Watch out, health nuts! Paula Deen is a celebrity chef notorious for her down-home southern cooking and her excessive use of butter in her fattening (yet delicious) recipes. Once married to sausage enthusiast Jimmy Deen, Paula started out running her own home food business and restaurants, and rose to fame after authoring several cookbooks and joining the Food Network. She began hosting her first cooking show, Paula's Home Cooking, in 2002. Paula is beloved by many for her warm, Southern hospitality as well as her heart-attack inducing dishes.
Paula Hiers Deen (born January 19, 1947) is an American cook, cooking show host, restaurateur, author, actress and Emmy Award-winning television personality. Deen resides in Savannah, Georgia, where she owns and operates The Lady & Sons restaurant with her sons, Jamie and Bobby Deen. She has published five cookbooks. Though married in 2004 to Michael Groover, she uses the surname Deen, from her first marriage. Deen was born Paula Hiers in Albany, Georgia, the daughter of Corrie A. (ne Paul) and Earl Wayne Hiers, Sr. Her parents died before she was 23, and an early marriage ended in divorce. In her 20s, Deen suffered from panic attacks and agoraphobia. She then focused on cooking for her family as something she could do without leaving her house. Her grandmother Irene Paul had taught her the hand-me-down art of Southern cooking; one of the only places she felt safe was at her own stove, making thousands of pots of chicken and dumplings.
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