the series, but there is even more that they don’t see on TV! Here are 8 behind the scene secrets from TLC’s Cake Boss:
8. “Reality” TV
Cake Boss focuses on the family orientation of Carlo’s Bakery where it all started for Buddy Valastro, but some have been disappointed by what they discovered when visiting the bakery which has become a huge tourist attraction in Hoboken, New Jersey. One visitor revealed that during their visit they found out that some things were completely faked, and Buddy is never actually there. “I have been to Carlo’s Bakery (the bakery from Cake Boss). While there we learned that the “wedding” they were filming in Italy was completely faked,” the visitor said referring to the season three episode where many of the stars travel to Italy for Claudio’s wedding. “They never actually got married. Kind of ruined the experience for me” Another added, “I live 5 blocks away. Buddy is never there unless he’s filming a commercial.”
7. Name Controversy
Many fans do not realize how many controversies surround Cake Boss, and it all began right with the popular series’ name. A Seattle-based company called Masters Software has a domain called cakeboss.com which they have operated since 2006 and since 2007 has sold a bakery management program called CakeBoss. So, in 2010 after the series Cake Boss‘s popularity took off, the company filed a lawsuit claiming infringement and causing confusion among customers and vendors. Eventually in October 2010, Masters Software and Discovery Communications, which owns TLC, came to a settlement but the details were not made public.
6. Most Popular Products
Given the fact that the show Cake Boss is what made Carlo’s Bakery one of the biggest tourist attractions in New Jersey, many assume they are known for the cakes, but that’s not true. According to the bakery, some of the most popular products sold include their lobster tail pastry and their pignoli nut cookie. Unfortunately the lobster tail pastry is actually very difficult to make and takes up to five workers to complete. Luckily, the staff have mastered the art of making the pastry because more than 6,000 lobster tail pastries are required every week to meet customer demands.
5. Transphobia Allegations
In 2012, Cake Boss came under fire for their representation of transgender celebrity Carmen Carrera. In the season five episode “Bar Mitzvah, Beads & Oh Baby!” Carerra went on a date with Valastro’s cousin Anthony who didn’t know that Carrera was transgender. Although she intentionally participated in the prank on Anthony, Carerra was upset with the way she was talked about in the episode when it aired. Later Anthony even took to to his Twitter to deny that he made out with Carrera, referring to her as “it.” She took to her Facebook stating, “I made it VERY clear to the producers on how to use the correct wording before agreeing to filming this but instead they chose to poke fun and be disrespectful. That’s not what I’m about! … I may not have been born a woman, but I’m NOT a man… After taking this journey it’s not fair at all to be lied to by the producers.” Afterwards, Valastaro apologized publicly, and TLC initially pulled the episode and have now re-edited it so that the offending scene is not shown.
4. Family Feud
Since the beginning of Cake Boss, viewers have watched Valastro argue with his staff and family members who help run the bakery and while often the arguments are made to look playful, it seems some are as serious as they looked. One specific episode saw Buddy blow up at his sister Mary Sciarrone and actually ended up firing her after one too many inappropriate comments from her. As it turns out the whole altercation was real, but Mary was later rehired on the show. In an off-screen incident however, Cousin Anthony ended up leaving the show after season six and reportedly didn’t even meet with Buddy personally to tell him about his decision to leave and instead left a cryptic voicemail. “On a personal level I’ll admit, that hurts a little bit. I treated him like a son and he just basically says, ‘I’m leaving.’ No explanation, we didn’t talk about it. He’s just up and left,” Buddy said afterwards.
3. Wedding Cakes
The entire series became popular because of Buddy’s ability to create absolutely incredible cakes, including many for weddings. While one episode is usually dedicated to the creation of one or two cakes, in reality the bakery is doing a whole lot more. During wedding season, Carlo’s Bakery makes around 40 cakes a week, and to keep up they have devised a system of teams. Five people specialize in the baking of the cakes, another group handle the fillings and then an entirely different group do the decorating. According to staff their most difficult wedding cake was one made to look like the Leaning Tower of Pisa which stood almost 6 feet tall and took 35 people to complete.
2. Making It Interesting
Buddy Valastro wasn’t like any baker when he took over Carlo’s Bakery — he was only 17 years old when his father died and he took over the family business. Instead of being overwhelmed, he turned it into such an institution it got its own show, and at first he wasn’t thrilled with the title Cake Boss. “Honestly, I didn’t like the title at first, because I didn’t want to come off arrogant or stuck-up. But after I saw how they wanted to show it and make it honest and truthful, it was totally cool. Now I couldn’t see myself being anything but the cake boss.” Despite embracing the title, he said the most difficult part of turning his bakery into a reality show was making the otherwise boring process of cake-making into something interesting. “Making a cake is sometimes a one-day or two-day process, and when you put that on television, it’s like watching paint dry. It’s boring – it really is! So you have to know the moments and know that ‘Okay, now I’m gonna stack and assemble the cakes!’ and make sure the cameras are rolling. It’s more about choreography essentially,” he said.
1. Serious Crimes
Unfortunately, some of the show’s stars have been involved in some serious crimes including Valastro himself and his former brother-in-law Remigio “Remy” Gonzalez. Remy used to appear on Cake Boss but in 2012 was sentenced to nine years in prison for the sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl. The girl suffered from a disability and a judge ruled that Gonzalez was “likely to commit the actions again,” and Gonzalez pleaded guilty in court. Then, in 2014 Buddy Valastro was in every media headline when he was arrested for driving while under the influence of alcohol while in New York City. After pleading guilty, he was fined, ordered to take a course on drunk driving and had his driver’s license suspended. He released an apology, stating: “I was out for a business dinner, I had one glass too many. When I got into the car I thought I was fine to drive, and obviously I wasn’t, and the cops did their job.” Responding to the allegations that he tried to use his fame to get out of the arrest, he said, “If I did say anything like that I totally apologize to him and the police department. I’m not like that. I put people in danger. I am very disappointed in myself.”