It Ain’t All About The Cookin’ by Paula Deen with Sherry Cohen

PUB. INFO: Simon and Schuster/Hardcover 2007
PAPERBACK: Simon and Schuster, 2009
GENRE: Memoir/Autobiography

From Publisher: Do you know the real Paula Deen? You may think you know the butter-loving, finger-licking, joke-cracking queen of melt-in-your-mouth Southern cuisine. You may have even visited The Lady & Sons to taste for yourself the down-home delicacies that made her famous and even heard some version of her Cinderella story (a single mom with two teenage sons started a brown-bag lunch business with $200 and wound up with a thriving restaurant, a fairy-tale second marriage, and wildly popular television shows), but you have never heard the intimate details of her often bumpy road to fame and fortune.

Courageously honest, downright inspiring, and just a little bit saucy, Paula shares the highs and lows of her life in the inimitable charming and irreverent style that you know from her television shows and personal appearances. She talks about long childhood summers spent in a bathing suit and roller skates and hard years living in the back of her father's gas station; a buzzing high school social life of sleepovers, parties, cheerleading, and boys; and a difficult marriage. The death of her beloved parents precipitated a debilitating agoraphobia that crippled her for years. But even when the going got tough, Paula never lost the good grace and sense of humor that would eventually help carry her to success and stardom. Of course, you can't get by on charm alone: as Paula has learned, you need plenty of willpower, hard work, and, above all, the love and support of family and friends to finance, sustain, and run a successful restaurant.

MY THOUGHTS: I enjoyed reading about someone I find to be highly entertaining. I've been a fan of her and her Food Network cooking show since soon after it began in late 2002. I first knew of her a few years before that when her first cook book was sold on QVC.

The one thing that bothered me most was how she dropped the bomb about being molested on the school bus when she was little but didn't say how often that was or anything. She mentioned it and was off onto another topic when I wanted to know more about this.

In her Foodography episode on Food Network in 2007, around the time this book was published, I thought it was real strange her ex-husband Jimmy, and father of her two sons, was mentioned only once. In her book he's talked about a lot; he's a verbally abusive piece of garbage who could never keep a job. She never mentioned if she ever sees him or if they have anything to do with each other these days. I do not like the fact that her oldest son Jamie bought him a home. I wish Jimmy had been interviewed

Overall I was happy with this autobiography but wish she had gone more in depth with certain things. I think the recipes that were peppered throughout should have been saved for the end.


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