On Monday, Nov. 28, TLC debuts the second season of "Cake Boss: Next Great Baker" with a 90-minute premiere, in which 13 aspiring cake artists vie for $100,000, a feature spread in Brides magazine and a chance to work side-by-side with "Cake Boss" star Buddy Valastro at his Carlo's Bakery in New Jersey.
Says Valastro, "This season is bigger and better -- we've doubled the prize, the challenges are tougher, and there's a seasoned 'baker's dozen' fighting it out to prove to me that they have what it takes to hang with the Carlo's crew."
Of course, if you want to work with Valastro, it might be a good idea to learn a bit more about him, so the contestants would do well to study his answers to the following questions.
Q: If you were at a magazine rack and could pick three titles, what would they be?
A: Brides, because they got me my start; Sports Illustrated for my love of sports; and Sport Fishing for my fishing adventures.
Q: If your TV only carried three shows which would you want?
A: "Cake Boss," "Next Great Baker" and "Kitchen Boss" -- as well as "Entourage" and "Dexter."
Q: What's been your strangest fan encounter to date?
A: The fans have been a lot of fun. One little girl rode her bike from Brooklyn to see me; that was crazy.
Q: When's the last time you felt like crying?
A: That's a tough one. I cry every once in a while when talking about my dad and how proud he would be of us all.
Q : If you had to eat one thing every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A: My wife's Sunday gravy. (By the way, for those not from the tri-state area, Valastro means spaghetti sauce, not the stuff you put on mashed potatoes.)
Q: What were your most recent celebrity cakes?
A: I just did a cake for Kanye West, and Keith Richards -- that was cool.