Image Source: Getty / Monica Morgan
You might know her as the queen of butter, but there's a lot you don't know about Paula Deen. Keep reading to find out how she got her culinary career started, her words to live by, and her all-time favorite Thanksgiving dish.
- Her favorite television show is Forensic Files. "I love solving crimes," she told the crowd at the 2010 NYCWFF.
- Paula is a self-proclaimed "slot slut." She loves going to casinos and gambling on the slot machines, she revealed at the festival.
- Because of several family tragedies, she spent much of her adult life, from ages 20-40, inside her home due to agoraphobia. During this time, she taught herself how to cook.
- She doesn't have one preferred dish. She enjoys making the favorite dish of the person she is cooking for.
- Paula believes that "having passion for something is worth more than all the money in the world," she said at the 2010 NYCWFF.
- Her grandmother Irene Paul taught her how to perfect Southern cooking. "She taught me that, in order to have good fried chicken, you should wash and season the bird the morning you're preparing it for dinner," she told Good Housekeeping.
- She used to be a brunette — this was her when she was young:
Image Source: Facebook user Paula Deen
- Her professional culinary career started in 1989 with the launch of The Bag Lady, a lunch delivery service that she started with her sons, Jamie and Bobby. They described it as "lunch and love in a bag."
- The success of Paula's first business led to the opening of the first location of her Savannah restaurant, The Lady & Sons, which is now located downtown and has grown to over 300 seats.
- Back in 2010, she said she would never open a restaurant in New York City.
- The craziest thing a fan has ever done for her? "A young woman came to a live show, and she had my face tattooed on her leg — I'm talking about a big tattoo," she said.
- She's an Emmy Award winner — she won in 2007 for outstanding lifestyle host for Paula's Home Cooking.
- She doesn't like goat cheese.
- "I'm addicted to chewy ice and have a chewy ice maker in my garage," she told Us Weekly.
- Her all-time favorite Thanksgiving recipe is her grandmother's cornbread stuffing. "It's the best," her son Bobby said.
- Instead of a bathtub in her bathroom, she has a couch.
- She won't leave her house without putting on fake eyelashes.
- Her former Savannah estate, which she sold in 2015, was full of copper kitchenware and had a pool with an outdoor movie theater.
- She has published 14 cookbooks, most recently Paula Deen Cuts the Fat: 250 Recipes All Lightened Up.
— Additional reporting by Katie Sweeney