Classically trained at Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, California, Chef Duff Goldman worked under such notable chefs as Jessie Llapitan, now Executive Chef of the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, and Chef Jason Rogers, of Olives in Aspen, and now at the Borgata of Atlantic City. Duff left Colorado to cook and bake bread for Todd English’s Olives back in Washington, D.C., and worked under Executive Chef Steve Mannino. His entrepreneurial spirit took him back to Baltimore in 2000, where he finally realized his dream and opened Charm City Cakes in his apartment. He wasn’t there very long; as word-of-mouth, the media, and even the health department all began to take an interest, and he soon found himself in a real bakery of his very own. Increased coverage in the press, and a growing clients list helped propel Duff into an even bigger location: an old church he retrofitted into his current modern bakery, a converted church in the Remington area of his adopted hometown – and the Charm City Cakes as we know it was firmly established.
As word about his unusual and daring cakes got out, Duff hired staff with more artistic experience than the typical pastry chef, like painters, architects and sculptors. His out-of-the-ordinary team is known for producing highly creative cakes that range from Star Wars characters and vehicles, to a replica of the Stanley Cup, to a working life-size motorcycle, a Hogwarts Castle for Warner Bros. and their premiere of Harry Potter.
Following several appearances on its cake competition Challenge series, in 2006, Food Network tapped Chef Duff and his fellow cake baking artists at Charm City Cakes to star in Ace of Cakes. After six years and ten seasons, the show was broadcast in over 40 countries worldwide.
In addition to his work on Ace of Cakes, Duff has been featured in episodes of The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Iron Chef America, The Next Food Network Star, Diners, Drive-Ins, and Drives, Chefs vs. City, Cupcake Wars, Sugar High and Chopped. Duff continues to be a staple on the Food Network year-round starring on Duff Till Dawn and as a judge on Kids Baking Championship, Spring Baking Championship and Holiday Baking Championship. Today, Duff’s work has also been featured on Oprah, Good Morning America, Fox News, The Today Show, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
Chef Duff has also made his first foray into the publishing world with the New York Times bestseller, Ace of Cakes: Inside the World of Charm City Cakes. He most recently released his second cookbook, Duff Bakes: Think and Bake Like a Pro at Home, October 2015.
In 2012, Cakemix opened its doors in Los Angeles. The one-stop cake decorating shop allows visitors to decorate their own cakes.
In addition to owning and operating Charm City Cakes and Charm City Cakes West, Duff is also a sculptor, artist, and musician. In 2011, Duff was nominated for two James Beard Foundation awards for both “Best TV Food Personality/Host” and “Best Television Program.”