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Paula Deen


Paula Deenis an American cook, restaurateur, and Emmy Award-winning television personality. Deen resides in Savannah, Georgia, where she owns The Lady & Sons restaurant and runs it with her sons, Jamie and Bobby. She has also published five cookbooks. On her television shows, in her books and appearances she uses the surname Deen from her first marriage. Paula Deen was born in Albany, Georgia. In 1986, she felt well enough to take a job as a bank teller. After that she and her sons moved to Savannah. In 1989, she divorced her husband and expanded her cooking experience into a catering service. She made sandwiches and other meals, which her sons Jamie and Bobby delivered. The Bag Lady, as the business was named, was successful and soon outgrew her kitchen. On January 8, 1996, Deen opened her own restaurant, The Lady & Sons, in downtown Savannah, on West Congress Street. Within a few years, the restaurant moved to a larger building in Savannah's historic district. In 1997, Deen self-published* The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cooking* and *The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cooking 2. *Both cookbooks were filled with traditional Southern recipes, such as "Gooey Butter Cake" (also known as Chess Cake, a variation of a chess pie recipe).The cookbooks were very successful, and she has since published two more. Deen has appeared on QVC and on *The Oprah Winfrey Show* (first in 2002 and then twice in 2007). Her story is featured in Extraordinary Comebacks: 201 Inspiring Stories of Courage, Triumph, and Success (2007, Sourcebooks). In April 2007, Simon & Schuster published Deen's memoir, It Ain't All About the Cookin'. She launched a lifestyle magazine called *Cooking with Paula Deen* in November 2005. Deen's relationship with Food Network began in 1999, when her friend Erin Lewis introduced her to Gordon Elliott, who then introduced her to her current agent, Barry Weiner. Elliott took her through the city for a series of "Doorknock Dinners" episodes. She also appeared on "Ready, Set, Cook!". Deen was invited to shoot a pilot named "Afternoon Tea" in early 2001. The network liked it, but didn't yet have a place for her. The network eventually gave Deen her own show, "Paula's Home Cooking", which premiered in November 2002. Since then, Deen has been given two more shows, "Paula's Party" and "Paula's Best Dishes."