When I went to Paula Deen's demonstration at the Food Network's New York City Wine and Food Festival, I was prepared for anything. It was my first time to see the Southern queen of food TV live, and I had no clue what to expect. One thing I never would have guessed was that Paula did no cooking! She didn't even stir a pot or instruct others how to make something. Instead she entertained the crowd with her wild ways and interesting stories. Like Giada's demo, I learned a lot about the butter-loving Deen. Here are nine fun facts that you may not know about her. . .
- Paula is a self-proclaimed "slot slut." She loves going to casinos and gambling on the slot machines. In fact, the night before her demo she went to Yonkers.
- Her favorite television show is Forensic Files. "I love solving crimes," she says.
- Paula's husband, Michael, wasn't planning on attending the festival. However, at the last minute he surprised her by showing up that morning in her hotel room. "I dye my hair to match Paula's," he joked to the crowd when she brought him out on stage.
- Paula agreed to partner with Smithfield hams only if the company promised to help her feed 200 million hungry Americans.
- Because of several family tragedies, she spent much of her adult life, from ages 20-40, inside her home due to agoraphobia. During this time, she taught herself how to cook.
- She would never open a restaurant in New York City.
- She doesn't have one preferred dish. She enjoys making the favorite dish of the person she is cooking for.
- Paula believes that "having passion for something is worth more than all the money in the world."
- She introduced her son Bobby to his current girlfriend, actress Katy Mixon.
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