Beloved for his cheerful personality and baking sensations, Duff Goldman rose to stardom as host of Food Network’s “Ace of Cakes,” but when considering the breadth of all he does as a cookbook author, bakery owner and Food Network judge of other shows, it appears he is also a master juggler. And early this year, he added the role of fatherhood to his towering list. Becoming father to Josephine might just be the sweetest layer yet.
We’re delighted to feature Goldman, his wife Johnna and baby Josephine on this month’s cover, and are confident your kids will love his “confetti snickerdoodle” recipe in our Family Recipes section. Icing on the cake was getting an inside peek at this new dad’s heart.
Your daughter, Josephine, was born in January of this year. How has life at home changed?
I don’t have a typical 9-to-5 job, so things haven’t really changed that much for my wife Johnna and me. I work out every morning outside, and my wife usually has coffee and does crosswords, and now we have a baby that hangs out with us. Dinner time is trickier because we have to feed Josephine, but I try and make sure that Johnna gets a hot meal — rare for moms. We just spent the entire summer filming “Kids Baking Championship” in Knoxville, Tennessee, and I wasn’t going to miss months three to six, so Johnna and Josephine came with me. It was great! Josephine got to meet everyone, and I think it was good because she’s very social and is comfortable with lots of people holding her and talking to her.
How has becoming a father changed you?
I think before we have kids, we all think that we are the center of the universe. Just subconsciously, it’s how we’re wired. When Josephine was born, I felt something shift, and I’ve been trying to articulate what it was. I think it’s that I am no longer the center of my own universe, and I feel like a weight has been lifted — like my vision is clearer, my decision-making process has more conviction. I have a purpose now. Everything I do is for Josephine. I absolutely love it.
What else has surprised you about this new shift in your life?
I didn’t think it was possible for me to love my wife any more than I did, but seeing her become a mom so naturally and with such grace and innate understanding leaves me floored. Seeing the bond between Josephine and Johnna makes me just marvel at how incredible my wife is. I also find myself contemplating the nature of existence more often.
What are some of the things you can’t wait to do with your daughter as she gets older?
Well, I have a feeling that Josephine is gonna be a pretty good baker. Her tea parties are going to be epic, and I can’t wait to make tea sandwiches and petits fours while wearing a tutu and a tiara. I also want to take her camping. I think waking up outside is a neat experience. I want her to ride a horse. I can’t wait until she sees New York City. I’m excited about her first funnel cake. And her first 4th of July. You know — everything.
What are some favorite family spots in and around L.A.?
When Josephine was maybe a week old, we took her to the beach. It was cold, so I took off my jacket and we wrapped her up real good and went for a long walk on the beach. She slept the whole time, but she has been back a bunch. Johnna loves the beach, and hopefully when Josephine is old enough, Johnna will teach her how to surf. Not me, though. Daddy don’t surf.
Your cookbook “Super Good Baking for Kids” is a great way to get kids in the kitchen. What are some of the benefits of getting kids in the kitchen early?
Obviously, quality time. But beyond that, knowing how to cook for yourself is super important. It saves money, and also you know exactly what you are putting into your body. Maybe Josephine will want to be a professional chef, maybe not. But I guarantee that she will know how to cook. I think knowing how to cook for yourself is an important life skill.
How do you hope your daughter will describe you as a dad when she gets older?
I hope she remembers me as being kind and full of love. I hope she thinks that I have prepared her well for a crazy world. I want her to be strong and self-reliant and honest. But if she is kind, then everything else is gravy.
The new season of “Kids Baking Championship,” on which Duff Goldman serves as a judge, will premiere Dec. 27 on Food Network. For more on Goldman, visit duff.com.