Paula Deen has found a new recipe for success with the Paula Deen Network — an around-the-clock online cooking network that launched this week.
The network menu ranges from traditional cooking programs to game shows, all featuring the biggest thing in cooking to come out of the South since the peach in Deen.
"It's a huge undertaking," Deen says just days before the launch. "Its the biggest thing I have ever done in my career. It's not only the biggest but the most exciting. I feel like a pioneer woman."
This coming from a woman who has sold more than 11 million copies of her 14 cookbooks and is supported by one of the largest social media followings on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Deen's cooking empire began to crumble in 2013 after she was the subject of a lawsuit alleging she made derogatory remarks regarding African Americans. The case was dismissed but Deen was dropped from the Food Network and some sponsors.
Launching the 24/7 online network is Deen's way of bouncing back on her own terms.
"My faith never wavered. I knew that God had brought me to this place not to leave me. I knew I would be all right. This is not the first tough spot in my life, but it was very hard traumatically," Deen says. "I never learned a lesson on top of the mountain. I had to go into the valley to know what kind of person I am. I had women counting on me. My message has always been one of hope and never giving up. How could I not listen to what I was saying."
The online network will originate from Savannah, Georgia. The programming will range from pre-recording shows to a live cooking demonstration where fans (or as Deen prefers to call them, "friends") will be able to interact with Deen as she prepares a dish.
Those who sign up will find programming that includes:
"Paula's 5 and Dime": Dishes are created using only five ingredients and in under 10 minutes.
"Good and Good for You": Deen and her sons will cook up two versions of their favorite dishes_the classic recipe and a healthier one.
"Sketch Your Supper": Deen loves to play games. This online game show will feature Deen and contestants trying to draw pictures of food.
"Savannah Stories": The show spotlights places, people and foods Deen loves most in her home city.
"Deen There Done That": Two audience members are grilled on their Deen knowledge.
"20 Below": Deen makes a full dinner for a family of four for $20 or less.
The Paul Deen Network joins a growing list of online, network and cable programming about food. Deen believes the interest keeps growing because it's possible for anyone to go into their kitchen and replicate what they have seen.
She also suggests the passion for dishes comes from how a whiff of a certain food can take people back to a special time and place. Deen hopes the new online network sparks those kind of food memories in viewers.
Monthly memberships are $9.99, or $7.99 for a 12-month commitment. For more information or to subscribe to the Paula Deen Network, go to www.pauladeen.com.
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