Buddy vs. Duff Series Premiere recap: Detail vs. showmanship


In the Buddy vs. Duff Series Premiere recap, the battle lines have been drawn. Which style, detail versus showmanship, will earn the Food Network baking title?

The Buddy vs. Duff Series Premiere recap sets the stage for the six week epic baking competition. With two competitions per episode, this Food Network show will finally determine who earns the title king of baking. Which team do you think has the advantage in the kitchen?

The premise of this new Food Network series is fairly straight forward. During each challenge, Buddy and Duff will earn points. At the end of the six weeks, 12 challenges, one baker will be crowned champion. While each baker wants to win every challenge, the cumulative points are key to the title.

For the first challenge, Buddy and Duff tackle a classic favorite family recipe. These two bakers picked extremely difficult pastry recipes. Any good baker knows that a perfectly layered, thin, flakey pastry takes years to master. From the right fat content to the almost see-through consistency, perfect pastry takes a master’s touch.

The two pastries were very different. Buddy went with his bakery’s iconic Lobster Tails. This filled pastry has layer after layer of pastry. Just looking at the rolled layers, the difficulty to get that delicate balance is extremely difficult.

During the judging round, the pastry was described as luscious. The pastry cream, although a little sweet, was creamy and delicious. These pastries are big, definitely a huge portion for the normal person.

For Duff’s pastry, he took a different approach. Using his grandmother’s apple strudel recipe, Duff showcased how a family recipe can be delightful, even with a little tweak.

Again, Duff showed how old school, time honored techniques are key to good baking. From newspaper thin pastry dough to using canvas to roll the strudel, those tips can help any home baker. Sometimes classic techniques will trump new school methodology.

Still, Duff did modify the recipe a little. The addition of lemon juice and orange zest was a switch. Although the flavor was bright, it might have been a touch too tart. While the dough was crisp and caramelized, the tartness was controversial.

In the end, the first round went to Buddy. His extra layer of technique and slight edge to difficulty, earned him the first round win. Although only one point separate the two bakers.

By showcasing the baking, not just the cake, aspect to this competition is smart for the Food Network. While flamboyant cakes are visually impressive, most home bakers won’t go to those extremes. Still, the home baker can learn some great tips and techniques in these baking challenges.

For the second challenge, Buddy and Duff must create car themed cakes for car guru, Richard Rawlings. To celebrate his 50th birthday, these cakes need to be all about his love of cars. While each baker went in totally different directions, both cakes were quite impressive.

In true Buddy style, his car cake was huge. With the idea of go big or go home, this cake was definitely big. The hot rod cake with Richard in the car was definitely a statement.

While big cakes are impressive, Buddy’s cake did appear a little cartoonish. By missing some little details, the cake seemed lacking. Of course, it was way over the top. Still, those little details, like seams, equal spacing, etc., needed to be corrected.

Duff went in the total opposite direction. His cake was huge on details. The low-rider car looked almost picture perfect. While the hydraulics didn’t make the car bounce, the hand-painted details were stunning.

Overall, Duff nailed the car theme. From how the cake was displayed to the gum paste engine, his artistry couldn’t be matched.

Winning the cake challenge was Duff. Based on the details, Duff earned the win. Although, the final scoring was within a point.

After the decision, Buddy stormed out of the shot. It is unclear whether this incident was for show or something else. Truthfully, this choice made the show a little sad.

Of course, this show is a competition, but it sets a poor example. Everyone must stand behind a judge’s decision, even if you disagree. Being a poor loser isn’t acceptable.

Granted, Food Networking is trying to make an entertaining show. Smack talk was going to be part of the program. But, Buddy’s choice wasn’t a good one. This competition and Food Network do not need to go this this level.

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What did you think of Buddy vs. Duff Series Premiere? Are you a member of Team Buddy or Team Duff?