The Culinary Institute of America

Duff Goldman, CIA baking and pastry alumni, is owner of Charm City Cakes, and has hosted the hit Food Network shows, Ace of Cakes and Sugar High.

Spotlight On: Duff GoldmanAssociate Degree in Baking & Pastry

Owner of Charm City Cakes, Host Sugar High
Class of 1998

Duff Goldman, renowned for his innovative creations at his Charm City Cakes in Baltimore, MD, is one of the most sought-after cake makers in the country. For the past ten seasons, he’s also been bringing his unique style of baking to a national television audience as the host of the hit Food Network show, Ace of Cakes. Recently cancelled, Goldman is moving on to another show for the network called Sugar High. 

Chef Goldman has been cooking since the age of four, when his mom caught him in the kitchen watching Chef Tell and swinging around a meat cleaver. His great-grandmother was a baker in the Ukraine, so a passion for cakes is definitely in his blood.

He started his professional foodservice career when he was 14, and has been working in kitchens and bakeshops ever since. In high school, he made sandwiches at a pizza parlor in Cape Cod. He then started working for acclaimed chef Cindy Wolf at Savannah restaurant while attending the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

After graduating, Chef Goldman left Baltimore to earn his Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate from The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in California’s Napa Valley. While in Napa, he was a stagiere at The French Laundry, working under celebrated pastry chef Stephen Durfee. Chef Goldman left California to become executive pastry chef at the Vail Cascade Hotel and Resort in the mountains of Vail, CO, where he worked with such notable chefs as Jesse Llapitan, now executive chef of the Houstonian in Houston, TX; and Jason Rogers, currently at the Borgata in Atlantic City, NJ. He then went to bake bread for Todd English ’82 at Olives in Washington, DC, working under Executive Chef Steve Mannino ’95. Chef Goldman came full circle in 2000 when he returned to Baltimore to open his own business.

Known for its out-of-the-ordinary creations inspired by just about anything, Charm City Cakes offers special-occasion cakes made to order, each taking anywhere from 10 to 200 hours to complete. Chef Goldman often uses drills, power saws, belt sanders, and blowtorches in making his cakes. Before long, the recognition—as well as the cake orders—started pouring in. Baltimore City Paper included him on its Best of Baltimore list in both 2002 and 2003, and he was named one of Baltimore’s Up and Comers in 2005. His celebrity customers have ranged from Hillary Clinton to Alice Cooper.

Duff Goldman '98 works with CIA Baking and Pastry Student

Duff Goldman '98 works with CIA Baking and Pastry Student

"Ace of Cakes," quickly became one of the Food Network’s top five shows after its August 2006 debut, according to the network’s Senior Vice President for Programming Bob Tuschman. And after just two months on the air, Duff Goldman was the star of the most-watched prime-time show on the Food Network.

Photo Caption: Duff Goldman ’98, owner of Charm City Cakes, visits Chef Cavotti’s cake decorating class and talks to students about their designs

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