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weinoo

Paula Deen's Cook Tells Almost All

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We had a long and heated topic about Paula Deen, called The Rise and Fall of Paula Deen. People defending her and people, ummm, not.

Today's NY Times has published some new info. This is an article based on an interview that the author did with Dora Charles, one of Deen's "cooks." Just a tidbit:

The money was not great. Mrs. Charles spent years making less than $10 an hour, even after Ms. Deen became a Food Network star. And there were tough moments. She said Ms. Deen used racial slurs. Once she wanted Mrs. Charles to ring a dinner bell in front of the restaurant, hollering for people to come and get it.

“I said, ‘I’m not ringing no bell,’ ” Mrs. Charles said. “That’s a symbol to me of what we used to do back in the day.”

Oh, and this too:

“It’s just time that everybody knows that Paula Deen don’t treat me the way they think she treat me,” she said.

What a lovely lady.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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By all means, continue to kick Paula Deen while she's down. Force her to shutter her restaurants and hold massive burnings of her cookbooks, DVDs and beat her pots and pans into shards. Untold numbers of people are going to find themselves out of work in a tough economy.

But, it's all for a greater good, amiright?

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I dont think the NYTimes article was about what you mention above. I found it interesting. You could change all the names in the article to other real people. The article is about uncomfortable truths in evolving relations between groups over time, relations that have evolved and continue to evolve that are partially based. at least, on race, status, and place.

PD is a minor figure in this evolution, as is Dora Charles.


Edited by rotuts (log)

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But, it's all for a greater good, amiright?

No.

Whatever PD gets is of her own doing. It's all about what she's said or didn't say.

If her employees or former employees speak out about how good or bad she is, I'm not going to get all pissed.

It's expected, isn't it?

She doesn't need to shutter her restaurants. We'll see if people continue to come. I think that they will.

If stores/outlets/publishers chose not to associate with her that's their decision.

She can continue to sell her pots, pans, cookbooks and DVD's in another place for the time being.

She may now have more savvy and modern advisors and lawyers and is getting better advice and that may get her back on track. But really, she needs to understand the whole issue that brought her down. I don't think that she does. If she doesn't, she's made a ton of money. Retire and be happy.

Hopefully brother Bubba is getting the help that he needs. It was his actions and deeds that brought her down, but she continued to make excuses and cover for him.


Edited by msfurious1 (log)

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In retrospect, Ms. Charles should have asked for some sort of profit sharing or partnership agreement in the business when she was tasked with creating and approving all of the standardized recipes. That, or a big consultation fee. But, she probably would have been turned down, and PD would have found someone else to do it.

Lots of people help restaurateurs create their menus and recipes, catch is, very few of those businesses ever go on to being such big businesses.

Still it has to be hard knowing that someone else is making big bucks representing those recipes as their own. I do understand that PD and family did spend a lot of time working the business, and they feel that they deserve the success from their hard work. But, they didn't do it on their own.

I was surprised to learn that the recipes used at PD's first restaurant were not her own. The few times that I watched her show, I got the impression that her rags to riches story involved her as a single mom struggling alone, not as being part of a group project with her female friends.

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But, it's all for a greater good, amiright?

No.

Whatever PD gets is of her own doing. It's all about what she's said or didn't say.

If her employees or former employees speak out about how good or bad she is, I'm not going to get all pissed.

It's expected, isn't it?

She doesn't need to shutter her restaurants. We'll see if people continue to come. I think that they will.

I think that they already did after the first go-round on this. There were photos of seemingly endless lines outside of her Savannah restaurant...


Bill Klapp

bklapp@egullet.com

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And, as I predicted, just like with Robert Irvine, the FN execs are already planning on bringing Paula back in1-2 years. Bobby Deen just filmed an episode of Iron Chef America. They film 6mo to 1.5 years out from the air date. It will be the perfect re-introduction for PD's brand.

Bobby Deen is an Iron Chef? Heh, somewhere Hiroyuki Sakai cannot stop laughing. Game show standards aren't what they used to be. (We've already established that neither are cooking shows.)

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Bobby Deen will be a challenger, not an Iron Chef. Iron Chef has done this before and been beaten by some young'uns.

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In retrospect, Ms. Charles should have asked for some sort of profit sharing or partnership agreement in the business when she was tasked with creating and approving all of the standardized recipes. That, or a big consultation fee. But, she probably would have been turned down, and PD would have found someone else to do it.

Lots of people help restaurateurs create their menus and recipes, catch is, very few of those businesses ever go on to being such big businesses.

Still it has to be hard knowing that someone else is making big bucks representing those recipes as their own. I do understand that PD and family did spend a lot of time working the business, and they feel that they deserve the success from their hard work. But, they didn't do it on their own.

I was surprised to learn that the recipes used at PD's first restaurant were not her own. The few times that I watched her show, I got the impression that her rags to riches story involved her as a single mom struggling alone, not as being part of a group project with her female friends.

I find it particularly amusing that, just like Annabelle said in that other thread, if people were lining up for this same cuisine at some trendy NY "soul food restaurant" owned/managed/staffed by folks that the NYT deemed worthy of support for politically correct reasons, they wouldn't be trashing the so-called "unhealthy" dishes.

And now that it seems just such a person that the politically correct intelligentsia deems worthy of support really created those dishes, and not their preferred "overweight rural southern WalMart-shoppin'" target, why, it turns out that those dishes are not so bad after all.

:laugh:


Edited by Jaymes (log)
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I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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PD added the fat and the sugar? I can't know. do you?

go back to the Krispy Creme 'bread' pudding. Who made that?

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“I’m not trying to portray that she is a bad person,” Charles said in the article. “I’m just trying to put my story out there that she didn’t treat me fairly and I was her soul sister.”

So, she stays employed with Deen for 20 years, refuses to say that she is a bad person, and believed that she was her 'soul sister'. It's kinda' hard for me to read that as a case for what some would like to believe. Based on the facts that are alleged, it may well be that she wasn't treated fairly. But I suspect that there may be many other facts yet to be known.

Anyway, I suspect she's barking up the wrong tree by taking her case to the EEOC.

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Thought the NYT piece was a good read, plenty of insights. But Paula Deen is ancient history. America's outrage has moved on. I can't wait to see who will merit our outrage next week.


Edited by Holly Moore (log)
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Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

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I can't wait to see who will merit our outrage next week.

Bourdain will come out against layers of butter, dough and sugar. Oh no, wait.... That was weeks ago. This week, he loves Cronuts.

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The article reminded me of the movies Imitation of Life. The first one from the 1930s has the white woman fronting a huge pancake company while the black woman is happy in the background. The remake is pretty great with Lana Tuner at her lacquered best but she's in show business, not pancake this time.


I've never understood the appeal of Paula Deen, especially the last few years when she's seemed like a cartoon version of a southerner.


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Neither have I ever understood PD's appeal, with that nasal voice and hideous drawl, she screams "I IS IGNORANT!!!

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Neither have I ever understood PD's appeal, with that nasal voice and hideous drawl, she screams "I IS IGNORANT!!!

I'm with you. She is loud, boorish, dumb-looking, says stupid things, cooks what looks like crap. What's the appeal?

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By all means, continue to kick Paula Deen while she's down. Force her to shutter her restaurants and hold massive burnings of her cookbooks, DVDs and beat her pots and pans into shards. Untold numbers of people are going to find themselves out of work in a tough economy.

But, it's all for a greater good, amiright?

Are you suggesting people should feel guilty about not supporting or enriching those whose behavior absolutely disgusts them? I don't know why anyone would. If she is down now, it is all her own doing.

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Neither have I ever understood PD's appeal, with that nasal voice and hideous drawl, she screams "I IS IGNORANT!!!

I'm with you. She is loud, boorish, dumb-looking, says stupid things, cooks what looks like crap. What's the appeal?

This demonstrates that much of the invective directed towards Paula Deen has much more to do with who she is then what she did. People need to know their place. Ms. Deen was to uppity for those of us with much higher intellect and much better taste. She should have been happy to sell sandwiches on the street

Of all the fucking nerve. Go get a job at Wal Mart. None of us important people of high culture would dream about going there

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By all means, continue to kick Paula Deen while she's down. Force her to shutter her restaurants and hold massive burnings of her cookbooks, DVDs and beat her pots and pans into shards. Untold numbers of people are going to find themselves out of work in a tough economy.

But, it's all for a greater good, amiright?

Are you suggesting people should feel guilty about not supporting or enriching those whose behavior absolutely disgusts them? I don't know why anyone would. If she is down now, it is all her own doing.

No. I am saying there is a double standard about what is "absolutely disgusting" and it is defined by who is saying it. Clearly, PD is not "one of us".

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PD added the fat and the sugar? I can't know. do you?

go back to the Krispy Creme 'bread' pudding. Who made that?

Many years ago, a Black woman who worked in the deli/bakery dept. at a local grocery store made "bread" pudding from leftover glazed donughts and canned fruit salad that was a best seller. I don't think anyone had ever heard of Paula Dean at that time... ;)


"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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By all means, continue to kick Paula Deen while she's down. Force her to shutter her restaurants and hold massive burnings of her cookbooks, DVDs and beat her pots and pans into shards. Untold numbers of people are going to find themselves out of work in a tough economy.

But, it's all for a greater good, amiright?

Are you suggesting people should feel guilty about not supporting or enriching those whose behavior absolutely disgusts them? I don't know why anyone would. If she is down now, it is all her own doing.

No. I am saying there is a double standard about what is "absolutely disgusting" and it is defined by who is saying it. Clearly, PD is not "one of us".

You're right.

I'm not racist, and I don't use people to get ahead, and then turn my backs on them.

PD is definitely not one of "my kind".

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Turned her back? I don't get that from the story. I'm more inclined to throw shade at the male chefs who ditch their wives (who bore them children and worked like dogs) for a trophy wife once they're in the money.

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I think Mrs. Charles should have put her recipes to work in her OWN business and cashed in big!!!! :biggrin:

The most important lesson to be learned here is that one must be very careful with whom one associates. In this case, that goes for both Mrs. Charles and Mrs. Deen.

Oh, and if you work for someone who promises something like “Stick with me and I promise you one day if I get rich you’ll get rich."....be sure to get that in writing (with specifics and notarized signatures, of course) no matter how awkward the request may seem at the time!!!!!!!! :wink:

~Martin


~Martin

Unsupervised rebellious radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader and adventurous cook. Crotchety cantankerous terse curmudgeon, nonconformist, contrarian and natural born skeptic who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it! 

 

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See, evidently PD just wants to be like Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, who wrote The Yearling.

Ms. Rawlings, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the novel “The Yearling,” brought New York literati and Hollywood stars to her orange farm to enjoy fine meals of the freshest local ingredients. In 1942, she published “Cross Creek Cookery,” a compendium of her favorite local recipes, like “Utterly Deadly Southern Pecan Pie.” The book made her one of the country’s foremost food celebrities.

Of course, Ms. Rawlings had an African-American cook as well: Idella Parker.

What Idella Parker might not understand is how conditions could have changed so little since she left the kitchen of her generation’s Paula Deen, the author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, in 1950. Ms. Charles’s and Ms. Deen’s conflicting accounts about their relationship loudly echo the experiences of generations of African-American cooks and their white employers.

Since the arrival of Europeans and Africans in the South in the early 17th century, black women have labored in kitchens controlled by white women, melding foods from three continents into a distinctive regional cuisine. And many of those white women have long taken credit for black women’s work, whether through their acclaimed “Southern” hospitality, their popular books about party hosting or their fortunes made from selling the food cooked by black women in taverns and restaurants.

Full op-ed piece here, in the NY Times.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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