Paula Deen used to be a fixture at the South Beach Wine & Festival. That is until a scandal last year when it emerged that she had used the n-word, and was fired from the Food Network and lost various endorsement deals. But don’t cry for Paula.
Earlier this month the Savannah-based chef/restaurateur announced that she had launched an eponymous umbrella company that will oversee her restaurants, cookbooks, product endorsements, etc. Private-equity firm Najafi Companies is investing $75 million to $100 million to help Deen her with her comeback.
Also helping her image is son Bobby Deen, author and host of Not My Mama’s Meals on Cooking Channel. He was the host of Saturday night’s Thrillist BBQ & The Blues party at the Eden Roc. Bobby pulled his mom on stage, calling her “his hero.” Paula looked a little teary and used the podium to thank Bobby for letting her having the spotlight “for a minute” and to introduce the crowd to her new daughter in law Claudia Lovera from Venezuela. “Isn’t she a peach?” Paula said of the pretty long haired brunette TV producer.
She also mentioned that Claudia and Bobby were going to have a second, more religious ceremony soon (their first, back in July, was held at mom’s Savannah mansion). “I’m so proud…and may get some grandbabies!”
Also “floating” around the meat soaked party: the fallen chef’s hubby Michael Groover, according to Top Chef contestant turned Bulldog Barbecue restaurateur Howie Kleinberg.