MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami/AP) – Celebrity Chef Paula Deen has received a lot of media attention lately, and it’s not because of her appearance at the South Beach Food and Wine Festival.
Known for her rich, Southern-style cooking, Deen revealed in January that she had been diagnosed with type II diabetes three years ago.
Deen is making the most of her condition and said she will explore the lighter side of the kitchen. But don’t expect her to completely lay off the butter.
“I am who I am. But what I will be doing is offering up lighter versions of my recipes,” Deen told the Associated Press Friday at the SoBe Food and Wine Festival.
“I will have a broader platform now, trying to do something for everybody,” she said. “But you know, I’m Southern by roots. I was taught [to cook] by my grandmother and nothing I can do would change that.”
In light of her public revelation, Deen has received criticism for waiting three years to reveal her condition.
During those years, Deen continued to promote her caloric butter and bacon recipes on the Food Network and signed endorsement deals with Smithfield Ham and Philadelphia Cream Cheese
Deen recently made a contract with drug maker Novo Nordisk to be the new pitch person for the drug’s online program, Diabetes in a New Light, and for its more expensive line, Victoza.
Many wondered why she appeared to wait until she had a paying endorsement before revealing her diagnosis.
Deen will be compensated for her endorsement, but will donate a portion to charity.
“It’s the way of the world. It’s the American way. But I am taking a portion of that compensation and giving it back to the [American] Diabetes Association.”
It may take a while for viewers to see the lighter side of Deen’s cooking due to advanced filming and production schedules, but one thing is certain: Paula will still be Paula.
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