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."
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.
"Hi, I'm back!"
Paula Deen wooed a Houston crowd Saturday during her first appearance since the revelation that she used a racial slur in the past, according to CNN affiliate KPRC.
The Southern food diva looked straight into the lens of a camera, waved, smiled and winked as a sold-out audience of 1,500 cheered her on during a cooking demonstration at the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertainment Show.
After a standing ovation, Deen wiped the tears on her face and told the crowd, "These are tears of joy, y'all. I've said all along that the one place I'd want to make my first step back out was Texas."
A federal judge has dismissed the racial discrimination claims in a lawsuit filed by a former employee against Paula Deen, the celebrity chef's representative said Monday. Some other aspects of the lawsuit are still pending.
"We are pleased with the Court's ruling today that Lisa Jackson's claims of race discrimination have been dismissed," Deen's representatives said in a statement to CNN. "As Ms. Deen has stated before, she is confident that those who truly know how she lives her life know that she believes in equal opportunity, kindness and fairness for everyone."
Some die-hard fans are getting all wrapped up in a campaign to defend Paula Deen.
They're sending cleaned and origami-folded butter wrappers to Food Network and other companies that dropped the popular chef and cookbook author in the wake of allegations of racism and sexual harassment. Deen later admitted to "of course" using the n-word. The wrappers are intended as signs of protest - physical declarations of "we're sticking with Paula."
FBI agents on Friday morning arrested a 62-year-old man who, they say, tried to extort Paula Deen by threatening to divulge "true and damning" information about the embattled celebrity chef - unless he was paid to keep quiet.
Thomas George Paculis was taken into custody without incident in Ithaca, New York, by FBI agents and deputies from the Tompkins County Sheriff's Office, the FBI said in a press release.
There was no answer later Friday to a phone number linked to him in the FBI's criminal complaint, nor was there an immediate response from an e-mail address in that same document.