The Untold Truth Of Ralph Attanasia

If you've ever watched a rerun from the first two seasons of TLC's "Cake Boss," chances are you've noticed something's a little bit off. It may be that the opening credit sequence is slightly different, but more likely, it's that Ralph Attanasia isn't at the sculpting bench. Without him on the show, there are a lot fewer jokes said around the kitchen, not to mention a complete absence of funny voices to lighten the mood during stressful cake decorating scenes. And while the cakes still look as great as they always do, they don't quite have Attanasia's whimsical touch.

Attanasia joined "Cake Boss" in the first episode of Season 3 in 2010, and now he's practically part of Buddy Valastro's family. From the flushing toilet bowl cake to the life-sized "Transformer's" cake, Attanasia has had his hand in his fair share of baking projects at Carlo's Bakery, and it's hard to imagine the show without him. Can't get enough of Attanasia's quirky humor, handlebar mustache, and impressive sculpting skills? Here's everything you may have not known about Buddy Valastro's right-hand man and head sculptor.

Ralph Attanasia never went to culinary school

Though he is the head sculptor at Carlo's Bakery, serves as one of the judges on Food Network's "Chocolate Meltdown," and is constantly surrounded by pastry chefs, Ralph Attanasia didn't have a baking background before Buddy Valastro hired him. In his first appearance on "Cake Boss" (via YouTube), Attanasia shared that he used to work as a barker for a traveling sideshow. "I would stand out front and get people into the tent," he explained. Despite the fact that he technically wasn't a performer, Attanasia apparently does know how to fire breathe, though he never learned to swallow a sword.

Attanasia may have gone to the circus instead of culinary school, but that doesn't mean the "Cake Boss" taught him everything he knows. Attanasia is actually a professionally trained artist. According to Attanasia's personal blog, he studied at the duCret School of Art as well as the Tom Savini Special Makeup Effect Program at Douglas Education Center. This certainly comes as no surprise considering all the mind-blowing cakes he's helped design.

Buddy Valastro initially had doubts about Ralph Attanasia's skills

When Buddy Valastro met Ralph Attanasia for the first time, he wasn't sure he'd be the right person for the sculptor job. Attanasia arrived at the bakery wearing a bowler hat and a suit, referred to his interview as an "audition," and showed off his circus announcer voice (via YouTube). "This guy Ralph comes into the bakery, and he tells me he wants to work for me as a sculptor. I don't know, I mean, I've had my share of freaks," Valastro recalled in the episode. Valastro reluctantly gave Attanasia a chance to prove himself as a cake sculptor, at which point his opinion quickly changed. Within just a few minutes of only modeling the chocolate and colored fondant at his disposal, Attanasia showed off his artistic skills by sculpting a dinosaur cake topper. Valastro then gave him a job on the spot. "He really surprised me. I gotta say, the dinosaur looked pretty good," Valastro shared. Since then, Attanasia has been an integral part of the Carlo's Bakery team.

Ralph Attanasia does LARPing in his spare time

When Ralph Attanasia isn't designing cakes at the bakery, he spends his free time participating in live-action role-playing, also known as LARP. Attanasia's friends let the secret out in an episode of "Cake Boss" when they came in for a cake consultation with Buddy Valastro (via YouTube). According to his friend, James, Attanasia is a member of Knight Realms, a LARPing community set in a medieval fantasy world. During Knight Realms' events, participants put on costumes and fight each other with latex swords. "He's an awesome character actor. He's played lots of funny characters, like a hunchback, a pirate," James shared in the episode.

Though Valastro wasted no time poking fun at Attanasia for his nerdy hobby, once Attanasia showed him how to properly shoot a bow and arrow, he ended up having a lot of fun (via TLC). Since 2015, when the episode first aired, Attanasia continues to be an active LARPer, sharing to Twitter in 2020 that he now has his own customized sword.

Ralph Attanasia plays the accordion

It's no secret that Ralph Attanasia is both talented and artistic, but did you know that his artistry extends to music too? Through a series of throwback photos on Instagram, Attanasia shared that he spent a lot of time playing the accordion when he was a "young, stupid punk" — a period of his life during which he was heavily into the fandom and band World/Inferno Friendship Society. Attanasia further showcased his musical talent in another Instagram throwback, featuring a photo of him playing the accordion at age 20. 

Aside from the accordion, Attanasia also plays the ukulele (via TLC). When the Valastro family went on a trip to Rome, they invited Attanasia to join, and he brought his ukulele along. And while at their stop at the Colosseum, Attanasia impressed the Valastros by composing and performing an original song on the spot. These days, Attanasia spends more of his time decorating cakes than he does focusing on his music, but he has been known to incorporate accordion playing in his videos on the Cameo platform.

Ralph Attanasia loves pizza more than cake

Considering he's made a whole career out of cake decorating, there's no denying that the dessert holds a special place in Ralph Attanasia's heart. But that doesn't mean that cake is his favorite food, nor does it mean that he's always craving the sweets treats we see him critiquing on "Chocolate Meltdown." One of Attanasia's favorite things to eat is actually not a dessert at all, but rather cheese — specifically in the form of pizza (via YouTube). In an episode of "Cakehouse," Attanasia revealed that if he could, he'd eat pizza "every day, forever." He also strongly identifies with rats because of their cheese-based diet and their ability to find pizza.

Attanasia's love of cheese is so profound that he wishes he invented it himself. When asked what historical figure he would be, living or dead, he didn't skip a beat when replying, "The guy who invented cheese. The first person who said 'this milk from a different animal than me has gone bad, I'm gonna eat that.'" Let's just hope the "Cake Boss" doesn't find out that his head sculptor loves cheese way more than cake.