Courage, hard work and a hefty dollop of good luck combined
to move Paula Deen from delivering lunches to local
businesses to owning Savannah's most famous restaurant,
authoring three best selling cookbooks and starring on her
own television show, "Paula's Home Cooking."
Hers is the inspiring tale of a woman who, with the support
and love of her family, took control of her life and
discovered her destiny. It is about a woman who broke
through 20 years locked in the nightmare of agoraphobia to
find the courage to challenge her fears through actions
that have propelled her into the national spotlight.
In 1989, an unhappy Paula Deen with a failing marriage took
stock of her life to see how she might provide for herself
and her two sons. The only thing she was sure of was that
she was a good cook. As a girl reared in the Deep South,
Paula had been taught culinary skills by women in her
family. Southern cooking was her heritage, and it now
became her hope.
With an investment of $200 and with her sons as helpers, on
June 19, 1989 she launched a home-based lunch delivery
service she called The Bag Lady. Two years later she rented
a restaurant space on Savannah's Southside and opened "The
Lady" restaurant. In January 1996 she gambled again and
moved her business downtown to Savannah's City Market. She
named her new place The Lady and Sons and opened her doors
to her faithful customers, and to the thousands of tourists
who visit Savannah's historic district every year.
Paula's deft hand in the kitchen, combined with her flair
for dramatic touches that have set her restaurant apart -
like the outdoor ringing of the dinner bell, and the
singing waiters and waitresses - together with her
determination, hard work and innate southern charm, have
done the rest.
Her first self-published cookbook in 1997 was quickly
picked up by a major publishing house after a literary
agent ate at the restaurant, bought the book and recognized
its potential. Name "The Lady And Sons Savannah Country
Cookbook," Paula began her road to national recognition in
1998 by promoting its sales on QVC television where it
became one of QVC's best selling books. She also promoted
her second best selling cookbook, The Lady And Sons, Too!"
published in 1999 on QVC, and then her third, "The Lady And
Sons Just Desserts," published in 2002.
In May of 1998 Paula appeared on the Good Morning America
program and in 1999 USA Today awarded The Lady And Sons
Restaurant the "International Meal of the Year." In the
summer of 2002 Paula was a guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show,
an appearance that triggered hundreds of letters from women
who saw her as a potential mentor to improve their own
Paula launched her own show on the Food Network on November
16, 2002. Called "Paula's Home Cooking" it debuted to rave
reviews and has been warmly received by the viewing public.
Paula is the star of her success story, but she's the first
to offer praise for her strong supporting cast in her sons,
Jamie and Bobby, who daily continue to work hard in the
restaurant and who support her at every step in her ever
expanding life. She has gratitude for her brother, "Bubba"
Hiers, who was willing to leave his own business in Albany
to relocate to Savannah and work as her comptroller. As she
says, she could never have come this far without the advice
and support of her Aunt Peggy Ort. Paula also praises the
rest of her family, her friends and her wonderful,
wonderful staff at every opportunity.
Books:Paula Deen Cuts the Fat, September 2015
Paula Deen's New Testament, October 2013
Paula Deen's Southern Cooking Bible, October 2011
Paula Deen's Savannah Style, April 2010
Paula Deen's Cookbook For The Lunch-Box Set, October 2009
Paula Deen's The Deen Family Cookbook, April 2009
Paula Deen's Kitchen Wisdom And Recipe Journal, November 2008
Paula Deen's My First Cookbook, October 2008
Christmas with Paula Deen, November 2007
It Ain't All About the Cookin', April 2007
Paula Deen Celebrates!, October 2006
The Lady & Sons Just Desserts, April 2006
Paula Deen and Friends, March 2005