Whatever one may think of Paula Deen, the Baroness of Butter, you've got to admit she's a tenacious mistress of all media. In 2013, the Food Network star's Southern-fried empire was sinking like a half-baked cake in a room full of buck dancers. She'd admitted to using racial slurs and stood accused of discriminatory behavior. Long-standing partnerships and endorsement deals evaporated. Her namesake Tunica buffet inside Harrah's Casino vanished faster than an unguarded slice of granny's pie. It looked like Deen, the cackling matriarch of the too-much-mascara set, was gone with the wind, past her expiration date, and likely to disappear forever. Only she didn't.
In the past year, a thinner and fitter version of Deen has shown her underpants to judges on Dancing with the Stars, launched Recipe Quest, a match-3 video game puzzle app with less appeal than a big ol' bowl of Boston grits, opened a new restaurant in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, and written a new cookbook, Paula Deen Cuts the Fat. It's the last of these things that brings her to Germantown for a reading and book signing at Barnes & Noble.
Deen's latest book is a revisionist take on 250 of the Southern chef's favorite recipes retooled for healthier lifestyles.