A Food Network veteran is bringing curiosity about cooking to the forefront with a brand new show that is fun for the whole family.
Duff Goldman is launching his new show, “Duff’s Happy Fun Bake Time,” on Discovery+ this week. The “Ace of Cakes” star hits the stage with a band of puppets from The Jim Henson Company, teaches the basics of cooking and how ingredients work together to create the food we love.
Goldman says that the idea came to him one day while he was watching the age-old classic “Sesame Street.”
“I was in my apartment baking and watching ‘Sesame Street.’ I think [Sesame Street] is a work of art, and I thought this could be a really good show to have puppets and baking,” said Goldman. “The way that ‘Sesame Street’ teaches things is fascinating to me. They choose such neat vehicles for conveying information, and I thought that could be fun to do with baking.”
Goldman says that the show is essentially “Monty Python” meets “Pee Wee’s Playhouse” meets “Good Eats.” The show features Goldman leading the way in teaching the cooking or baking concepts in each episode while his puppet sidekicks come along for the journey. As a long-time fan of Jim Henson, Goldman was thrilled to be able to work with the Jim Henson Company to build and act out the puppets that appear on “Duff’s Happy Fun Bake Time.”
“The Jim Henson creature shop that built the puppets, I gave them a couple of drawings and they went to work and created a whole world,” Goldman. “They understand how to do this unlike anyone else in the world and they do it so well. I’m such a huge fan. I’ve been a fan for a long time, working with them was an absolute dream come true in the most real sense.”
Some of Goldman’s puppet friends include Couscous, his sous chef who stays on top of what everyone is doing and helps Goldman with information about baking; a big dragon that uses its mouth as the oven in Goldman’s kitchen; Slater, a chilled-out sloth who is full of questions and lives on the ceiling; a group of hungry penguins that live in the freezer; a crabby Baltimore blue crab, Edgar, named for Edgar Allan Poe who acts like he doesn’t like any of the food; Dizzy, the elephant mixer; and six eggs which different grandma personalities who give Goldman old wifes’ tale cooking advice. The show also features Goldman’s real-life business partner who plays his grocer, bringing him ingredients when he needs them and plays a silly song.
What sets “Duff’s Happy Fun Bake Time” apart from other instructional cooking shows, aside from the puppets, is that not only will Goldman show you how to make the recipe, he and the puppets will explain why certain things happen in the cooking process.
“We really go into why things happen. All of the recipes are real and you can watch as just a cooking show — when we’re making pasta, ice cream, nacho cheese-stuffed pretzels, you can learn how to do that,” said Goldman. “If you really pay attention, you can learn why eggs make cake batter the way it is, or where gluten comes from and why needed for bread, why some bread is chewier than others. How ice cream is made on a molecular level, and what is the difference between ice cream and frozen milk.”
Plus, Goldman says that he gets to be a big kid on set.
“I get to dress up in different costumes, like a pirate, a deep-sea diver, a tuxedo, a suit of armor, get to wear a lizard monster outfit and destroy a small city. I am an egg yolk molecule, an egg white molecule, and a tastebud in a band called ‘The Tastebuds’ where I play every tastebud,” said Goldman. “Getting to be a big kid and play in the world designed for a big kid is a blessing, I am blessed.”
Goldman says that those who tune in to “Duff’s Happy Fun Bake Time” are in for a hilarious journey that is really going to engage your inner curiosity while giving kids and adults alike a good laugh.
“First, you’re gonna laugh a lot. There’s a lot of silliness, kids are going to crack up but adults are going to say, ‘Oh that’s funny.’ The really great thing is that the show is designed to excite curiosity,” said Goldman. “For me, it’s my measure of a person to see how curious they are. By making something, the goal is to get people to look at the world and see how it works, that’s how to learn and grow. That’s how crafting works, whether you’re making a cake or are a carpenter or mechanic or something similar, that’s how you understand the craft is by asking questions, trying, messing up and learning why things the way you are. We are doing that through food — I want people to be curious.”
Goldman is immensely proud of how “Duff’s Happy Fun Bake Time” has turned out, stating that
“I have never been so proud of something. Seeing it come together was amazing, the work of puppeteers is world-class, incredible and hilarious,” said Goldman. “I’m proud of all of my shows, but there is something about the art of television that is just as interesting to me as being a cake decorator. To be able to bring it to this level with actors and scripts has been incredible.”
“Duff’s Happy Fun Bake Time” premieres on Discovery+ on April 29.