Cake Boss: Stories and Recipes from Mia Famiglia

Buddy Valastro, Free Press, $25.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-4391-8351-9
Best known on TLC cable as the Cake Boss, Valastro shares recipes and a sometimes treacly tale of family, tradition, and ambition. A fourth-generation baker born in Hoboken, N.J., Buddy honors his Sicilian father, who taught him his craft, while marking his own rise from apprentice to master baker. His is the American dream told in flashbacks; like his show, the book plays on charm and the idea that to know Buddy is to like his work. Still, the book offers hard-won baking know-how. It conveys the dramatic sweep of Buddy's accomplishments as bolstered by his traditional values and family. For drama, it depicts, as mini-crises, the elaborate challenges and difficult designs that proliferate as Buddy's clientele expands to include Modern Bride and Britney Spears. However, despite great technical descriptions, including his bakery's cannoli recipe and photos of his spectacular cakes, Buddy's tale of immigrant success proves too familiar. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/06/2010
Release date: 11/01/2010
Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-4516-0924-0
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-1-4516-1034-5
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