What People Are Saying About Southern Food and Paula Deen's Diabetes

Staff Writer
Read chefs' reactions to her news, along with her unfortunately timed 6-word memoir
Paula Deen
Chia Chong
Paula Deen

Yesterday, butter queen Paula Deen came clean about her diabetes diagnosis, which she's known about for three years.

Unfortunately, Deen also decided a while ago that her six-word Oprah memoir would be, "Might as well eat that cookie," an ironic, and ill-timed statement for the celebrity chef.

In the past couple of days, we've heard reactions from Anthony Bourdain and several Southern food aficionados.

Georgia chef Hugh Acheson wrote an empassioned editorial for CNN, saying that Southern food isn't as monochromatic as butter and salt and grits.

"It is a foodways that really has had a much stronger emphasis on vegetables and sides than huge portions of proteins, and one that is healthy if we show off the diversity of our crops and cooking styles," he writes.

Longtime Deen rival Anthony Bourdain told Eater he thought it was in "bad taste if nothing else," although he wrongly predicted that Deen would say she just got diagnosed.

After her announcement on TODAY, however, he tweeted, "Thinking of getting into the leg-breaking business, so I can profitably sell crutches later."

The Office actor Ed Helms talked to Bon Appétit about his love of Southern food, but probably didn't mean for it to come out directly after Deen's news broke.

He talks about the necessity of gravy, the gender-neutral apron, and quotes Mark Twain. "I don't agree with the diet police on this one. Those of us who have tried Southern food and love it should stick with it. Even if it's not good for the body, it's good for the soul," he said.

Some good support comes from Dancing with the Stars professional dancer Louis Van Amstel, however, who offers to be Deen's partner. "If Paula Deen goes on Dancing with the Stars, I would love to have her as my partner and she is going to become an inspiration! How about it?!" he said on Showbiz Tonight. Honestly, Deen could probably pull off a great cha-cha.

The Daily Byte is a regular column dedicated to covering interesting food news and trends across the country. Click here for previous columns.