Baltimore will always come first in Duff Goldman’s heart. Still, the pastry phenom is embracing his new home in Los Angeles, where he’s about to open a location of Charm City Bakery in Santa Monica. "I think L.A. gets a bad rap from people who don’t live there," Goldman says, talking to us amid a promo tour for his new show, Sugar High. "They call it soulless or vapid or say that it just lacks any sort of depth, and I find that completely untrue." Goldman should know, since he’s been just about everywhere: As you’ll see, he’s constantly on the road overseeing his bakeries, making appearances, and shooting his television series — so much so that we couldn’t really even nail him down for an L.A. Diet. Instead, check out everything he ate during a week that involved trips to Chicago, New York, and Baltimore.
Wednesday, August 3
I was in L.A. that morning. I had about an ounce of pork char siu. I got to the bakery and we had a handful of blueberry muffins, cakes, wraps for a snack. I went out to lunch at Galanga on Santa Monica Boulevard. I had tom kar gai and spicy green beans with tofu and brown rice.
I don’t have a time zone anymore. I’m really traveling, as you’ll see. I’m in a different city every day.
Later, I had a Triple X Vitaminwater. It was the last thing I had, actually.
Thursday, August 4
I was in L.A. and I went to Chicago. It’s a bit boring as I don’t drink coffee. I like the flavor, I just don’t like caffeine. Coffee to me is like cupcakes, just kind of pointless. I think it tastes good, but you know, walking through the airport and you see the airport is totally desolate, but then you see 8,000 people just crowding into Starbucks for their caramel soy macchiato douchebag drinks.
You know, I had this vision the other day: I was walking in the airport, I was tired, I had this William Burroughs–esque vision, like this scene from Naked Lunch, of all these humans, these boneless human beings sort of laying on their sides. And there was this giant big, fat pig with a giant Starbucks logo on the side of it and all the humans were just suckling at 100,000 teets. That’s kind of how I see Starbucks.
While I was flying, my guys drove in to Chicago from Baltimore. I got in around midnight, and actually the first thing I ate that entire day was some leftover pizza that those guys had ordered from room service.
Friday, August 5
Still in Chicago, and I woke up really, really early to deliver a cake to Lollapalooza. They wanted us to make the twentieth anniversary for Lollapalooza, which is really cool. It was a bitchin’ cake. So, that morning, my actual breakfast was eating vegan lemon-poppy-seed cake with Perry Farrell. It was pretty epic. Just ridiculous.
I left there and went to WGN, the Chicago news station, to promote the new show. And I tried to go to Hot Doug’s. It’s really close to the studio and I was excited because Friday is duck-fat-fries day. So we showed up at the place early, but the line was all the way down the block, and I was like, Shit, I can’t get a Doug, I can’t get fries because we’ll be late to the news thing. I know Doug, Doug knows me, we’re homies, but there’s no VIP treatment at Hot Doug’s, no matter who you are. You gotta wait.
Then we went up to the studio and I was promoting all the food I did for Sugar High in Chicago. One of the dishes is called the Motherload, which is a cupcake made out of meatloaf, frosted with mashed potatoes, and it had a demi-glace gravy, so I ate one of those. That was from a place called the Meatloaf Bakery; it’s all like savory cupcakes and spaghetti and mac and cheese. It was really cool.
So I took a bunch of those cupcakes back to the hotel room; there were like four, and I ate all of them that day. So, I dropped them off, went back to Lollapalooza. I guzzled some sweet tea, I think. I drank the whole can and it was a little bit much. It was really hot and I was really thirsty and it was the only thing I drank, and then I realized there was another cooler full of water right next to me. I got back to the hotel and then had another one of those meatloaf cupcakes.
And then, for dinner that night, I had room service. It was a chopped salad. You know, it was room-service chopped salad. It fit the bill. We were watching a really stupid-ass movie and I felt like since I was depleting my I.Q. by watching Your Highness, I might as well eat some room service while I’m there.
Saturday, August 6
Saturday morning I went to Frontera and had the Frontera brunch. It was awesome. I had the chilaquiles. Fuck yeah, that was great. In Baltimore, Golden West Café is one of my favorites for breakfast. They had this thing called the huevos montulenos, which is eggs on top of a corn cake, on top of salsa, on top of rice. It’s basically like a Central American loco-moco.
So that day we went to a private party out in Libertyville, and there I had some really good food. I had fish and chips, which is awesome. I had some really, really good shish kebabs. I had some pork bao and I had some more cake there. I actually really love my cake. I make really good cake, and so I like to eat it. And then I had an imported Mexican Coca-Cola; it’s the only kind I drink. I think that might’ve been it for the day. I forget to eat sometimes, you know? It’s just one of those things.
Sunday, August 7
Sunday, I left Chicago and went to New York. I had those really good cookies that Delta has.
I had some of those on the plane, and then when I got to the Maritime in New York, I had a delicious salmon tartar with avocado with fat toast points, so it’s still kind of soft in the middle, which is my favorite kind of toast points. And I had the orecchiette with bolognese. Usually with bolognese, it’s on a noodle, and I know there’s thousands of years of Italian experience that will tell you noodles and bolognese, that’s how you eat it. I really like bolognese with something smaller, like a macaroni or orchiette — something like that. Noodles are a pain in the ass sometimes. When it comes to pasta, I like more a geometric figure instead of a line.
Before I went to bed, I did eat the entire little box of super-expensive Dean & Deluca jelly beans while I was reading a book. They’re awesome. Buttered popcorn mixed with cinnamon, mixed with cherry, mixed with you know … lime. That’s the cool thing about jelly beans, you get like five in your hand at a time and it’s always a different combination of flavors. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. Forget recipes! I kind of like rolling the dice.
Monday, August 8
I was on Good Morning America. I had some more cake with George Stephanopolous. Then we made ice-cream sandwiches and I had about half of one. I had a white-chocolate-macadamia cookie. Strawberry ice cream. Ice-cream sandwich rolled in Fruity Pebbles, which was kick-ass. It was really good.
We’re doing interviews, interviews, interviews all day. We were supposed to have lunch of dim sum, because we have shit for dim sum in Baltimore, so I was really excited about that. But I was really tired and we had to get up super early for Good Morning America, so I went back to my hotel to sleep, and when I woke up, I ate a package of Kit Kat. You know, there’s food in the room that you eat and you’re like, I’m not paying for this. Then you get the bill and you just ate, like, an eight dollar Kit Kat.
I got to Penn Station to go home and then before I got on the train — you know, if you’re standing where all the gates are and you walk away from the gates and go toward Madison Square Garden, there’s the bookstores on your left and there’s a Taco Bell and all that. As you keep walking past the bookstore, the Taco Bell, past the smoothie shop, past the little Hudson News thing, there’s a pizza place right there that has kick-ass slices. I had two slices of cheese pizza with a ton of Parmesan on top. And I never put Parmesan on my pizza, unless I’m in New York, for some reason. And no shit, I think it’s because of Do the Right Thing, where Radio Raheem is like dumping all that Parmesan on his pizza. It’s just something about a New York slice, it’s just so thin and crispy, and I want that bitter, almost fishy saltiness to my pizza that I don’t like anywhere else.
I don’t eat a lot of pizza. It’s pretty rare. Like sometimes in New York, I’ll try to have a slice if I’m there more than a couple of days. But, that’s it. So then I got back and on the Amtrak, first class, and it was really good food. I wasn’t hungry, because I just ate that pizza, but they had a chocolate cream-cheese mousse in a little cup and I had one of those. That was really good. Then I got back here in time to watch the premiere of Sugar High, and I treated myself to about $70 worth of delivery sushi.