MIAMI BEACH — Wow, easy there, Paula Deen!
The celebrity chef was spotted taking a long draw from what looked like a bottle of Don Julio tequila (above) in Miami Beach before one of her first public appearances since she ignited a firestorm over her use of racial epithets.
That was before Deen, 67, led a cooking demonstration for an estimated 250 people yesterday at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival.
Deen was greeted with a standing ovation but admitted to the crowd having had a “tough summer.”
“We have come off a hard summer,” she said, “… my family and my partners … and I want to take a moment to apologize to those of you who didn’t hear me. I hope you see us bring back good memories for you.”
Back in June, a lawsuit filed against Deen contained allegations she used racial epithets when talking to and about black people in her entourage.
The case was eventually settled but caused irreparable damages to her career as a domestic diva. At that time, there was doubt that Deen would be invited to SOBEWFF.
Yesterday, however, a jovial Deen joked with the crowd that there were a few empty seats at her presentation. Then she addressed those leaving early.
“Hey, wait, we’re not done, where ya’ll going,” she asked!