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Celebrity Chef Paula Deen

Full Name Paula Ann Hiers Deen
Born January 19, 1947 (age 76) in Albany, Georgia
Spouse Jimmy Deen (m. 1965-present)
Children Jamie Deen, Bobby Deen
TV Shows Paula‘s Home Cooking, Paula‘s Party, Paula‘s Best Dishes
Restaurants The Lady & Sons, Uncle Bubba‘s Oyster House, Paula Deen‘s Creek House, Paula Deen‘s Family Kitchen
Social Media Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

Paula Deen
As a longtime fan of celebrity chef Paula Deen, I‘m delighted to introduce her incredible career and impact on American culture to new audiences. Paula is the ultimate Southern cook – her rich comfort food recipes, signature charm, hilarious stories, and bubbly personality have inspired millions across the country. Let‘s take a closer look at this fascinating woman!

Humble Southern Beginnings

Paula was born in 1947 in Albany, Georgia where she grew up in a modest home. Her beloved grandmother Paul taught young Paula traditional Southern recipes and cooking methods on a wood-burning stove. Through Paul, Paula gained a deep appreciation for Southern food traditions. She also learned the value of hard work watching her family run a successful bagging business.

After dropping out of college, Paula worked various odd jobs until finding her true calling in the culinary world. In 1989, Paula and her husband Jimmy opened their first restaurant The Bag Lady in Savannah, which quickly gained fame for its fried chicken wings and local seafood.

Launching a Restaurant Empire

In 1991, Paula and her sons Jamie and Bobby debuted their new restaurant Lady & Sons, which became wildly popular with locals and tourists alike. Paula‘s handmade Southern dishes like fried green tomatoes, hoecakes, and gooey butter cake had people lining up daily.

The family restaurant empire expanded to include Uncle Bubba‘s Oyster House, Paula Deen‘s Creek House, and multiple locations of Paula Deen‘s Family Kitchen. They also launched the digital Paula Deen Network to share recipes, shows and more.

Charm on Camera

After being discovered by a Food Network producer in 1999, Paula launched her hit show "Paula‘s Home Cooking" in 2002. Fans adored Paula‘s laidback cooking style, hilarious laugh, and zest for butter and heavy cream. She taught people that Southern cooking was approachable and fun.

Paula became a Food Network superstar hosting "Paula‘s Party," making guest appearances, and launching products under her moniker. She won over audiences through her hearty dishes, endearing personality, and loving tributes to her Southern roots.

Queen of Southern Cuisine

Paula has published numerous bestselling cookbooks including classics like The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cookbook and Paula Deen Celebrates! Her books share personal stories and easy recipes for Southern favorites from biscuits to fried chicken.

In addition to cookbooks, Paula launched her own lines of cookware, bakeware, food products, furniture, and home goods. She became a true lifestyle Southern brand thanks to her authenticity.

Scandals and Comeback

Paula‘s empire was rocked in 2013 when a divisive legal deposition leaked to the public resulted in backlash and severed business ties. However, through perseverance and relying on her loyal fanbase, Paula has gradually rebuilt her career.

She continues touring with her hilarious live show, launched her own magazine, and connects to fans through social media. While still controversial, Paula remains a cultural force in cooking and represents the quintessential hospitable Southern hostess.

Accolades and Impact

Some of Paula‘s major honors include:

  • Named "Most Popular Personality" by Food Network in 2006
  • Inducted into Culinary Hall of Fame in 2015
  • Awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2015

Paula‘s lasting impacts include:

  • Introducing Southern comfort cuisine to the mainstream
  • Inspiring home cooks through approachable recipes and cooking methods
  • Building a multimedia Southern food and lifestyle brand
  • Giving visibility to Southern culture on a national level

Fun Facts About Paula

  • Dropped out of college after only 1 year
  • Struggled with agoraphobia before launching cooking career
  • Loves adding butter to everything – "the more butter, the better!"
  • Known for her signature "Y‘all come eat!" greeting
  • Taught herself to cook on a wood-burning stove without electricity
  • Her son Jamie Deen is also a celebrity chef and TV host

Classic Paula Deen Quotes

Paula‘s exuberant personality shines through in her funny quotes:

"I get paid for doing what I love – eating!"

"If it doesn‘t have butter, I don‘t want to hear about it."

"I‘ve always said the best kitchen gadget is another pair of hands."

"Laughter is just as precious as food and just as necessary."

Where to Find Paula Today

Even in her 70s, Paula is as busy as ever:

Paula Deen is an American treasure – a talented chef, hilarious personality, and purveyor of delicious Southern fare. As a devoted fan, I‘m thrilled to see new audiences continue discovering this remarkable woman!