Paula Deen Gets Her Own Museum

Paula Deen’s childhood home in Albany, Ga., is being turned into a museum dedicated to the Southern bell, according to the Albany Herald. The idea came from B.J. Fletcher, an Albany businesswoman, and Deen’s former husband, Jimmy Deen. Both have been working on the project for more than a year, but there are no set plans as to when it will be completed.

“It just takes my breath away that folks back in Albany would consider doing something like this,” Paula Deen told the Albany Herald. “I’m just trying to wrap my head around this incredible honor. I would want something like this to be a symbol of hope for people looking to make their lives better.”

Fletcher, who plans to run for a seat on the Albany City Commission, said that she’d envisioned this plan for almost two years, and that this new project would bring life to the city of Albany. Fletcher also noted that the Food Network celebrity was quick to jump on board.

“I told her I’d heard she had a great passion for Albany, and she started talking excitedly about being involved in the museum project,” Fletcher told the source.

The Los Angeles Times noted that museums dedicated to chefs are few and far between, but there are some popular food displays, including the Jell-O Gallery in New York and the Museum of Burnt Food in Massachusetts.

Although Deen did not attend a culinary academy, she started a catering business and, because of her love of Southern food, it took off. She went on to open her first restaurant in Savannah, Ga., called The Lady & Sons, in 1996.

Deen’s ex-husband said that he was excited for the museum opening and for people to learn more about his former wife.

“It’s great that Albany is embracing Paula for all she’s accomplished,” Jimmy Deen told the Albany Herald. “I’ve talked with her, and I know if the city reaches out to her, she’s going to reach back. I certainly hope this is something that works out because the tourism (a museum) generated could help return Albany to what it used to be.”

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