Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Meet Paula Dean, Queen of Southern Cuisine

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Meet Paula Dean, Queen of Southern Cuisine

Article excerpt

Byline: DIANA MIDDLETON

Butter, sugar, chocolate, breading - Paula Deen accepts no substitutes for the ingredients the calorie-counting crowd considers taboo.

Her comforting recipes (such as Gooey Butter Cake) and her deep-fried drawl have spawned a hit Food Network show and several best-selling cookbooks. And that Deen style will be on display in Jacksonville tonight during her cooking demonstration at the Publix Apron's Cooking School in Mandarin. Though the 6: 30 p.m. demonstration is sold out, devotees can still meet Deen at an in-store book signing from 5 to 6 p.m.

To prepare, bone up on your trivia: Here are five things you may not know about Deen.

1. Her first venture in the cooking world was fairly humble. Armed with just $200 to her name, she started a catering business called The Bag Lady that delivered lunches to area businesses. Her specialty: chicken salad.

2. Not everything has been rosy for Deen. She suffered agoraphobia - or a fear of crowds - as well as anxiety attacks and depression for 20 years. …

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