Paula Deen might be on track to issue another apology.
After her career in food imploded last year when she admitted to previously using a racial slur, the 67-year-old celebrity chef is trying to slowly rebuild what she's lost.
However, her recent cover story with People magazine is having the opposite effect.
In the article, Deen says she is finding inspiration in what might seem an unusual place given her past troubles.
Paula Deen is back, y'all. She's opening a restaurant this summer at the foot of the Smoky Mountains, marking her first move back into business after a scandal derailed her many enterprises.
Deen's new restaurant and retail store will be called "Paula Deen's Family Kitchen" and located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
The 20,000 square foot Southern-fried facility is the premiere enterprise to come out of her new firm, Paula Deen Ventures, which was launched just weeks ago with backing from Phoenix-based Najafi Media. It will have an operating budget of about $20 million.
Celebrity chef Paula Deen drew a standing ovation from a crowd of several hundred people Sunday in Miami Beach as she made her fourth public appearance since a controversy over her admitted use of a racial epithet in the past.
"We have come off a hard summer ... my family and my partners ... and I want to take a moment to apologize to those of you who didn't hear me. I hope you see us bring back good memories for you," an emotional Deen told the crowd at the prestigious South Beach Wine and Food Festival.
Looking thinner than she has in the past and appearing overjoyed by the exuberant reception, Deen said she used her months out of the spotlight to spend a lot of quality time with her grandchildren. While Deen was preparing one of her famous dumpling dishes, she invited celebrity chef Robert Irvine to the stage, and Irvine then jokingly said to her "you apologized. You've eaten crow. Just don't do it anymore."
Paula Deen is coming back.
Less than a year after her association with a racist slur led to the loss of her TV contract and many sponsors, Deen has created a new company. Paula Deen Ventures includes all the restaurants, cruises, cookbooks, cookware and other products that focus on her touting of traditional Southern cuisine.
Deen is partnering with Phoenix-based Najafi Media, which specializes in consumer distribution. Jahm Najafi, founder and chief executive officer, said in a statement Wednesday that he has "a deep respect for the hard work, unique content and quality products which Paula has built around her brand."
Editor's note: The Southern Foodways Alliance delves deep in the history, tradition, heroes and plain old deliciousness of Southern food. Here’s a tidbit from the latest issue of Gravy quarterly. The author of this piece, Sara B. Franklin, is a doctoral student, food writer and educator. She is currently working on an oral history project with editor Judith Jones, exploring food and memory.
Today, “local” is such a culinary buzzword that it’s almost passé. Good chefs interpret the places from which they hail, and nowhere has this revival of place been stronger than in the American South. In a cultural moment like this, we forget it wasn’t long ago that much of America was ignorant, if not downright ashamed, of its regional cuisines. Judith Jones, a longtime editor at Knopf in New York City, who retired last year at age eighty-eight, helped introduce American palates to international cuisines and elevate domestic regional foodways. Her interest in regional cookery was piqued by Edna Lewis, the Virginia-born chef and writer.
Jones was still a wet-behind-the-ears junior editor at Knopf when she shepherded Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking through publication in 1961. At the time, postwar prosperity brought boxed cake mixes and frozen vegetables to supermarkets, promising quick and easy paths to domestic bliss. Child and Jones weren’t fooled. Really good food, they knew, demanded an attentive and skillful cook, one who wasn’t afraid of having a bit of fun.
Hunger had at one point been nearly eliminated in the United States. So how did it become such a massive and pressing issue once again?
Chef and activist Tom Colicchio cites, among other things, a changing political landscape that resulted in a working population left unable to feed themselves and their families.
"When you have a sixth of the population that can't really participate in the American dream, you start questioning whether the American dream is pretty much over," he told CNN's chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour.
Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.
If you had to sum up 2013 in one word, what would it be? Me, I have to say doughnuts. Mostly because of the omnipresent Cronut, the pastry that mashed up croissants and donuts and got people lining up for hours and launched a trazillion knockoffs.
But don’t forget that this was also the year Dunkin' Donuts introduced their Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich for those who want a sticky sweet bun for their bacon and egg sammy. And there’s word that Krispy Kreme will soon introduce “Donut Theater” to the US. Basically, that’s a clever name for a make-your-own doughnut situation.
But enough about doughnuts. Let’s discuss a few other things that happened in 2013: the highs and the lows.
Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson told a London court Wednesday that ex-husband Charles Saatchi had threatened to "destroy" her, as she testified in the trial of two former personal assistants accused of fraud.
The former aides, Italian sisters Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo, deny embezzling hundreds of thousands of pounds on company credit cards while employed by Lawson and Saatchi.
Lawson's comment about her ex-husband came as she was asked about her reluctance to attend court as a witness in the assistants' trial - a case that has gripped the media as claims emerge about the couple's troubled personal life.
Charles Saatchi, the millionaire ex-husband of celebrity chef Nigella Lawson, said Friday he believed his ex-wife had taken drugs but had no evidence of it, as he testified at the trial of two former assistants accused of fraud.
The former assistants, Italian sisters Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo, deny embezzling hundreds of thousands of pounds on company credit cards.
Allegations of drug use by Lawson were made in a pre-trial hearing for the case earlier this week, when an e-mail sent by Saatchi to Lawson in October was read out by the defense.