Judges - Chef Nouel, Chef Alex, Chef Bader and Buddy Valastro. Image Credit: Flash Entertainment

Buddy Valastro, famous for his reality hit television series, Cake Boss, impressed hundreds of fans in Abu Dhabi when he took to the stage at the Emirates Palace on Saturday to share and illustrate cake-decorating tips.

In a stunt that left the audience in awe, Valastro used pink icing to create perfect flower-shaped decorations while blind-folded.

The Cake Boss put on an interactive show, inviting audience members of all ages onto the stage to compete in cupcake challenges. Being his typical humorous, friendly self, Valastro chatted with the contestants and even teased them as they attempted to make replicas of the decorations he illustrated.

“Don’t feel pressurised; there [are] only a thousand people [in the crowd],” he told one audience member as she topped a cupcake with icing. “This looks like an artichoke,” he teased another who was attempting to shape icing into a flower.

His jokes were coupled with a lot of encouragement for the contestants, however, and during the show he shared childhood stories about how he started baking. Valastro, who started baking at the age of 11 at his family’s popular New Jersey bakery, Carlo’s Bakery, attributed his passion for making cakes to his father.

“My dad passed away [when] I was a junior in high school, so I had to drop out of school to go take over the business. I lost my dad, I lost my best friend and I had to be the boss. When I didn’t know something, I did it till I figured it out,” he said.

He added: “Then I started getting really good at cake-decorating and baking. I started [getting inspiration] from my surroundings. To be honest with you, walking around Emirates Palace, my brain is on overload because I look at the details of the architecture around here and it makes me want to make a cake.”

Valastro also discussed how his television show started and showed images of some of his signature cakes including one shaped like an alligator, a life-sized replica of his wife, and his famous 3.6m-tall Transformers cake, among others.

As the audience marvelled at the artistic work on the cakes, he said: “You come to the UAE, we got the tallest building, we got the fastest rollercoasters, so that’s why I think I’m going to open a bakery here; so we have the biggest cakes.”

By the end of the show, with many people leaving the auditorium with cupcakes, the audience was all smiles.

Kellie Jepsen, an Abu Dhabi resident who brought her children to the show, described it as very entertaining. “I came with my daughters who are big fans of Cake Boss — they record the show and watch it over and over again. The [live] show was a lot of fun. [Valastro] can hold an audience well, and he catered for so many people,” she said.

Another audience member, Denise Chance, who has been making cakes as a hobby for the past three years, said she particularly enjoyed watching Valastro’s interaction with the audience.

The show marked Valstro’s first visit to Abu Dhabi, and was part of Abu Dhabi Summer Season, a series of events organised by the Tourism and Culture Authority. Upcoming shows in the Summer Season include Freej Live, Arab Stars Showcase, Sunidhi Chauhan, David Blaine: Real or Illusion and United Nations of Comedy. Tickets are available at www.ticketmaster.ae and Virgin Megastores outlets. Go to thinkflash.ae for more.