TV's Duff Goldman attacks a black bean arepa courtesy of Hola Arepa
Well, it's not too often that the opportunity to sit down and spend a few minutes with the Ace of Cakes comes along, but it did, so we did. We were recently able to catch up with the legendary maestro of exploding cakes, Duff Goldman, out at Boom Island where he was preparing for a long evening of food trucks and movies. The event featured some of the city's top food trucks, including Chef Shack, Foxy Falaffel, Hola Arepa, World Street Kitchen, and Sushi Fix. Even Duff set up a special dessert truck just for the event.
Hot Dish: Welcome to Minneapolis on this wonderfully overcast afternoon!
Duff Goldman: Thank you. This is one of my favorite cities in America.
HD: Have you been to Minneapolis recently or has it been a while for you?
DG: My band played at First Avenue like 14 months ago or so. I love that club.
HD: Have you had a chance to check out any of the new places we've got going here in terms of bars or restaurants?
DG: No, what's new?
HD: We've got a lot new places opening up on what seems to be an almost weekly basis. We're a big food truck city as you could probably guess based on this event. Do you have a food truck of your own?
DG: No. You know a cake truck would really just be an empty van that you fill up with cake. You don't really have to do anything because there'd be no real cooking involved.
You know, food trucks are a real tough business in terms of trying to break even, but they're cool and it's a great way to get your brand out. You know, if all these places have a brick and mortar shop, it's great to have a truck going around to let people see your store.
HD: As someone who travels quite a bit, what are some of the more unique food truck offerings that you have seen?
DG: That's actually a really tough question, because if there's a food that exists, there's a truck that sells it. I was introduced to bahn mi through food trucks. I think the Big Gay Ice Cream guys are doing a really good job because they have really cool flavors, their marketing is fantastic, and they're goofballs.
I think my favorite story about food trucks is, you know, Roy Choi had the Korean BBQ tacos and I remember seeing a TGI Friday's commercial and in it they were talking about "Come in and get our Korean BBQ tacos." I was like "Wow, it's officially dead, like TGI Friday's has it. Oh man, Roy must be mad!" If I was him, I'd be like man are you kidding me?! That'd be like TGI Friday's selling cakes with fireworks in them. I'd be like, "What, are you serious?! Dicks!"
HD: So, as far as ridiculous foods on food trucks go, what's one thing you've had that just made you stop and say, "Oh, man"?
DG: In Baltimore we have the Cooper's Tavern truck. They make this burger, it's called the Charlie Brown. I think it's like a pound and half of beef, and it's got like bacon, jalapenos, and cheese sauce and stuff like that. They came by one day and said, "Hey, come eat a Charlie Brown," and I was like, "Man, I don't eat like that," but they said come and eat it, so I ate this burger and man, I had the itis for like six hours. I was just dead.
HD: What's the next big thing that people can expect from Duff Goldman?
DG: I've got a new show coming out on E! called L.A. Sugar and it premieres on July 30. It's kind of like Ace of Cakes, but it's about four separate sweet shops. Only one is mine, but I'm the executive producer of the show. It's a lot more work, but it's different. You don't have to be on the whole time, like, "Hey, now we're making this cake, and now we're putting fondant on it, oh, we'd better not drop it!" Now I just get to tell other people to do it.