• HE HAS A WAY WITH POWER TOOLS
Host of the Food Network’s Ace of Cakes, Goldman, 31, uses blowtorches and, yes, chain saws to create such masterpieces as a scaled-down Harley Davidson, a life-size penguin and a smoking volcano. If on nothing else, fans Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton agree that his wares take the cake. And he charges from $6 a slice to $20,000 for a major job.
• HE’S NO BETTY CROCKER
Growing up in McLean, Va., and on Cape Cod, Goldman, who lives with his girlfriend Sofia Rodriguez, nurtured his creativity by spraying graffiti on trains. “You know how people say ‘He marches to the tune of a different drummer’? In our family,” says his mom, Jackie Winch, a stained-glass artist, “we say Duff has got himself a whole other orchestra.”
• HE KEEPS HIS COOL
Goldman, who trained at the Culinary Institute of America in Greystone, Calif., and hires only artists to work in his Charm City Cakes bakery in Baltimore, cracked a joke when one of his cakes crumbled on the set. Sitting in the audience, his mom overheard a Food Network suit say, “Stick with this guy, he’s good TV.”