Could Paula Deen be making a major comeback after her fiasco last year? When she lost her show on Food Network many were not sure what she would do next. Nearly a year after admitting to using racial slurs in the past Deen has now opened a new restaurant in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and plans to be opening another soon in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. At the opening of the restaurant, she also donated a ten-thousand dollar check to the Boys and Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains. Along with opening new restaurants, she will also be going on tour with her 90-minute show Paula Deen Live! That will be live in 20 different cities across the U.S. Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg will be the first on the list along with Savannah, Georgia and San Antonio, Texas. This venture starts on June 21, 2014.
Another big announcement that could mean that Paula Deen is making a major comeback is her new cooking show that will be going digital this fall. Audiences can expect some of her famous classic dishes along with many new dishes as well. Deen admits she wanted to do this for her friends, fans, and family. She seems genuinely excited about being able to be in the kitchen again. The show is set to launch in September. The subscription will be like other online networks such as Hulu and Netflix. Fans will be able to register as early as July and for those who have concerns on whether or not this is a good idea, all users are going to have a 14-day trial period. Those who register early will be entered into a contest to win a trip to join the live studio audience in Savannah, Georgia. This network will not only feature cooking shows but will feature segments on southern living and decorating as well. The new network will be available via computer, iPad, and phone.
Paula Deen is focused on making a major comeback in the cooking industry and this is one way she will go about it. If this venture succeeds, she may be able to branch further out by selling more products and aligning herself with other companies again. Since last year when she admitted to using racial slurs in the past, she lost several alignments with other companies and this may just be a stepping stone in rebuilding her company. She lost business with such companies as Food Network, Wal-Mart, and Smithfield among others.
While, she admitted to using racial slurs in the past it was well before she became known as the famous chef she is today. It was at a time when she felt like her life was being threatened. She was venting to her husband about being held at gunpoint and used the N word. Of course, this does not excuse her actions, yet many find sympathy for the chef. The question on everyone’s mind is, will this be enough to make them forget about her past mistakes? At this point, only time will tell whether her fans will be willing to forgive her past mistake. Many feel it will take much more than a digital network for Deen to prove herself. One thing is for sure Paula Deen is doing her best to make a major comeback in the culinary industry.
Opinion by Heather Tillman