South Florida

Celebrity Chef Speaks Out After Suffering Life-Threatening Burns

A popular South Florida chef is leaving the hospital after suffering life-threatening burns in an explosion at a restaurant in Bimini.

Ralph Pagano suffered deep second and third degree burns to his face, arms and legs.

After spending fifty days in the hospital, Pagano says the road to recovery is just beginning. “It’s been a long road and it will be a lot of healing ahead of me but the support of my family, friends and kids, I can go home today. I’m looking forward to getting back.”

Although Pagano is going home, he will be going back to Jackson Memorial Hospital several times a week for physical therapy, counseling and support that burn victims need from the medical team at the hospital.

Pagano was in Bimini to open the newest branch of his Naked Taco restaurant inside the Resorts World complex when the explosion happened back in June. Pagano pushed a cook out of the way following an explosion inside a kitchen. That restaurant will not be opening as expected.

Pagano thanks the team at Jackson for helping him get better. “There were things they helped me with that I never thought as a 40-year-old man would ever have to ask another man to help them to do. Functions of going to the bathroom, just being able to stand up are things I couldn’t do on my own.”

As for getting back in the kitchen, Pagano can’t get cooking just yet. He doesn’t have full use of his hands yet and will need therapy two to three times per week.

Contact Us