Photo: Allen Salkin
The star of Ace of Cakes was in New York the other day to promote his new line of cake decorating supplies. He said that in his five years of being on the network, this was one of the first times he had accepted an endorsement deal.
Two he had turned down: a line of Duff Dog Food and the opportunity to be the spokesman for a medicine to treat irritable bowel syndrome.
"The second I got my own show, people were saying 'hey will you be the spokesman for this? Hey can we put your name on that, hey will you endorse this?'" Duff told Slashfood. "I was like 'no, no, and no. I'm a cook. I make cakes. I decorate cakes.'"
The irritable bowel syndrome gig would have paid "a lot of money," he said. "Six figures. It was a four month run of stuff right he middle of football season so every time you'd turn on football, you'd see me."
Not for him, Duff said, although he did acknowledge that the way food TV stars make their real money is from endorsement deals. Nevertheless, the teenage rebel in him has driven his talent agent nuts saying no to deal after deal.
"I haven't really moved on past 17," he said. When he started getting the offers, "I was like 'I don't want to be part of the whole thing.'"
Duff also once received an offer from a competing network to launch their cake show. He would not name the network, but did recount his reaction: "'Are you kidding me? I don't want to be on your freak network. I'm with the chefs. Judge me by the company I keep.'"
Duff said he is excited about his line of decorating supplies, which includes edible spray-on cake graffiti, texture tiles, fondants, icing spatulas and sprinkles.
At the event in Manhattan at the Astor Center, he had invited a local girls charity and some members of the media to use the tools to decorate their own cakes.
I made a mishmash of a cake, using plaid "cake tattoos," blue and red fondant and ribbon-tipped tubes of yellow frosting -- a complicated and yet subtle "Love" cake. There was a lot of craziness on the surface but on the inside it was soft and delicious.