Food Network personality and cookbook author Paula Deen has type II diabetes and will soon go public with her condition, according to a report on The Daily website.
The butter-loving Savannah chef is not responding to questions about the report. Her most recent tweets include a links to a ham and bean soup recipe and question asking followers about their favorite Super Bowl recipes, although one recent tweet mentions a workout and includes a link to a photo of her on the treadmill.
The Daily report quotes an anonymous source saying Deen is “going to have to start cooking healthier recipes,” and will soon become the celebrity endorser for a pharmaceutical company. (The company also did not respond to questions.) Sources also muse about whether Deen’s Savannah restaurant will axe Paula’s Brunch Burger – a fried egg and bacon on a burger served on donuts instead of a bun – from the menu.
Deen’s affinity for rich ingredients has drawn the ire of some foodies, notably celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, who once told TV Guide Deen was “the worst, most dangerous person to America.” His most recent comment regarding Deen came via Twitter on Thursday, in response to another tweeter who evidently asked about Bourdain’s criticism of Deen: “Making fun of Paula Deen has nothing to do with ‘macho’ and everything to do with common sense,” Bourdain tweeted. (It seemed like a par-for-the-course comment from him, not a joke about her illness).
Deen’s 2011 cookbook, “Paula Deen’s Southern Cooking Bible,” which she called her “proudest achievement so far,” made it to the list of Five Worst Cookbooks of 2011 by the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
“Deen’s cookbook includes such nutrition bombs as Hot Buffalo Wings. A single serving of three wings contain 910 calories and 85 grams of fat,” the organization said in a statement.
A spokesperson for the PCRM noted that Deen “is the only chef who has made it into the list twice over the last three years with her high-fat recipes that raise the risk for obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.”
Deen’s supposed diabetes is burning up Twitter right now. “Paula Deen” is a top trending topic. We’ll keep an eye out for any response directly from her.
Deen comes to Atlanta pretty regularly for promotional events. She was here in October for a book signing at the BJ’s wholesale club in Woodstock, and showed up at the Dantanna’s in Buckhead during her visit. She ordered the “Buffalo Trace Bourbon BBQ Giant Beef Rib” menu item, along with potato salad and chicken wings. She apparently raved about the potato salad, saying only her own recipe is better, and had the Krispy Kreme bread pudding for dessert.
- Jennifer Brett/The Buzzfirstname.lastname@example.org