Duff Goldman

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Duff Goldman
Duff goldman.jpg
Jeffrey Adam Goldman

(1974-12-17) December 17, 1974 (age 48)
EducationUniversity of Maryland, Baltimore County
The Culinary Institute of America
SpouseJohnna Colbry
Culinary career
Current restaurant(s)
Television show(s)

Jeffrey Adam " Duff" Goldman[1] is a pastry chef, television personality, and cookbook author. He is the executive chef of the Baltimore-based Charm City Cakes shop, which was featured in the Food Network reality television show Ace of Cakes, and his second, Los Angeles-based, shop Charm City Cakes West, which is featured in Food Network's Duff Till Dawn and "Cake Masters" series.[2] His work has also been featured on the Food Network Challenge, Iron Chef America, Oprah, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Man v. Food, Buddy vs. Duff, Duff Takes the Cake, and Duff's Happy Fun Bake Time.

Early life[edit]

Goldman was born in Detroit, Michigan, to a Jewish family. He moved shortly thereafter to Missouri. Goldman's nickname Duff came about when he was a baby.[3] His toddler brother, Willie Goldman, was unable to pronounce Jeffrey and kept saying Duffy.[1] When he was four, his mother caught him in her kitchen wielding a meat cleaver and watching food personality Chef Tell.[4]

After the divorce of his parents when he was ten, Goldman spent time living in both Northern Virginia and in the town of Sandwich on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.[5] In 1992, Goldman attended McLean High School in McLean, Virginia where he played on the Highlanders ice hockey team. In 1993, he graduated from Sandwich High School[1][6][7] in Sandwich.

From the age of fourteen, he began to work in kitchens; his first job was at a bagel store at a mall.[8] Goldman also worked as a fry cook at McDonald's. Goldman has said that when he was a sophomore in college, he went to what he considered the finest restaurant in Baltimore, Charleston, and was inspired to apply as a cook there. The head chef, Cindy Wolf, looked at his résumé and noted that it consisted of irrelevant experience. However, Cindy did offer him a job to make cornbread and biscuits only, and this is what Goldman cites as the turning point in his career.[9]

Shortly after college at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, he attended schools such as Corcoran College of Art and the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in Napa Valley, California. After working under acclaimed chefs in California, including a stagiaire position at the French Laundry[10] and as executive pastry chef of the Vail Cascade Hotel in Colorado,[11] he returned to Washington, D.C., to work at Todd English's Olives restaurant[12] baking bread.[13]

Charm City Cakes[edit]

Charm City Cakes

In 2002, Goldman opened his own business called Charm City Cakes. Initially, his cake sales began as he worked out of his house in Charles Village in Baltimore, Maryland with the help of two assistants he employed.[2] As demand grew, he hired more employees, hiring painters, architects, and sculptors to work in the bakery.[14] Charm City Cakes frequently uses blow torches, as well as power tools such as grinders and drills to help create the underlying supports of cakes.[15]

Goldman has made cakes for president Barack Obama's second inaugural ball in 2013,[16] Tom Clancy, the cast of Lost, the 30 Rock cast (along with a cake prop), Sir Roger Moore,[17] and for Katy Perry's "Birthday" video.[18]


Goldman has written three cookbooks: Ace of Cakes: Inside the World of Charm City Cakes, Duff Bakes: Think and Bake Like a Pro at Home,[19] and Super Good Baking for Kids.[20][21]

Other televised appearances[edit]

In 2022, Goldman competed in season seven of The Masked Singer as "McTerrier" of Team Good. After the performance of Loverboy's "Working for the Weekend", McTerrier's mask accidentally came off and he had to shield his head while the panelists shielded their eyes until a crew member had to run out and put the mask back on. He was the first to be eliminated.[22]

Goldman is a judge on several Food Network cooking competitions, such as Holiday Baking Championship, Spring Baking Championship and Kids Baking Championship. He co-hosts the last show with Valerie Bertinelli.

Personal life[edit]

As of 2021, Goldman lives in Los Angeles, California. He played bass guitar in an indie-rock band called "...soihadto...".[1] He later became the bass player in the band Foigrock (a play on foie gras and rock and roll). He states his alternate dream job would be to perform as a bass player with the band Clutch. Goldman has made a wedding cake for Clutch's lead singer, Neil Fallon.[23][24] In addition, Fallon's younger sister and Goldman's friend from college, Mary Alice Fallon-Yeskey, works at Charm City Cakes as the office manager.[25]

Goldman is Jewish. He is involved in Tzedakah.[26] In an interview with Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, Goldman said "Tzedakah is very important to me. I’ve been so fortunate with everything that has happened to me, it would be a crime not to give back."[27]

In 2012, Goldman lost toes in a motorcycle accident.[28]

On April 2, 2018, Goldman proposed to Johnna Colbry,[29] whom he later married.[30] On September 25, 2019, Goldman spoke at Cornell University, discussing the importance of Jewish identity and tzedakah in his life.[31] On August 8, 2020, the couple announced they were expecting their first child, expected in January 2021.[30] In January 2021, their daughter Josephine Frances Goldman was born.[32]



  1. ^ a b c d "710 Things You Didn't Know About... Duff " Archived August 19, 2010, at the Wayback Machine,The Food Network Retrieved on August 3, 2010.
  2. ^ a b Julekha Dash. "Audacity brings chef sweet success." Baltimore Business Journal. Accessed January 20, 2007. Retrieved on January 20, 2007.
  3. ^ "‘Raising Duff Goldman, A Mother’s Perspective by Jacqueline Winch" Archived August 9, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved on August 3, 2010.
  4. ^ Staff Writer. Following an undergraduate education at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)—where he graduated with a degree in East Asian History with a minor in ethics—he attended the Culinary Institute of America (Greystone) in Napa Valley, California, "About Duff the Baker Archived January 23, 2007, at the Wayback Machine." Charm City Cakes – Official Website. Accessed January 20, 2007. Retrieved on January 20, 2007.
  5. ^ Food Network, Best Thing I Ever Ate, "Hometown Favorites", Episode January 8, 2010
  6. ^ Goldfarb, Bruce. "The Sweet Life of Duff Goldman", Welcome To Baltimore Hon, September 14, 2009. Retrieved on August 3, 2010.
  7. ^ ", The Cape Relay, Retrieved on August 3, 2010.
  8. ^ Food Network's Chefology teaser, August 9, 2009
  9. ^ Julie Scelfo "Bake It Like a Man Archived January 21, 2007, at the Wayback Machine." MSNBC Newsweek Entertainment. Accessed January 20, 2007. Retrieved on January 20, 2007.
  10. ^ "Food & Wine Festival Palm Desert 2011 Participating Chefs". Palm Springs Life. Desert Publications, Inc. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  11. ^ "Chef Duff Goldman on Business Rockstars". kfwbam.com. Radio KFWB 980. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  12. ^ Valdespino, Anne. "For celebrity pastry chef Duff Goldman, life is a piece of cake". www.losangelesregister.com. Los Angeles Register. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  13. ^ Gluck, Robert. "'Food Network' personality embraces tzedakah, grows his brand". www.jns.org. JNS.org | News Service. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  14. ^ "Duff Goldman". lacookieconvention.com.
  15. ^ McCauley, Mary Carole (January 31, 2010). "Charm City Baker Set To Show Off His Range". The Baltimore Sun.
  16. ^ McKeever, Amy (January 22, 2013). "Behold Duff Goldman's Star-Spangled Inaugural Cake". eater.com. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  17. ^ "Watch "The Spy Who Caked Me": Ace of Cakes Full Length Episodes Online". Archived from the original on March 25, 2009. Retrieved August 23, 2009.
  18. ^ Scharper, Julie (April 16, 2014). "Duff Goldman bakes the cakes for Katy Perry's 'Birthday' video". Baltimore Sun Media Group. The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  19. ^ Goldman, Duff (November 3, 2015). Duff Bakes: Think and Bake Like a Pro at Home. ISBN 978-0062349804.
  20. ^ "Chef Duff Goldman Is Releasing His First-Ever Cookbook for Kids". PEOPLE.com. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  21. ^ September 2020, Jane Marion | (September 3, 2020). "Duff Goldman Cooks Up a Cookbook for Kids". Baltimore Magazine. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  22. ^ Lauren Huff (March 9, 2022). "The Masked Singer reveals first out of season 7: McTerrier didn't want to be a 'jackass,' but 'totally screwed it up'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 17, 2022.
  23. ^ "Duff Goldman". Food Network.
  24. ^ "Baltimore Sun: Baltimore breaking news, sports, business, entertainment, weather and traffic". baltimoresun.com.
  25. ^ Alan H. Feiler, "Flour Power", Baltimore Jewish Times, March 2, 2007
  26. ^ "American Jewish Life Magazine". web.archive.org. March 4, 2016. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  27. ^ News – Views
  28. ^ "Ace of Cakes' Duff Goldman Lost Toes in Crash, Still Rides Motorcycle". Us Weekly.
  29. ^ France, Lisa Respers. "'Ace of Cakes' star gets engaged with twine". CNN. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  30. ^ a b "Food Network Star Duff Goldman Expecting First Child With Wife Johnna: 'Our Biggest Adventure Yet'". PEOPLE.com. August 8, 2020.
  31. ^ Kilpatrick, Aliyah (September 26, 2019). "Duff Goldman, Renowned Celebrity Baker, Reflects on Career and Jewish Identity". The Cornell Daily Sun.
  32. ^ VanHoose, Benjamin (February 2, 2021). "Food Network's Duff Goldman Praises 'Strong' Wife Johnna After Welcoming Daughter: 'Natural Mom'". People. Retrieved February 3, 2021.
  33. ^ Raneri, Joel (January 2019). "Buddy Valastro and Duff Goldman Battle to be Crowned the Undisputed King of Cake". Food Network. Retrieved March 2, 2019.
  34. ^ "Duff Takes The Cake" – via www.foodnetwork.com.
  35. ^ Hendricks, Jaclyn (February 28, 2019). "Tiffany Haddish and Pete Wentz heading to 'Double Dare'". Page Six. Retrieved March 2, 2019.