Duff Goldman On His Favorite Game Day Eats And Buddy Vs Duff - Exclusive Interview

Duff Goldman is known for his incredible cake designs and decorating skills on top of his bright and cheery personality, but those who really know Goldman are keenly aware of his dedication to the Baltimore Ravens. There probably isn't a bigger fan of the Ravens in the country than Goldman, and that's why he partnered with Pepsi to celebrate the unadulterated love of NFL football. 

"Pepsi has a rich history with the game of football, and, like any true fan, we take game day seriously. We're excited to give fans across the South even more reasons to get amped up this season and enjoy the day unapologetically watching every play no matter where they are or who they are with," Pepsi marketing executive Jenny Figueroa said. 

Pepsi plays a huge roll in game day refreshments for many fans, but the beverage company decided to team up with mega-fans like Goldman as well as NFL players themselves to share some of their favorite recipes on the website, MadeForFootballWatching.com. Of course, fans who drink Pepsi this season will also earn points and chances to win NFL prizes too. 

Goldman took time to talk with Mashed about his favorite game day eats, recipes, and rituals that he plans to take part of in the coming weeks. He also discussed his friendship with Buddy Valastro and their rivalry in "Buddy vs. Duff," and just how much he loves being a new dad to his adorable daughter Josephine.

Duff Goldman on his game day eats

Could you tell us a little bit about your partnership with Pepsi?

So listen, I mean, I think everybody knows that I'm an insane Ravens fan. I like all sports, but I love football. I love Baltimore. I love the Ravens. I think when Pepsi was kind of thinking about like, "Okay, if we're going to do some football stuff and food stuff, we know that Duff is a psycho fan." So they gave me a call and were like, "Hey, do you want to make some recipes for Pepsi?" I was like, "Absolutely." So, that's kind of how I got involved.

Can you tell us about some of those recipes?

So I was thinking for this year, one of my specialties is my chili. One of my favorite things to do when I'm tailgating is, I love making hot dogs because I love hot dogs. So, I think this year I'm going to really buckle down and make some really, really good chili dogs. So what I'm going to do is, I know this is weird, but I actually didn't grow up in Baltimore. I grew up in Massachusetts. In Mass, when you have a lobster roll, what you do is you take the bun and you dunk it in butter and you grill it.

So what I'm going to do is some butter dunked buns grilled. Grill the hot dogs, and I like my hot dogs to be pretty burnt, pretty crispy on the outside, like really overgrilled. Then, a tiny little bit of mustard. Then, I make Texas chili, so no beans, because beans are dumb on chili. My wife is from [and] Oklahoma disagrees, but I think beans are dumb. Also, I don't put ground beef, I only put chuck. So you chop the chuck up really small, really fine. You don't want huge chunks on top of a hot dog. Then the chili goes on top of the mustard, [and that] goes on top of the hot dog.

What I'm really excited about with this recipe is that it's very savory, right? The mustard is very, it's very sour, very salty. The chili itself is very chili heavy. Also, there's no tomato in there at all. It's just chilies, meat, and a little bit of cornmeal, [to] kind of thicken it up a little bit, a few of the things, salt, pepper, things like that. But it's a very, very, very savory hotdog. It's absolutely perfect with a cold sweet Pepsi.

Duff Goldman's tips for game day

Do you have any game day rituals?

I usually wear a Jersey. I have a lot of them. A lot of them are game-worn, a lot of them are signed by some friends of mine that play. Lately, I've been rocking a Ronnie Stanley jersey because I think he's just one of our best players. I love that guy, and he loves food. This guy, when we text, we pretty much ... Like all I want to text and talk about is football, but all he wants to talk about is food. He's bigger than me, so we usually talk about food.

Do you have any tips for our readers who might be hosting family and friends and trying to put together a game day spread?

I think a lot of the things ... like, when you're putting together a game to spread, one of the things you want to make sure is that you are able to enjoy the game. I love to enjoy the game, but I also love having friends over [for] it. So what I try to do is, I try to do as much stuff ahead of time as I can and make sure that things are sort of self-contained, right? So lots of things that are either self-servable or things that are like pigs in a blanket. Right? Really good. Just as an example, something that you can sort of pick it up and eat it. You know what I mean?

Not things that require a ton of like last-minute preparation, but all the preparation happens beforehand. That way it's like you can watch the game, everybody else wants to game. There's a ton of food out, and you know that you can sort of replenish, keep stuff in the fridge. Also, I know it's crazy, but like man, paper plates. Just don't make yourself crazy. Get paper plates. You're going to have people over, it's going to be messy with chili and mustard, ketchup, and all this stuff all over the place — [go with] paper plates.

Duff Goldman shares what he loves about his daughter Josephine

Can you tell us a little bit what it's been like having Josephine and welcoming her into the world?

Yeah, it's amazing. I mean, just watching her figure stuff out and learn stuff. The past few days she has let us know that she is completely obsessed, like obsessed with plastic water bottles. We were watching her and she was almost figuring out how to get the top off and unscrew it. She's seven months old.

Just like watching her look at things to try to figure them out and be like, "Okay, what's going on with this new thing?" It's just so fascinating. We were just filming a "Kid's Baking Championship" and there was a little stuffed zebra that they had on the set. So when we were done with it the art department was like, "Hey, you want to give this to Josephine?" I was like. "Yeah, sure." So I brought it home, and I came up the stairs and she saw the zebra and her eyes got real big, and her mouth opened up really wide. Her mind was blown, she couldn't believe it. Oh my God, this stuffed Zebra, and now she hugs it and rolls around with it. But it was so neat to see her get so stoked about something. It was just incredible. It's amazing. Being a dad is like, it's just, I mean, being parents. My wife and I are both ... enjoying every second of it. You know what I mean? Even when she's completely freaking out we're just like, "Ah, this is great."

Do you have anything you are looking forward to teaching her about baking, or cooking, or sharing game days with her in the future?

You know, it's funny, the first thing she ever cooked with me was chili. She was about three weeks old and my wife was tired, so I put her in her car seat, and I put the car seat on the counter and I made chili. She hung out with me the whole time. So I think she's going to be pretty good. Right? Like I think she's going to be good in the kitchen. I think she's going to have pretty good tea parties I think. We're going to make petit fours, cute little sandwiches and little cupcakes and stuff. I think she's going to be a good baker.

Duff Goldman discusses the most recent season of Buddy vs. Duff

What was your favorite bake of this past season of "Buddy vs. Duff"?

Oh man. I don't know. They were all good. I think the lion was amazing. I think the farmer's market was really, for me, pretty special because we did a model of the farmer's market in Baltimore. So a lot of the things that were in the cake itself, like the coffee station, all the produce and everything, that's where I got all my produce when I first started Charm City Cakes – [it was] right next to my apartment. The art department of the show, they actually recreated the underside of I83 where the farmer's market is. It was just really touching, you know what I mean? That they went that far with it. But yeah, I don't know. The pirate ship was incredible. They were all great. It was fun.

I mean, the team is amazing and just being able to sort of have Food Network be like, "Okay, you have an unlimited budget. You have, five incredible people on your team, make anything you want." For a group of creative people, that is so rare that you have that perfect storm of no budget, and go crazy. Make anything you could possibly think of. So really it's a blessing.

Can you also tell us a little bit about your relationship with Buddy?

Yeah. We're homies. When I first heard that he hurt his hand I texted him right away and we were talking. That first conversation, I ended it with, "You have to get better because I need to beat you. It's not fair if I beat you one-handed. I need you full and healthy." He said that gave him a lot of good inspiration to get better.

Are there any other celebrity bakers you'd like to challenge in a bake-off?

It's funny, I don't really enjoy competing. I like making stuff, and I love being able to create the things that we're creating. That part is a dream come true. But the fact that it's judged and has to go through this process of, it's like oh, extreme, and oh there's all this tension and everything. I'm just like, come on ... it's competitive cake decorating. If you think about that for a minute it's a little weird ... But it's fun.

You can discover some of Duff Goldman's favorite game day recipes by visiting MadeForFootballWatching, and keep up with Goldman by following him on Instagram