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.
There aren’t many cities left in the United States where you can find 100-year-old Italian bakeries, restaurants and groceries on every corner, sporting owners that still speak with thick Italian accents.
However, we have one right around the corner in Hoboken — and a food tour run by a local to offer New Jerseyans a back-stage pass to all that’s authentically Italian.
The Mangia Hoboken Food and Culture Tour, a 3½-hour $48 tour that includes eight hearty samples, was founded and has been run by Hoboken resident Avi Ohring for the last eight years.
Ohring, a Hoboken resident for the last 30 years, started and planned the tour itinerary, based on his knowledge of local Italian hangouts, right before the launch of “Cake Boss” in early 2009.