A&E is marking its new association with cake man Buddy Valastro with a two-layer premiere this Saturday night.
The one-time “Cake Boss” of TLC stars in two new shows on A&E, both premiering back-to-back. They are his first ventures with A&E.
First up is a departure for baker Buddy as he steps away from the cake batter to travel the nation visiting iconic restaurants, meeting their proprietors and chefs, discussing their renowned histories and specialties, and then sampling a few of them.
The show is called “Legends of the Fork,” a title that seems to have been inspired by the 1994 movie “Legends of the Fall,” to which the TV show bears no resemblance.
Buddy Valastro, 46, has been known as TV’s premiere cake artisan since he burst onto TLC with “Cake Boss” in 2009.
The show made his family’s bakery -- Carlo’s in Hoboken, New Jersey -- nationally famous. Today, there are more than 15 stores in locations ranging from New Jersey to Las Vegas.
Valastro and “Cake Boss” played a major role in putting elaborate cake creations on the TV map.
Today, shows in which cake artists from coast to coast compete in the construction of monstrous, sculptural cakes are too numerous to count.
In “Legends of the Fork,” Buddy follows in the footsteps of TV food personalities such as Guy Fieri, Andrew Zimmern, Marcus Samuelsson and others who have traveled the nation and the world in search of far-out foods.
But Buddy’s beat consists of restaurants that have been around awhile -- sometimes for generations -- and are still going strong.
In the premiere episode of “Legends of the Fork,” he visits Patsy’s Italian restaurant in midtown Manhattan.
It was founded in 1944 and said to have been the favorite restaurant of Frank Sinatra, who, like Buddy, also hailed from Hoboken.
Future destinations include Canter’s, a Hollywood institution that is one of the greatest deli eateries in the United States.
Since Buddy is well-known as the King of Cakes, this detour into unfrosted foods might be puzzling to some.
But as I just learned yesterday, he established a restaurant in Las Vegas in 2013 -- Buddy V’s Ristorante.
For fans of Buddy the Baker for whom “Legends of the Fork” will not be enough, a second one-hour Buddy show premiering Saturday is icing on the cake.
In this one, the focus is on family. “Buddy Valastro’s Cake Dynasty” will feature members of Buddy’s extended family as they go about their lives and work in the family’s Hoboken bakery.
Monumental cakes seen in the show will mark the 50th anniversary of racehorse Secretariat’s Triple Crown win in 1973 and actor Neil Patrick Harris’ 50th birthday last June.
The show’s title is reminiscent of “Duck Dynasty” (2012-17), the A&E classic that was probably the finest family reality show ever seen on television.
“Legends of the Fork” premieres Saturday night at 9 p.m. Eastern, and “Buddy Valastro’s Cake Dynasty” premieres Saturday night at 10 p.m. Eastern, both on A&E.