From Making Lunch Bags for Extra Cash to Cooking on TV: Paula Deen's Journey and Net Worth

From Making Lunch Bags for Extra Cash to Cooking on TV: Paula Deen's Journey and Net Worth
Chef Paula Deen signs books at the KitchenAid Culinary Demonstrations | Getty Images | Aaron Davidson

Name Paula Ann Hiers
Net Worth $12 Million
Sources of Income Cooking, cookbook sales, TV shows, Restaurants
Gender Female
DOB January 19, 1947
Age 76 years old
Nationality American
Profession Chef, restaurateur, author, TV personality

Author of 15 cookbooks, host of multiple cooking shows, and now also a YouTuber in the influencer era, Paula Deen has earned a $12 million net worth, as per CelebrityNetWorth. Known for making southern American cuisine famous across the globe, Deen learned cooking from her grandmother. After being robbed at gunpoint once, Deen struggled with frequent panic attacks, and once she recovered, she took up a job at a hospital. She started making lunch bags for her colleagues to earn an extra income, and that laid the path for her journey as a chef. By the mid-90s Deen had a thriving restaurant where her sons played a part in operations, and she became a prominent celebrity chef by 2002. After a brief hiatus, she re-established herself with new shows, books, and eateries.

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Paula Deen attends Paula Deen's Kitchen grand opening | Getty Images | Michael Roman
Paula Deen attends Paula Deen's Kitchen grand opening | Getty Images | Michael Roman

Deen's primary sources of income include her cookbook sales, television appearances, restaurants, and merchandise sales. She is known for her Southern cooking style, which has garnered her a substantial following on YouTube as well.


 
 
 
 
 
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Deen's journey into the culinary world began with her catering service, "The Bag Lady." This venture expanded into her first restaurant, "The Lady," and later "The Lady & Sons" in Savannah, Georgia, which earned acclaim and recognition for its Southern cuisine. Apart from her restaurants, Deen has authored a series of successful cookbooks, starting with "The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cookbook" in 1997. She later expanded her empire with a lifestyle magazine, "Cooking with Paula Deen," and a line of desserts available exclusively at Walmart. Deen also gained fame through her Food Network programs, including "Paula's Home Cooking," "Paula's Party," and "Paula's Best Dishes." 

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Paula Deen promotes her new design book
Paula Deen promotes her new design book "Paula Deen's Savannah Style" at Barnes & Noble Union Square | Getty Images | Michael Loccisano

Deen has faced controversies throughout her career, mostly revolving around her use of racial slurs and accusations of fostering unhealthy eating habits. In 2013, she was embroiled in a high-profile lawsuit for racial and sexual discrimination filed by Lisa Jackson, leading to a widespread backlash after Deen admitted to using racial slurs during a deposition.

Consequently, she lost several lucrative contracts, including those with the Food Network, Walmart, and other major brands. Moreover, her cooking style, often criticized for its high sugar and fat content, has attracted scrutiny, especially in the context of growing health concerns. A Halloween picture from 2011 depicting Deen and her son dressed in racially insensitive costumes stirred further controversy, highlighting the ongoing challenges surrounding her public image.



 

Observer reported that Deen's 5.5-acre Savannah property, Riverbend, initially listed at $12.5 million in 2015, has since undergone price reductions to $8.75 million. Highlighted on the 2020 HGTV Ultimate House Hunt, this exclusive retreat captures the essence of Paula Deen's sophisticated real estate portfolio.



 

Instagram 505,000 Followers
Twitter 1.1 Million Followers
Facebook 4.7 Million Followers

Born in Albany, Georgia, on January 19, 1947, she struggled with panic attacks and agoraphobia after her parents passed away and her marriage failed. Cooking became a therapeutic outlet for her, and allowing her to support her family.

She was married to Jimmy Deen from 1965 to 1989, with whom she had two sons. In 2004, she married Michael Groover, a tugboat captain, and their wedding was featured on a Food Network show.

Her contributions to the culinary world earned her a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lifestyle Host for "Paula's Home Cooking."

Jamie Deen, Paula Deen, and Bobby Deen attend KitchenAid® Culinary Demonstrations | Getty Images | Frazer Harrison
Jamie Deen, Paula Deen, and Bobby Deen attend KitchenAid® Culinary Demonstrations | Getty Images | Frazer Harrison

What is Paula Deen's net worth?

Paula Deen's net worth is approximately $12 million.

What is Paula Deen's most famous dish?

Her original 'gooey butter cake' is her most popular dish.

How old was Paula Deen when she started the Bag Lady?

Paula was 42 when she launched her first catering business, The Bag Lady.

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