These Are Duff Goldman's Biggest Culinary Influences

Duff Goldman is a legend worth looking up to. The celebrity chef began his journey in the food industry as a McDonald's fry cook in the 1980s when he was a student and is now one of the most popular bakers around. According to his official website, Goldman started experimenting with baking while working at Savannah, a Baltimore restaurant owned by chef Cindy Wolf. Per The Baltimore Sun, it was during this time that the Charm City Cakes owner realized he did not want to rush the cooking process.

Because Goldman preferred to take his time cooking, he decided to focus on baking and enrolled himself in culinary school. To be fair, Goldman was never afraid of the hustle. In fact, the chef spent many months working at French Laundry without any pay before he was officially hired at the popular venue. While Goldman certainly paved a way for himself, his success didn't come without assistance. And, when it comes to those he's worked alongside, Goldman knows he was lucky to witness some truly gifted chefs during his early years in the industry.

Duff Goldman is grateful to his mentors

Goldman told the Food Network that Wolf was the one who actually got him interested in baking. He explained, "She wouldn't let me cook, but she needed someone to bake cornbread and biscuits, so I did that for two years, which was good for me because I learned how to bake." 

Goldman is also thankful for the lessons he learned from pastry chef Stephen Durfee. As he shared, he respects Durfee's talent and approach towards food thanks in part to the fact that he came from a background that involved preparing savory dishes. "I think Stephen really thought about pastry very differently, but he's got a very analytical mind and is incredibly smart and really kind of taught me how to think about food," Goldman noted.

Another chef on Goldman's list is Todd English, who allowed him to take chances, rather of cooking from a place of caution. As Goldman said, English had a simple process: If he was using something like saffron, he would use plenty of it. "Todd English really taught me how to go for it [and] make things ridiculous," he admitted.