Duff has been cooking since the age of four when his Mom caught him in the kitchen swinging around a meat cleaver, while watching Julia Child and Chef Tell on TV. After graduating from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, he went on to study at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, California. He worked at several acclaimed culinary destinations, including the French Laundry, the Vail Cascade Hotel, and Todd English's Olives before returning to Baltimore in 2000 to become a personal chef and then in March of 2002, he quit his day job and opened Charm City Cakes. The bakery became a household name via the hit show on Food Network, “Ace of Cakes,” which aired for ten seasons. Duff also hosted the Food Network show, "Sugar High." The summer of 2011, he and his team headed out to Los Angeles to open Charm City Cakes West.

Duff Goldman Converse All-Stars Cake

Type of art you are involved in:

Location: Baltimore, MD

1. How do you use Fiskars orange handled scissors in your creations?

One of the biggest reasons we use Fiskars is that they ALWAYS cut straight and never snag. When you are creating a tip on a parchment piping bag you need a clean, straight cut and you always get that with Fiskars. Also, being in the cake industry we are constantly creating stencils from a wide variety of materials like parchment, paper, cardboard, even thin plastic. We use Fiskars to cut our stencils because they have to be perfect! If your stencil isn't absolutely clean on the edges, NOTHING you make with that stencil will look good.
 
2. What is your best scissors advice?

I like to use different parts of the blade for different jobs. I only use the very tip of the blades for snipping tiny things so they stay sharp and always fresh. Most of the middle of the blade I use for long, flowing cuts. The fewer starts and stops on a cut you are making, the fewer unintentional angles you will create so keep those cuts long. Just before the back of the blade I use for twine, string, and ribbon cuts because the closer to the handles, the more torque you will get from your blade and this helps keep the cuts clean and the material frays much less. The part of the blade closest to the handles I use for ugly jobs like cutting wire, plastic, and thin wood. This part will usually dull first, but the jobs I use it for don't require sharpness, they require force.

Duff Goldman Cake

3. Describe your creative style in three words or less.

From the hip.
 
4. Where does your interest in the culinary arts come from?

I was a graffiti artist and that was creatively explosive and unrestrained, which was really great for waking up that part of my brain, but Johnny Law and more importantly my mom wanted me to pursue a career that was a little safer, a little more legal, and a little more lucrative, so I started cooking and found that those same parts of my brain were excited in the kitchen as in the train yard, mostly that immediate sense of creating something sensual in a stressful, dangerous, exciting environment.
 
5. What is the craziest cake you have made, or the piece you are most proud of? Why?

I think the life-size working R2-D2 cake we made for Lucasfilm was an incredible achievement. Getting to make a cake for someone I really admire, like George Lucas, is such a rewarding event. Also, the pressure we put on ourselves to really make this cake the best made us realize how hard we can work and how good we can be. Most of all, though, that cake was such a team effort with everyone pulling together for the same goal, when it was done it felt like we just won the superbowl!
 
6. What advice would you give someone interested in a creative culinary career?

Duff Goldman Car Cake

Try it out for at least a year and a half before you make a solid commitment to devoting a large portion of your life to your craft. Don't go to culinary school without working in a few kitchens first. Kitchens are an incredible place to work with some of the most, um, interesting people you'll ever meet, but it's not for everybody. But, if it is for you, you will be hard pressed to find another career that offers the excitement, creativity, and adrenaline on a daily basis.
 
7. What is your favorite Fiskars tool?

Seeing as how we are all constantly stealing each others scissors...

 
Duff Goldman

Biography: Duff has been cooking since the age of four when his Mom caught him in the kitchen swinging around a meat cleaver, while watching Julia Child and Chef Tell on TV. After graduating from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, he went on to study at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, California. He worked at several acclaimed culinary destinations, including the French Laundry, the Vail Cascade Hotel, and Todd English's Olives before returning to Baltimore in 2000 to become a personal chef and then in March of 2002, he quit his day job and opened Charm City Cakes. The bakery became a household name via the hit show on Food Network, “Ace of Cakes,” which aired for ten seasons. Duff also hosted the Food Network show, "Sugar High." The summer of 2011, he and his team headed out to Los Angeles to open Charm City Cakes West.

Website: www.charmcitycakes.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Charm-City-Cakes