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About Paula Deen
Who would ever think that a housewife from Albany, Georgia with no formal training in food would become one of the country’s most beloved celebrity cooks? Every day, hordes of fans from all over the country line up outside of Paula Deen’s restaurant, Lady & Sons, in Savannah, GA hoping to get a peek of the Food Network’s most approachable chef. This lively Southern woman with piercing blue eyes is proof that dreams can come true. With her best selling cookbooks, entertainment magazine, hit show Paula’s Home Cooking, and the launch of her new show Paula’s Party,it’s easy to see that there is no stopping this woman’s success.
Living with agoraphobia for 20 years and experiencing a crumbling marriage, Deen was left with two growing sons and no source of income. With no education and very little to fall back on, the then-42-year-old housewife reached deep into her Southern roots and drew inspiration from what she knew best – her kitchen stove. Her culinary career began in June of 1989 out of her kitchen with The Bag Lady, a home-based lunch delivery service in Savannah. The woman with the big dreams would whip up tuna fish sandwiches wrapped in Saran Wrap and have her two sons sell them to local businesses. Within two years, The Bag Lady grew too much for a home-based operation, and she eventually opened her first restaurant on Savannah’s Southside called The Lady. In 1996, after five successful years, Deen was ready for yet another challenge and launched her second restaurant The Lady & Sons,which to this day serves thousands of Savannah visitors, including celebrity clientele.
In 1997, Deen published her first cookbook, The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cookbook. As luck would have it, a major publishing house picked it up when one of their literary agents walked into the restaurant to escape a rainstorm. She picked up the cookbook and immediately realized its potential. Shortly after that, Deen’s cookbook career was off to an impressive start with promotional appearances on QVC, where it quickly became one of the best-selling cookbooks. By then, Deen’s career seemed to have no limits. In the years that followed, she published numerous other cookbooks, including The Lady & Sons Too!, The Lady & Sons Just Desserts, Paula Deen & Friends Living It Up Southern Style, and Paula Deen Classics. On October 24, Simon & Schuster will release Deen’s sixth cookbook, Paula Deen Celebrates.
Paula’s Home Cooking premiered on the Food Network on November 16, 2002. The program features Deen doing what she does best – being herself, teaching people how to bring joy into their kitchens and homes. With Deen, it’s about teaching viewers to bring out the best in their families and creating happy memories no matter what the budget.
This fall, Deen is launching her second program on the Food Network and taking it to a new level by inviting guests to participate in her cooking classes. Paula’s Party premieres in late October and features the silver-tressed wonder being playful and interacting with her audience. Needless to say, with Paula’s Party,viewers will have an inside view into what makes Deen so special – a clever wit, hearty laugh, and shear genius at making people feel good.
Deen appears regularly on “The Today Show,” “Good Morning America,” “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “The View,” and other leading programs. She recently had an opportunity to have a major acting role in Cameron Crowe’s film Elizabethtown starring Orlando Bloom, Kirsten Dunst, and Susan Sarandon.