As every foodie knows, America is a lot more than hot dogs and milkshakes — the real American food scene includes homemade comfort food from the South, fresh produce from the garden, tasty ethnic desserts brought to the United States from all over the world, and everything in between.
The newly published “America the Great Cookbook” seeks to capture this diversity by featuring an intimate glimpse into the lives of more than 100 food personalities, ranging from the mega-famous to the baker down the street.
The $40 book, published by Weldon Owen, seeks to eliminate the lines between the five regions of America and instead, showcases what makes up the various pieces of the nation’s food “pie.”
And this pie is also getting a serving of help. The publisher is donating $20,000 to No Kid Hungry, which provides meals to needy children.
When Anthony Damiano, a lifelong Rahway resident and full-time bartender, tuned in to watch “Cake Boss” on television through the years, he never expected that the cake sculpting and baking skills that he learned through the show would one day bring him straight to the Boss himself.
“A few years ago, I made a cake for a friend who was expecting a baby after I had learned some things from Cake Boss and she asked me where I bought the cake from,” Damiano said. “At that moment, I knew that this was an area I could excel in.”
After years of creating edible art centerpieces shaped like the Eiffel Tower, bouquets, Christmas mantles, Thanksgiving turkeys and more as gifts for friends and family and for fun, Damiano came across a posting on Facebook for a casting call for a new show called “Bakers vs Fakers” on the Food Network. He applied and sent in some photos of his creations, and soon went through more rounds of interviews and even a baking competition before being cast.