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Buddy Valastro on competing in new season of Food Network’s ‘Buddy vs Duff’

Host Buddy Valastro and Mauro Castano run chocolate through the sheeter, as seen on "Buddy vs Duff," Season 3.
Photo: Food Network

Two titans of all things cake are going head-to-head once again.

Buddy Valastro (“Cake Boss”) and Duff Goldman (“Ace of Cakes”) are facing off once more in a new season of “Buddy vs. Duff.” Now on its third season, the competition is fierce with both Valastro and Goldman have a win under their belts.

“Duff and his team are an amazing bunch of cake artists, and they are fierce competitors,” said Valastro. “The one thing about this show is this brings out the best in us. This pushes me and him to a level of competition that is unheard of.”

Like past seasons of “Buddy vs. Duff,” Valastro and Goldman and their teams will face off to create huge cake displays that bring viewers into an immersive world. This season features ancient world-inspired cakes, souped-up dream car cakes equipped with lights, engines, and hydraulics, and so much more.

However, this year threw in a few curveballs. To comply with COVID-19 regulations at the time of filming, Valastro and Goldman worked with their teams out of their home bakery spaces in Hoboken, NJ, and Los Angeles, CA, respectively. On top of that, Goldman was adjusting to life as a new father while Valastro was recovering from a hand injury from a pinsetter that required several surgeries.

“This season was a bit bittersweet. I had a terrible accident in September. Duff was the first person to reach out to me, he told me to ‘heal up because I’ll kick your a$$ again,” Valastro recalled with a laugh. “For me, the fact that I could do my work again is a blessing. Honestly, I didn’t know if I was going to be capable. I had five surgeries, and the last one was five weeks before we started the competition.”

Host Buddy Valastro makes leaves, as seen on “Buddy vs Duff,” Season 3.(Photo: Food Network)

This season, Valastro and Duff are going to be judged by 50 professional cake artists from across the country, who will join in virtually to put the cakes to test on their visuals.

“These are our peers, these are cake people. No disrespect to pastry chefs, but this is a different kind of animal. Cake people live and breathe gum paste, modeling chocolate, fondant…they know what it takes to achieve that,” said Valastro. “It was really amazing. Duff and I had judged a lot of them on different shows. I always call it as I see it, may the best cake win. If Duff had the better cake, I’m the first to tip my hat and say you guys rocked it and told the judges they made a good call.”

In this season of “Buddy vs. Duff,” Valastro is amazed at what his and Goldman’s teams were able to accomplish. 

“Only two cakes ever have made me cry, and one was this season. When I mean cry, it is in such utter awe of what we accomplished — I wish my dad could see what we created,” said Valastro. “We really pushed ourselves to the limit, it was fun to be home but I wish [Duff and I] were in the same place.”

Though they are competitors, Valastro and Goldman are thick as thieves and don’t want to see each other fail in this competition, like if a cake were to fall apart on their team.

“If I watch and it fails, I feel bad. He’s my friend, but if I’m going to win, I want to win at their best. I don’t want to win because they failed,” said Valastro. “We actually had a traumatic cake fall that we were able to recover from an hour before judging in an episode this season. It was a pretty nasty fall, but we were able to recover from it. It can happen to any of us.”

An hour before the premiere, fans can tune into “Buddy vs. Duff: Preheat” to take a look back at the past two seasons of “Buddy vs. Duff.” Valastro says that those who tune in this season can expect the ride of their lives.

“People better hold onto pants and get ready to see the best cakes in their lives,” said Valastro. “This is a whole other level. Both teams killed it, we had a lot of fun, made some amazing cakes, and had a good competition. And it was definitely a close competition, it wasn’t a blowout, we were down to the nitty-gritty.”

The new season of “Buddy vs. Duff” will premiere on Food Network and discovery+ on Sunday, July 18 at ET/PT.

Host Duff Goldman, as seen on “Buddy vs Duff,” Season 3.(Photo: Food Network)

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