Nani Edry competes on ‘Bake Me Rich’
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.”
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.”