I had the chance to sit down and talk with cooking sensation, Paula Deen about her tour, “Paula Deen Live!” and the new digital Paula Deen Network that she is launching on Sept. 24, 2014, to bring her fans not only convenience, but easier access to all her recipes. Deen will be in Atlanta at the Woodruff Art Center on Tuesday, Aug. 26, and tickets are still available through Ticketmaster.
In September, you will be starting up a digital network called the Paula Deen Network. After a break from the spotlight, what made you decide to jump back in and go with a digital platform verses the traditional broadcast medium?
I decided to launch the Paula Deen Network online because it is going to make finding my recipes, tips and shows more convenient than ever! My fans will be able to access everything Paula Deen in one place, whenever and wherever they want from a smart phone, tablet or computer. I can’t wait until the network launches on Sept. 24! My fans can pre-register for the network now by going to PaulaDeen.com.
What new and exciting experiences can a viewer expect to see through your new network?
The Paula Deen Network is going to feature short-form and long-form content that will allow fans to cook along with me step-by step as I showcase recipes, tips, ingredients and products. There will be different themes, such as “Leftover Mondays” and “Taco Tuesdays,” and I’ll have plenty of holiday-themed content as well! There will also be a lot of entertainment and lifestyle programs on the network, which I can’t wait to share with my fans. For instance, one program may feature the best of Southern living, such as decorating tips for the holidays and discovering hidden gems with local merchants to entertaining game shows and hilarious bloopers! The Paula Deen Network was created for my wonderful fans, and I think the content we’re creating is proof of that!
You’re about to return to your multi-city nationwide tour on Aug. 6 in San Antonio, Texas. What are you looking forward to the most in your live 90-minute “Paula Deen Live!” show?
I just can’t wait to meet all my amazing fans! They’re truly a gift! We’ll be cooking up some of my tastiest dishes using delicious Springer Mountain Farms chicken, talking about food and family, playing games, and even giving the audience an exclusive sneak peek of the shows that will be on my brand new digital lifestyle network, the Paula Deen Network, which launches this September.
What has been the most unexpected surprise for you in doing this venture?
Oh my goodness, this whole tour has been such a happy surprise for me! When I kicked off my tour in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., the very first night I just became so emotional when I walked out on stage. Seeing all of those beautiful faces smiling back at Michael and me, words just can’t describe it. My fans will never know just how much they mean to me.
What is it about cooking that inspires you to share your recipes and stories to all your fans?
I’ve always loved cooking and the best part about it is creating delicious meals for the ones you love. So many of my recipes have a story behind it, especially about my family, so it’s so wonderful to be able to share these fond stories and my recipes with my fans. Food really brings people together; it brings me closer to my fans so that they can learn new recipes and where they came from!
What is your biggest dream with this experience?
I can’t wait to take my fans on this exciting journey with me! The ultimate goal of my new ventures is to reach even more of my incredible fans, and give them access to all of my recipes, tips and shows on their own schedule. I want to make their experience as enjoyable and convenient as possible, while making sure they have loads of fun learning a new recipe or getting a look into all the behind-the-scenes action with me and my family!
Paula Deen Live Tour Dates
Friday, Aug. 15 – Savannah, Ga., at Lucas Theater
Tuesday, Aug. 26 – Atlanta, Ga., at Woodruff Arts Center
Wednesday, Aug. 27 – Nashville, Tenn., at TPAC – Andrew Jackson Hall
Tuesday, Sept. 16 – Birmingham, Ala., at Alabama Theatre
Thursday, Sept. 18 – Jacksonville, Fla., at TUCPA – Jacoby Symphony Hall
Wednesday, Sept. 24 – Charlotte, N.C., at BPAC – Belk Theater
Friday, Sept. 26 – Savannah, Ga., at Lucas Theatre
Tuesday, Oct. 14 – Boston, Mass., at Symphony Hall
Saturday, Oct. 25 – Pensacola, Fla., at Saenger Theatre
Tuesday, Nov. 11 – Orlando, Fla., at Hard Rock Hotel
Thursday, Nov.13 – Clearwater, Fla., at Ruth Eckerd Hall