Nani Edry com­petes on ‘Bake Me Rich’

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Local - By Phillip Valys

When you mess with the Cake Boss, you best bring your dough­nut A-game.

That was the mantra Nani Edry re­peated to him­self back in Jan­uary when the dough­nut wiz­ard be­hind Nani’s Dough in Del­ray Beach flew to New York to tape an episode of the Food Net­work’s new com­pe­ti­tion se­ries, “Bake Me Rich.”

When the first episode of “Bake Me Rich” premieres to­day Edry will wa­ger his sweet skills against three other pas­try chefs, whip­ping up treats eye­pop­ping enough to im­press “Cake Boss” Buddy Valas­tro and a panel of judges.

The prize? The win­ner will have their cus­tom con­fec­tion mass-pro­duced at Carlo’s Bak­ery, the fam­ily-owned out­fit in Hobo­ken, N.J., that Vale­stro has trans­formed into his Cake Boss em­pire. Those pas­tries will be sold to the public on Carlo’s Bak­ery’s web­site im­me­di­ately fol­low­ing the episode’s air­ing.

Edry, barred by Food Net­work from spilling the show’s re­sults un­til it airs Sun­day, says he opened strong with his sig­na­ture dish: the doughnnabon, a deep-fried Franken­stein’s mon­ster of a pas­try that’s part­dough­nut, part cin­na­mon bun. Once deep-fried, the sug­ary abom­i­na­tion is drenched in cream-cheese frost­ing, but­ter and more cin­na­mon.

“Some of the con­tes­tants showed up with three-tiered cakes and cup­cake hy­brids, and I was like, ‘Uh, that’s been done,’ ” Edry re­calls. “Amer­ica wants a new cool thing. I think I brought it with the doughnnabon.”

On “Bake Me Rich,” Edry com­peted in three chal­lenges that test how bak­ers mass-pro­duce their pas­tries on fac­tory as­sem­bly lines. Scenes were filmed at Valas­tro’s bak­ery in Hobo­ken, and con­tes­tants also grap­pled with ma­chin­ery sna­fus and judges’ last-minute recipe changes.

A self-taught pas­try­maker who used to spend his morn­ings shap­ing surf­boards on

Oahu’s North Shore, Edry, 35, now spends all day ex­per­i­ment­ing with dough­nuts, craft­ing over­size rings from his scratch sour­dough recipe. Sin­ful, of­ten head-scratch­ing fla­vors such as mochi green tea and plant-based su­per­food dough­nuts, fly out of his ar­ti­sanal shop.

The phone call from the Food Net­work last Septem­ber caught Edry by sur­prise. The chan­nel, seek­ing out com­peti­tors for a new bake-off com­pe­ti­tion, had dis­cov­ered his doughnnabon treat on­line and in­vited him to New York. Edry’s “pipe dream,” he says, is rais­ing up a dough­nut dy­nasty the same way his “Cake Boss” men­tor, Valas­tro, did with Carlo’s Bak­ery.

“On a per­sonal level, [the Cake Boss is] an in­no­va­tive, hard-work­ing dude and a boss busi­ness­man,” Edry says of Valas­tro. “Seeing where he

If you go

Nani’s Dough is open 8

a.m.-2 p.m. Fri­day-Sun­day at 601 N. Congress Ave

#406, Del­ray Beach. Call

561-889-8688 or go to NanisDough.com.

took the torch, c’mon. It was val­i­dat­ing to me to even be called.”

Win or lose, Edry says his next ob­jec­tive is fran­chis­ing Nani’s Dough, even­tu­ally adding lo­ca­tions in San Fran­cisco, Los An­ge­les and Hawaii. But first, he plans to open Nani’s sec­ond lo­ca­tion in down­town Fort Lauderdale by June 7, or Na­tional Dough­nut Day.

“I make crazy dough­nut fla­vors, so I’m not in the habit of play­ing it safe,” Edry says. “What Cake Boss taught me is that you can scale up pro­duc­tion with­out hav­ing to sac­ri­fice qual­ity, so that’s what’s next.”

PHILLIP VALYS/SUN SEN­TINEL

Del­ray Beach baker Nani Edry and his sig­na­ture dough­nut, the doughnnabon (a cin­na­mon bun-dough­nut hy­brid) are com­pet­ing to­day on Food Net­work’s “Bake Me Rich.”

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