Paula Deen is an American chef, restaurateur and Emmy Award-winning Food Network television personality. Deen’s primary culinary focus is Southern food. In 2005, Paula Deen also started her own magazine, Cooking with Paula Deen and most recently began contributing to the new magazine, Food Network magazine.
Paula Deen is best-known for her Southern accent, warm personality and her ability to create unique mouth-watering dishes from Southern American foods like pot roast, pecan pike and macaroni and cheese. Unlike most current American chefs, Paula Deen is not concerned with fat and calorie counts; her tasty dishes are often not healthy. Two of her most over-the-top recipes include Gooey Butter Cake and turducken, a dish consisting of a turkey stuffed with a duck, which itself is stuffed with a chicken.
Paula Deen was born Paula Ann Hiers on January 19, 1947 in Albany, Georgia. According to her website both her parents died before she was 25 years-old and her first husband, with whom she has two sons Jamie and Bobby, abandoned her. At some point in her early adulthood Paula Deen developed the debilitating phobia, agoraphobia, which is an anxiety disorder. By the mid-1980s Deen overcame her phobia and moved her sons to Savannah, Georgia where she started a catering business.
In 1996 after a successful run with her catering business, Deen opened her own restaurant, The Lady & Sons, which her sons also help run. Deen has published many cookbooks including The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cooking, The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cooking 2 and It Aint All About the Cookin.
In 1999 USA Today named The Lady & Sons the “International Meal of the Year.” The restaurants specialty is the buffet which always includes a variety of Southern dishes like sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese, deep-fried Twinkies, fried chicken, greens and creamed corn. Every meal comes with a garlic cheese biscuit and one of Deen’s famous hoecakes, made from cornbread.
Also in 1999 appeared on an episode of the Food Networks Doorknock Dinners show and an episode of Ready, Set, Cook!. She shot a pilot named Afternoon Tea in early 2001 but instead got her own Food Network show in 2002 called Paula’s Home Cooking. With the success of Paulas Home Cooking show, Paula Deen was able to expand her endeavors with two more television shows and a magazine.
The magazine, called Cooking with Paula Deen, launched in 2005. Cooking with Paula Deen features Deens unique creative food presentations, recipes and entertaining ideas. Other cooking magazines similar to Paula Deens are Southern Living, Gourmet, Everyday with Rachael Ray and Taste of the South.