Buddy Valastro thought his career was over when a metal spike went through his hand on Sept. 20, 2020. Now, almost a year later, he reveals how he continues to recover.
Buddy Valastro’s hands make masterpieces daily out of his Carlo’s Bakery and now on TV in a variety of different shows and competitions. When an accident in his home bowling alley lodged a metal spike through his hand, the Cake Boss thought not only his career, but life as he knew it, was over. “It was insane. I didn’t know what I was going to do. I mean, I didn’t know if I was ever going to be able to open a doorknob, like just to grab it and hold it, never mind make cake again,” Buddy explained on the HollywoodLife Podcast. “I’m so grateful and thankful to God. It has been an amazing journey. And without my occupational therapist, my doctor, I don’t know where I’d be. And my supportive my wife, my kids, my fans, everybody has been so great to me. I really am truly blessed. I’m a lucky guy.”
Buddy endured five surgeries and continues to do physical therapy to recover full use of his hand. “I got about 90% of my hand strength back, and it’s been a grueling thing,” he said. This past spring, Buddy returned to the bakery for season 3 of Buddy Vs. Duff, in which he faces off against fellow elite baker, Duff Goldman, to craft confection wonders. “Honestly, I didn’t know what my capabilities were going into the competition,” he admitted. “This season was less about winning or losing, and more about my hand being able to do this. I was like, that I can still make these cakes was winning enough to me.”
“I was actually really skittish,” the Cake Boss details about going into the competition. “It was really Ralph from my team who pushed me because I wasn’t sure that I was going to do it because up until February, when I had another surgery. At that point, I couldn’t even make a fist.” The February surgery involved a doctor “cutting out a bunch of scar tissue and releasing tendons,” which allowed the cake decorator to have more movement in his hand. “Ralph said, ‘Look, Buddy, no matter what, you’re a part of this team, whether you’re carving cake, icing cake, or just giving your input or being a cheerleader,'” Buddy recalled. “Throughout this competition, I was able to do everything. And there was nothing from a cake decorating perspective that I couldn’t do, or that my hand held me back from, so it was like, God bless. What a blessing.”
Buddy spoke to HL while promoting his partnership with Jet-Puffed for National S’mores Day on Aug. 10! To celebrate the beloved summer treat, Buddy helped judge a TikTok challenge where fans of the brand could nominate a fourth ingredient to be added to the traditional s’mores. The winner won a $10k cash prize, a lifetime supply of Jet-Puffed marshmallows, and their fourth ingredient will be featured as the ‘official’ Jet-Puffed S’more on the back of packs.