ATLANTA, May 29, 2013 – Break out the butter. Residents in the South Georgia city of Albany are planning to open a museum dedicated to one of its more famous native daughters: Paula Deen.
Deen, the celebrity chef, is perhaps most often associated with her adopted hometown of Savannah. But, long before she moved to the coastal Georgia city, Deen grew up in Albany.
Now, residents in her native hometown, including her ex-husband, want to pay tribute to Deen by turning her childhood home into a museum, according to a newspaper report.
“I think you can say I’m living proof that the American Dream exists,” The Albany Herald quoted Deen as saying. “I’m proof that if someone will roll up their sleeves and go to work … Well, if I can do it – I don’t want to say just anyone can do it – but, yes, almost anyone can, if they have the kind of passion I have about the things I do.”
Deen, the proprietor of the popular Lady & Sons restaurant in downtown Savannah, has been a fixture on Food Network since 1999. Her celebrity status has expanded over the years with a variety of endorsements and products, and her two sons – Jamie and Bobby Deen – have grown into celebrities in their own right.
However, Deen is often criticized because of some of the ingredients she commonly uses in her cooking – mainly fats and salts – even after she was diagnosed with Diabetes. But, those complaints haven’t eliminated her fan base, especially in Albany.
“It just takes my breath away that folks back in Albany would consider doing something like this,” the newspaper quoted Deen as saying. “I’m just trying to wrap my head around this incredible honor. I would want something like this to be a symbol of hope for people looking to make their lives better.”
Albany is located roughly three hours south of Atlanta and two hours north of Tallahassee, Florida. It’s not clear when the new museum will open, but the house may be relocated as part of the process.
Noted The Albany Herald in an editorial: “Paula Deen is a prime example of how an individual can succeed — and even find stardom — by working hard, being smart at business and producing a quality product — homestyle cooking with a heavy seasoning of authentic Southern charm — that people want.”
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