Buddy Valastro

The secret ingredient in his happy life: family. The rest is just icing on the cake.
Buddy Valastro

Rachael Ray: It looks like you've got a superhero assistant in the kitchen with you today!

Buddy Valastro: Yeah, that's my 4-year-old son, Marco. He and my oldest son, Buddy, basically live in their Superman pj's.

RR: What are some of Superman's favorite foods? Is it the pigs in blankets, waffles or pancakes in your freezer?

BV: Marco eats just about everything. He's also a big pasta guy, and loves anything from our bakery, like chocolate chip cookies and cupcakes. My daughter, Sofia, is a good eater, but Buddy doesn't like veggies or anything. He's all about junk food.

RR: Do you have any advice for parents of picky eaters?

BV: I try to make eating fun for the kids. With Buddy I'll say, "This spinach is what makes Popeye strong," and then ask him to flex his muscles after he takes a bite. I also have the kids help me cook. If they make dinner, they'll be more motivated to eat it.

RR: Does your wife, Lisa, like to cook?

BV: Oh, my wife is a wonderful cook. She comes from a foodloving Italian family -- her father owned a pizzeria! One of her signature dishes is her awesome veal osso buco. My favorite is her Sunday gravy, a really flavorful, meaty sauce. We often have whole-family dinners and she'll make a huge spread with pasta, meatballs, bresaola [Italian dried beef], that kind of stuff. She's a pro in the kitchen.

RR: Say the word, Buddy, and I'll be at your door next Sunday. Tell me, are you more comfy baking in your Cake Boss bakery or cooking on the set of Kitchen Boss?

BV: Filming Kitchen Boss is pretty fun, and I'm starting to get more comfortable doing it. But I have to say, Rachael, you're one of my idols as a cooking-show host, because we're the same type of cook. We didn't go to culinary school -- we just grew up around great family and food, and learned from watching and doing. I want recipes to be relatable and accessible. I want somebody in Iowa to be able to go buy all the ingredients. Cook with your heart and good ingredients, and you'll be a success.

RR: Thanks, Buddy! We both had the best on-the-job training. So, I heard you're opening a pizzeria in Hoboken, New Jersey, this summer. Do you have a secret to your dough?

BV: We'll be using a special flour imported from Italy, but our secret is adding a bit of potato to the dough. We're calling the place Sofia's Brick Oven Pizza. I promised my daughter I'd name my first restaurant after her, but now the other kids are like, "Dad, what about us?" I'm gonna have to open four restaurants!

RR: Better get cracking! Okay, last question: If you could invite anyone to a family dinner, who would you invite and why?

BV: It would definitely be my father. He passed away when I was 17, and he was my best friend. Spending a little more time with him would be awesome. We'd probably laugh and eat for hours. That would be a good night.

 

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