Monday, October 21, 2013

Meeting Paula Deen and Family

That's right, the Southern Queen herself!

Day 1.

I arrived at 9:15am, just in time to get a meet and greet with Paula's son, Bobby Deen!  I got a few great pictures of Bobby Michael Grover interacting with their fans and signing autographs.  After I got my pictures, I had took the chance to meet the man myself.  He took the time to sign autographs and take pictures with every fan that wanted it.  Michael had to leave, but I catch up with him later.
It was my turn, I got a cookbook signed and a quick photo.   We even made small talk about the newest Nokia Lumia Windows phone that I had to get out picture made with.  It just helps cement that Bobby is a down to Earth guy.

Later in the day it is time for Paula and her family to do a cooking demonstration.  I am located on a platform 90 ft from the stage with my camcorder and big zoom camera when everyone arrives.  The place lights up like a rock concert.  On stage is Paula, Bobby, and Michael Grover (Paula's husband).  For the first 15 minutes or so they do nothing but tell stories and such.  When the cooking starts, the press is told they have to leave.  I was able to take an unused chair at the back of the gathering.  The cooking demo was AWESOME.  I got to see Paula do what she does best, cook and entertain an audience.  See the video below!

After the demo I walk over to the Paula Deen food booth where all of her products are for sale.  I decide to buy the biscuit mix and they gave me a magazine.  As I was checking out, Paula walks up and signs my magazine!  Then a hoard of people trap me up close to Paula, I tried to get out of the way so that others could get an autograph.  I took a few pictures but it was hard to see anything and everyone was bumping in to each other.   Later, I gave the magazine to my mother.

I decided to call it a night, I went back to my hotel, grabbed some hummus and a smoothie from the lounge and passed out from exhaustion in my room.

Day 2.

I had just finished filming an interview with Debbie and Gabrielle from "Extra Virgin".  The other reporters followed them to the stage for their cooking demo, but Stacy Fawcett and I stayed in the hallway talking.  Stacy is the premier food blogger for TV shows and radio shows in the Dallas area.  As we were standing there, Bobby Deen and Michael Grover walk out.  Stacy and I take it upon ourselves to take pictures with Mr. Grover.  Then a throng of personal security floods the hallway.  They start asking who I am with, what media outlets, etc....  Then she appears.  Paula walks out, we stare at each other for what feels like eternity.  She stops to try and talk with Stacy and I but her handlers usher her along, she smiles and waves.  I think she remembered me from the day before when she was signing my magazine.

Feeling pleased with myself, I walk back to the vendor area and purchase one of her autographed aprons, while I am there I get it signed by Debbie and Gabrielle.

Now to try and get the rest of the famous TV chefs to sign my apron and to get pictures with them.  I regret not getting a picture with Paula, but maybe one day our paths will cross again!

Please see all of the pictures that I took at and be sure to follow me on twitter (@TeeJayToday) and instagram! (@TeeJay2Day)

All pictures and videos in this article were taken by me!