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Duff Gold­man of Charm City Cakes is no stranger to Ath­leisure Mag as we chat­ted with him in this year's An­niver­sary is­sue about com­ing back for an­other race with Chefs Cy­cle (a fundrais­ing en­durance event May 16th - May 18th fea­tur­ing award-win­ning chefs and mem­bers of the culinary com­mu­nity fight­ing hunger out­side the kitchen where pro­ceeds go to No Kid Hun­gry) and how he was pre­par­ing for this ac­tiv­ity. We took some time to chat with Celebrity Chef and Food Net­work per­son­al­ity Duff about his role as a judge for a num­ber of the net­work's shows, in­clud­ing Spring Bak­ing Cham­pi­onship, Kids Bak­ing Cham­pi­onship (to name a few), his part­ner­ship with Bounty, Na­tional Choco­late Chip Cookie Day and his in­ner work­ings as he con­tin­ues to em­brace the magic of bak­ing.

ATH­LEISURE MAG: We loved talk­ing with you ear­lier this year about your prepa­ra­tion to par­tic­i­pate in this year's Chefs Cy­cle - are you ex­cited?

DUFF GOLD­MAN: Yes it starts on May 16th! I'm so ex­cited it's go­ing to be great.

AM: We can only imag­ine! Well, we've been fans of you since your first show with Food Net­work, Ace of Cakes. In our opin­ion, you're the first baker that we knew that rep­re­sented an edgy out of the box style with all of the sweet treats that you cre­ated.

DG: Oh thanks!

AM: Oh yeah, watch­ing you while we grew up, we were struck with how this guy - not to say that you're not del­i­cate, but there is a cer­tain idea you have (at least back at that time) of what a pas­try chef would look like.

DG: Ab­so­lutely!

AM: To see a cool tat­tooed guy bust­ing out with these re­ally cool friends - it was cool. Even if you weren't a baker your­self, it was cool to see that bar­rier be­ing bro­ken and chang­ing the idea of what it means to work in a given pro­fes­sion. So how did you bring that into all of these other Food Net­work shows that you have been a part of es­pe­cially with in­cor­po­rat­ing kids and mak­ing it look cool and fun while tak­ing your ideas from con­cept to re­al­ity?

DG: Well you know, I think that most of cooking is re­ally fun and in­ter­est­ing. It's not that hard to make it seem that way. When the kids are ex­cited about it, it's not hard for those who are watch­ing to see that they are and to want to know more about it. They watch us do what we do and then they're fas­ci­nated. It's like when you pick up a new al­bum from some­body - if some­one else has re­ally got down on that record and tells you - you re­ally have to lis­ten to this record, this beat or chord pro­gres­sion, then you re­ally get into it be­cause some­one you know has brought you some­thing that they think is cool.

I think cooking is the same way, es­pe­cially on TV - you've got to be ex­cited about it. I am - to this day when I put some­thing in the oven, and it starts to rise, to this day, it's still mag­i­cal for me! I still get re­ally ex­cited. When it's work­ing you're like, 'check it out' it's bub­bling, mov­ing, grow­ing and crack­ing! It's do­ing what it's do­ing and it's still neat!

AM: Which is cool and we can to­tally tell that about you be­cause you look like you're lov­ing life! You can tell that you re­ally love the process, the cre­ation of it and the looks on your face - it's price­less.

DG: Yeah man! It never gets old!

AM: We know that the 3rd sea­son of Spring Bak­ing Cham­pi­onship ends this month with the adults. You also judge a num­ber of chil­dren's bak­ing shows on the net­work. How is it work­ing with

these young chefs and bak­ers?

DG: Um a lot messier! Def­i­nitely a lot messier - you al­ways want a lot of pa­per towel nearby be­cause kids are messy. Other than that, the judg­ing is re­ally the same. I'm hon­est and fair and when they mess up, I point it out. I think that with kids, I spend a lit­tle more time on when there is a mis­take on how to cor­rect it. When adults make mis­takes it's usu­ally a bone head move and they know bet­ter. With kids, they haven't made some­thing enough times. They're 10 years old - how much pat­a­chou have they made? So it's like hey you put too many eggs in there - don't put so much in so that you don't have a pud­dle.

AM: Haha ex­actly! So how im­por­tant do you think your role is as a role model to them in terms of giv­ing them that en­cour­age­ment and feed­back?

DG: I think it's re­ally im­por­tant - the kids see me as this big goofy guy, but then they also see me as this ex­pert as it's what I do and what I'm good at. It's re­ally im­por­tant that I never want to dis­cour­age them and I want any chal­lenge that the kids are hav­ing in the kitchen as an op­por­tu­nity for them to learn. So they don't see a mis­take as a mis­take, they see it as an op­por­tu­nity to learn some­thing. That's what makes bak­ing so fas­ci­nat­ing.

I'm still learn­ing at the same pace as I was learn­ing back then. Ev­ery day, I learn some­thing and am do­ing some­thing new. I re­fine my tech­nique, I try some­thing dif­fer­ent and it's im­por­tant as I have been bak­ing for over 20 years! You have to stay awake and if you go on au­topi­lot, you're putting a stake in your ca­reer. You have to be present in the mo­ment and mind­ful when you're bak­ing. You have to just be fas­ci­nated by it as that's what it is.

AM: One of the things we re­ally love is when you take your first bite. Your face lights up, your eyes take it in and we can see there are a lot of wheels turn­ing. What is go­ing on in your head at that mo­ment?

With kids, they haven't made some­thing enough times. They're 10 years old - how much pat­a­chou have they made?

DG: It's funny be­cause I love to eat and I love food. I love tak­ing bites and I love it! The thought process go­ing on in my head is that I want to vis­cer­ally en­joy this bite! Then I have to re­mem­ber that I am judg­ing some­thing so I have to dis­sect it - but I don't want to dis­sect it, I just want to eat it - leave me alone haha! There's al­ways a con­flict go­ing on in my head like - pay at­ten­tion - but then it's so good - but pay at­ten­tion! I just want to chew. But it's usu­ally that when you see that look be­cause I'm con­fused be­tween the two.

AM: For sure when you have that first bite, we see all the synapses fir­ing and you have the best re­sponses com­ing off of the taste! It also seems tough be­cause you only have a few sec­onds to take it in and grasp what it go­ing on. Our team laughs every­time we see it!

DG: I know I take these big stupid bites! It's funny be­cause my girl­friend al­ways yells at me say­ing I need to take smaller bites be­cause I'm go­ing to choke to death. I'm like, I've been tak­ing these big bites for 4 years now, I'm go­ing to be fine.

The other thing that's funny is that I take these bites - be­cause I'm watch­ing the shows and live tweet­ing them and when I'm not on cam­era and I'm just out and when it's a nice restau­rant where there is some­thing new or they are try­ing a new tech­nique - I do the ex­act same face. I look up at the ceil­ing and peo­ple have said - that's the same face from the Bak­ing Cham­pi­onship! I'm like, "it's not an act!"

AM: Tell us about your part­ner­ship with Bounty and how we can keep hav­ing fun while we're clean­ing on the go or dif­fer­ent tips that you have come up with.

DG: Bounty and I part­nered up to cel­e­brate Na­tional Choco­late Chip Day (May 15th) and I came up with a recipe that would be re­ally fun for kids to make - a Rain­bow Choco­late Chip Cookie. I think it's im­por­tant to get kids cooking and bak­ing to see the work and in­gre­di­ents that go into it to get them to start think­ing crit­i­cally at an early age about what they are eat­ing. When you bake with kids, they are re­ally messy but you want to make sure that they are still hav­ing fun. You want to make sure that you keep their at­ten­tion. If you're stop­ping to clean ev­ery 5 mins - it's tak­ing away from the ex­pe­ri­ence. It's im­por­tant to have a re­ally good pa­per towel.

You can clean as you go, be­cause when it gets too messy, you can't do any­thing. You have to keep it clean, but you have to keep it mov­ing. Bounty Pa­per Tow­els re­ally are great, be­cause they don't shred, tear or turn into liq­uid when they get wet. They're re­ally use­ful be­yond just clean­ing up! If you're whisk­ing some­thing in a bowl and don't have an­other hand free, you can take a sheet of Bounty un­der the bowl and whisk it and the bowl won't move around. The same is true for the cut­ting board - it won't slide.

AM: Wow that's re­ally cool!

DG: Yeah it's good! Also when you have

a hot pan like you're sautee­ing a piece of chicken and you have taken the chicken out of a non-stick pan, what you can do is take a sheet of Bounty, ball it up, take the tongs and you rub it on the in­side of the hot pan and it picks up all that grease and cleans the pan re­ally well so that you're not scrub­bing with some­thing ab­bra­sive. You can't do that with a cheap pa­per towel - it's im­pos­si­ble. The other brands start to char and catch fire! It's RE­ALLY good for greas­ing cake pans. You spray the pans, but you don't want the pud­dles so you take a sheet of Bounty and run it in­side your cake pan or tins and it makes it nice and even so it doesn't burn in the oven.

AM: Okay those are some se­ri­ous tips and I wouldn't have known some of those.

DG: Yeah it's re­ally cool!

AM: We know you have your own line of cake mixes, bak­ing tools and more - what are your fa­vorites?

DG: Oh man that's a good ques­tion. My fa­vorite, I'd say the tie dye or the cam­ou­flage cake mix.

AM: Wait - you have camo?

DG: Yeah we have cam­ou­flage. They're so neat. Again, speak­ing to that magic - when you do these things with a kid - you're drop­ping the dif­fer­ent color bat­ters into a pan, that's just fun. You're hav­ing a good time. But then when it comes out and you cut it and you see that it re­ally looks like cam­ou­flage, kid's minds EX­PLODE! They can't be­lieve it and are like, "WHAT, how did this hap­pen?"

AM: That sounds pretty cool! Speak­ing of Na­tional Choco­late Chip Day, we saw the Rain­bow Chip Cook­ies and it re­minds us of the whole "uni­corn­ing" trend that is pop­ping up through­out var­i­ous life­style ver­ti­cals - why are these cook­ies so per­fect to en­joy on this hol­i­day? DG: I wanted a recipe that was go­ing to be good with kids. Kids love touch­ing things and it's a very tac­tile recipe. There are col­ors and then you're rolling them out like snakes and you twist that big snake out and then you have that big mag­i­cal mo­ment that when you cut it, you see all the col­ors that have mushed to­gether and then what's re­ally fun, you get to place each choco­late chip on each piece your­self. It's fun be­cause kids can make smi­ley faces or do their ini­tials with the choco­late chip cook­ies - re­ally dec­o­ra­tive things.

It's a re­ally fun recipe that is pretty in­volved and is not the eas­i­est recipe in the world. I don't dumb it down. I don't dumb it down when I judge the kids and I don't dumb down the recipes or kids. I think about what kids are go­ing to think is fun and some­times it's hard, but they're still go­ing to think it's fun!

AM: That's re­ally cool. Last ques­tion! So June 2nd is Na­tional Donut Day. Do you have a fa­vorite donut that you like to make?

DG: Mm­mmm - I have a fa­vorite one that I like to eat!

AM: Ok make or eat!

DG: Have you ever had the blue­berry cake donuts from 7-Eleven?

AM: No we haven't haha!

DG: It might be my fa­vorite donut in the world!

AM: We will have to try that!

DG: Yeah they are amaz­ing HAHA - I love those things!!!

Make sure you watch Duff and the rest of the judg­ing team for the sea­son fi­nale of Spring Bak­ing Cham­pi­onship on Food Net­work at the end of this month. Also fol­low him on Twit­ter and IG to see more about up­com­ing shows!

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