The untold truth of Buddy Valastro's wife, Lisa

Cake Boss star Buddy Valastro's wife Lisa Valastro is a reality TV star in her own right. She's been a recurring character in the reality television series Cake Boss that shows the goings-on inside the famed Carlo's Bakery — Buddy's family business — in Hoboken, New Jersey. Most episodes revolve around the Boss and his family of sisters, brothers-in-law, aunt, and cousins whipping up pastries and conceptualizing larger-than-life cakes. And then there are some episodes that delve into the private life of Buddy and Lisa, with cameo appearances by their four children Sofia, Buddy Jr, Marco, and Carlo. With the main spotlight always on the cake decorating maestro, what we see in the show are only fleeting glimpses of Lisa.

For Buddy, Lisa is his best friend, an "incredible, supportive wife" and an "amazing, caring mother". The couple renewed their wedding vows on a Disney cruise, a decade after they got hitched in 2001 — this time in the presence of their children. The duo has it sorted out when it comes to dividing responsibilities. "He is the cake boss, I am the cook boss," Lisa said in an episode of The Chew. While Buddy takes care of the bakery business, Lisa has things in control at home. She plays the bad cop with the kids, while Buddy slides easily into the good cop role. She and Buddy, as it turns out, have never had a fight! Here's all you need to know about the woman behind the Cake Boss' success. 

Buddy Valastro's wife co-hosts a podcast called What's up Cuz?

While Cake Boss gives a good peek into the personal lives of Buddy and Lisa Valastro and their kids, Lisa's podcast What's up Cuz? takes it up a notch. Co-hosted with comedian Erica Spera, producer of 607 Comedy, the podcast covers all that goes on in the Valastro family when the cameras are off.

In the podcast, Lisa candidly talks about the challenges that come with being the wife of a popular television star, and a social figure herself. "Before Cake Boss started, I never really pinpointed all the imperfections in my body. Until, unfortunately, social media started pinpointing it out for me," she says in an episode of the podcast. Even if she tries her best to look decent standing next to her celebrity husband, she adds, people would still find something wrong with her appearance. Sadly, for Lisa, it has gotten to a point that she doesn't feel like posting a photo on Instagram (where she has 664,000 plus followers) anymore.

The episodes give an unfiltered view of the Valastro household, where kids have curfews, and holiday get-togethers are a big celebration – like in any other normal family. The weekly podcast was launched in July 2020, and was listed among the iTunes Top 20 podcasts in October 2020.

Buddy Valastro's wife grew up in a strict Italian family

Lisa is a first-generation Italian-American. Her mom, Gloria Belgiovine is an immigrant from Molfetta in Southern Italy. Lisa was the oldest child and the oldest grandchild in her family. "My mom and dad were so strict with me..." she said in an episode of What's Up Cuz?. She was allowed to go to movies on Friday nights only. But there were rules even around that. "I had to be home by 9 p.m., but the kicker is while I was in the movie, I had to get out every hour to go to the payphone to call my mom and check-in!" she added. And this was the '90s, when the majority of people didn't own a cell phone. 

But, defending her folks' strict parenting style, Lisa said that as immigrants fresh off the boat from Italy, "they did their best for what they knew!" A mother of four, Lisa is a relatively less strict mom. She is okay with her teenage daughter, Sofia, and son, Buddy Jr, dating and going to parties, as long as they are back by midnight. She is opposed to the idea of them taking Uber all by themselves though. She would rather drive them from one party to another, even if that means that she has wait in the parking lot for two hours (via What's up Cuz?).

Buddy Valastro's wife has her own cooking show

While Buddy Valastro can whip up many a mouthwatering cake, when it comes to cooking at home, his wife is the boss. Lisa has a 26-episode show called Lisa's Home Cooking on Cake House — Cake Boss Buddy's official Youtube channel. Launched in 2018, it was initially called Easy Italian with Lisa Valastro, and the first five episodes — all done in January 2018 — had the reality star demonstrating how to cook popular Italian dishes such as bruschetta, fresh tomato sauce, egg balls, roasted tomatoes and garlic spaghetti, and Cacio e pepe (pasta with cheese and pepper). Since February 2018, the show was renamed Lisa's Home Cooking, and it continued until January 2019.

Some videos are shot in her home kitchen in New Jersey, and some in the outdoor kitchen of their house along the Jersey shore. The show gives a generous glimpse of the Cake Boss family's kitchen, while also revealing interesting trivia about Lisa herself. For example, now we know that Lisa's favorite vegetable is zucchini, and her favorite kitchen tool is a garlic press. She said: "This tool travels with me everywhere. If I have to cook somewhere, this always goes in my pocketbook" (via TLC).

All the dishes featured in the show are made with fresh ingredients. They're what Lisa makes at home for her family. They even include her children's favorites: mashed sweet potatoes with marshmallows and sugar, and a pasta and broccoli one-pot meal. 

Lisa Valastro married Buddy Valastro long before he became famous

Buddy and Lisa Valastro knew each other growing up. Buddy's second cousin and neighbor was Lisa's best friend. "We used to see each other all the time when we went to visit," she said in an interview. Things never moved further, until one Christmas, Buddy's cousins came from Italy to visit, and one of them asked her to join them for clubbing. That was the first time they went out together — she was 19 and he was 22. "We were inseparable ever since," she said in an episode of Cake Boss

Buddy was just a baker back then, with no clue of the fame that awaited him. He had to drop out of high school to manage Carlo's Bakery after his dad passed away (via Delish). In the initial years at the bakery, Buddy worked late nights. Lisa would bring him food, and hang out watching him decorate, he said. They tied the knot in October 2001. It was not until 2009, when Cake Boss launched, that Buddy and Lisa's life changed forever. 

Carlo's Bakery became so popular that the line for the bakery went around the block. While before, she had her husband all to herself, after the show began, she said, "I share him with millions of people." While she accepts that it is stressful at times, she wouldn't trade her life situation for anything else for she knows it's her Buddy's dream come true.

Lisa Valastro's mom is a professional baker

Lisa Valastro's mother Gloria Belgiovine, who comes in many episodes of Cake Boss, has her own bakery called Gloria's Amazing Cookies. The website offers freshly baked biscotti cookies with hazelnut chocolate, sugar powder heart cookies, hazelnut chocolate pie, and more. The recipe for the cookies has been passed down for generations and is the same that Belgiovine's grandmother used to make for her, growing up in Italy.

Belgiovine has studied culinary sciences and managed businesses such as a pasta factory and a pizzeria and deli. She co-runs the bakery with Yvonne Rodriguez, who previously owned a line of fashion boutiques. Announcing the launch of her mom's business in August 2020, Lisa wrote in her Instagram post: "My mom launched her very own cookie business, something that she always dreamed of. These are the cookies we grew up eating and now my kids are also making and enjoying them!"

Cookies aside, Belgiovine was instrumental in introducing a new tradition in Carlo's bakery. Buddy writes in his book Cake Boss: Stories and Recipes from Mia Famiglia that it was upon seeing Belgiovine in the midst of her annual tradition of making fresh tomato sauce from the last of the season's tomatoes that he decided to turn his bakery into a sauce factory for a day and make sauce out of ten bushels of tomatoes. The result came out so well that he decided to continue it as a tradition at the bakery every year.

Lisa Valastro had the delivery of her fourth child filmed for Cake Boss

For Lisa Valastro, it took a few years to get used to the constant presence of a camera crew at Carlo's Bakery. She said in an episode of What's up Cuz?: "I was never on camera before, I was never in the TV business. I didn't know what to expect. All of a sudden you wake up one day, and there are 15 camera people and sound people listening and looking at every single move you make." Now, with Cake Boss running for over a decade, the crew has become like their family, she said. "I have even let them into my delivery room. You've got to feel real comfortable to do that," she said.

The delivery of Lisa and Buddy's fourth son, Carlo Salvatore Valastro (named after Carlo Guastaferro who established Carlo's Bakery that was later bought by Buddy's dad), was recorded as part of an episode of Cake Boss. There were two camera guys, two sound guys, and 15 producers in the room next door who were in charge of filming the birth of baby Carlo for the Cake Boss episode.

The camera people could only shoot from behind the head, of course. Lisa said that the only reason she okayed filming the delivery was that it was her fourth and she knew what to expect. That, and the fact that — lucky her — her delivery was easy, she said.

Buddy Valastro's wife is organized when it comes to planning meals

With four kids in the house, a celebrity husband, and a large extended family, life can be pretty chaotic if not well-planned. And Lisa knows that. This is why, at the beginning of the week, she makes a run to the supermarket and decides her menu for the week based on what looks fresh. Her idea of a meal is usually a combination of vegetables, proteins, and carbs (via What's up Cuz?).

Sunday, in the Valastro house, is synonymous with tomato sauce. Lisa makes the fresh tomato sauce with six pounds of Jersey plum tomatoes, enough to last the week. The sauce can be coupled with pieces of meat, meatballs, or pasta. "My mom taught us how to make the fresh tomato sauce. It was a Sunday tradition in my house. We did it so many times that it's such a second nature to us right now," she said in an episode of Lisa's Home Cooking.

When it comes to preparing dishes for the holiday, Lisa has a whole different game plan. She decides on a menu and starts prep work three days before Christmas. With two days to go, she cleans the vegetables and makes her lasagna. One the day before, she cooks the vegetables. On Christmas morning, all she has to do is heat the trays of food in the oven and get ready for the party.

Buddy Valastro's wife can bake a decent cake herself

Let's not compare her baking skills with that of her husband, who has made a 14-feet-long 1,000-pound Alligator cake for the New Jersey Aquarium among other equally wild creations. While Lisa Valastro hasn't attempted anything as adventurous, she sure has been sincere with baking a cake each year for the Cake Boss' birthday on March 18.

In 2018, she made a four-tiered cake covered with Reeses. "It's a tradition for me and the kids to make Dad his birthday cake every year! It usuuually falls over before he even gets home but for a few minutes, it looks pretty great," she wrote, on Instagram. In 2019, the cake was a massive three-tiered one loaded with wafers, cookies, and mini doughnuts on the sides.

The passion for baking runs in the family. Their daughter Sofia, who has appeared in several episodes of Cake Boss, makes eye-popping ice cream cone cupcakes and cake pops with ease. In one video, she, along with her youngest sibling Carlo, make a rainbow tie-dye sprinkle cake which looks like something that would go right on her dad's bakery shelf. Their son Buddy Jr's M&M chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich-making process almost seems like child's play. Only, in reality, it's quite an extensive process.

Buddy Valastro's wife stays fit by trampolining

Lisa Valastro shared a "before and after" collage of herself in August 2019. In the "after" image it was quite apparent that Valastro had lost oodles of weight.  Her fitness secret, as it turns out, is jumping on a mini trampoline. She wrote: "I recently started working out at Perspirology in Sea Bright, New Jersey taking the bounce classes, I have to say I am so happy with my results!!" She added: "They (the instructors) show you proper technique and form and it's so much fun, on a trampoline. I've never had so many people tell me how fit and toned I look, I've worked out my entire adult life but never seen results like this." 

The positive results, she wrote, have gotten her addicted to the one-hour work-out session every morning. To ensure that she doesn't miss a day, she even has a mini trampoline set up at her home. Talk about having a healthy obsession! "Not only is it a great work out it is a complete stress relief!!" she concluded.

Buddy Valastro, who often blamed his extra pounds on his wife's delicious cooking, also shed a significant amount of weight in 2018, and credited the Optavia program for his transformation. In the Optavia diet, you are allowed to take only the pre-packaged meals that are sent to you, and nothing else. These have low calories, are protein-based, and include probiotics (via Women's Health).

Buddy Valastro's wife Lisa has appeared in several shows besides Cake Boss

Cake Boss did turn Lisa Valastro into a reality TV star. Along with the popularity came invitations to be featured in other shows. One of them being a reality dance show called Dancing Brasil, which is similar to Dancing with the Stars in the States. The mom of four learned a whole sequence of Cha-Cha-Cha and performed it along with her professional dancing partner for an audience that also included Buddy. She wrote in an Instagram post: "Signing on to Dancing Brazil was hard for me because it meant being away from my children and I was so worried to leave them for the first time but everyone told me to take the chance and I'm so happy I did!"

That apart, Lisa and Buddy have appeared together in a variety of shows — be it the Valentine's Day special episode of The Chew in 2018, in which Lisa makes Linguini clams and lobster (a dish she has been making every Valentine's Day since 2002) or the Rachael Ray Show in which the couple makes chicken saltimbocca. Lisa appeared all by herself in an episode of Hallmark Channel's Home and Family, in which she cooks meatless meatballs, a recipe that has been passed down in her family over generations, and in Say Yes to the Dress with Buddy's sisters.

Lisa Valastro's 30th birthday cake was a life-size replica of herself

What do a NASCAR car, Betty White, and Lisa Valastro all have in common? Buddy Valastro has made life-size replicas of all of them. He made a life-size cake for his wife as a surprise on her 30th birthday. "That was the first life-size cake I ever made. I would make jokes to her, saying one day I will make a life-size cake 'of' you," he said, in an episode of The Chew. Well, he did finally do it. In an episode of Cake Boss, he unveils the cake before a room full of people, after waxing eloquent about how his wife has been his rock throughout his career.

The cake sure was the same height as that of Lisa, but as she herself said in the show: "It doesn't really look like me, but it is the thought that counts." Making a life-size cake of something, as with tailoring a suit, requires the person's measurements. And since Buddy wanted the cake to be a surprise, he had to be sly about approximating her hand and hip measurements. "The week he was making that cake, he would come up to me and hug me a certain way. And feel me, and I am like, 'What are you doing?'" she added with a laugh.

In 2018, Buddy threw another surprise party for Lisa, where the cake featured heels — which Lisa has said are one of her biggest weaknesses.