Jamie & Bobby Deen: Get Fired Up
The 700 Club
THE BAG LADY
Twenty years ago, Paula Deen started a sandwich delivery business called The Bag Lady with her two sons, Jamie (then 21) and Bobby (then 18) in Georgia. The business clientele grew and in 1996 the Deens opened a restaurant called The Lady & Sons in downtown Savannah. Within a few years, the restaurant became well known and they moved to a larger building in Savannah.
In 1999, USA Today gave them the "International Meal of the Year" award and gave them a national spotlight. Known for their buffet, The Lady & Sons offered traditional Southern dishes including sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese, deep-fried Twinkies, fried chicken, cheesy meatloaf, greens, etc. They serve over ½ million visitors every year and have over 350 employees within Paula Deen Enterprises.
One day, producer Gordon Elliott came into the restaurant and told Paula she would be great in a pilot for a series he was producing called Doorknock Dinner. She got rave reviews and soon appeared on Ready, Set, Cook and Afternoon Tea.
In 2002, the network loved her so much they gave her her own show, Paula’s Home Cooking.
Paula was an instant success as a celebrity cook. Then when Jamie and Bobby appeared on their mother's shows, the Deen brothers were such a hit that the Food Network launched their own show, Road Tasted. The show attracted a slightly younger, hip audience.
"We never expected to garner such attention," says Jamie. "We just wanted to operate a restaurant to pay the rent." The series was a success, but the guys were on the road so much that they decided to stay home to be with their families (Jamie’s son had just been born).
THE DEEN BRAND
Both Jamie and Bobby have been instrumental in identifying, marketing and building the transition from a home meal delivery business to one of America's smartest moves in entertainment brand history. The Deen brothers have authored several cookbooks. Even with their global success, Jamie and Bobby remain true to the southern traditions that the Deen brand is built upon.
GRILLING, PICNICKING AND MORE
When Jamie and Bobby were young, they spent much of their childhood outside. So it was no surprise that the Deen brothers would grow up to be natural-born grillers. The Deen family continues to cook outside as often as they can, even when there is no special occasion. Some of their tastiest meals have been the lazy ones that happened when they were sitting outside on a summer night. They might ask, "What happens if you bust out a tube of biscuit dough and throw it over the coals?" (The result is what they call completely awesome Biscuit Flatbread, page 53!) The Deen brothers will prepare Good Doggies (page 108), Bad Doggies (page 110), Roasted Asparagus (page 68), Beef Teriyaki Skewers (page 82) and display Home Baked Tortilla Chips with Green Tomato and Fresh Pineapple (page 166).
The Deen brothers consider their cooking style to be more on the “healthier side of traditional southern.”
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