Cooking with roses
Chef Paula Deen set to lead 122nd Rose Parade
By André Coleman 12/23/2010
Texas twangs and Southern drawls will be in full throat in Pasadena this week, with food maven and Georgia belle Paula Deen leading the Rose Parade and Texas Christian University (TCU) playing in the Rose Bowl Game for the first time.“I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of such a special American tradition that brings such joy to so many every year,” Deen said in a prepared statement. “In my house, the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl Game have always been a grand tradition for ringing in the New Year. To serve as grand marshal is a dream come true and I look forward to sharing the celebration with all of the fans and viewers worldwide.”
As part of the honor, Deen will ride in the 122nd Rose Parade in front of an estimated half-million people on Colorado Boulevard and millions more on television around the world.
Later that day, Deen will toss the coin to open the 97th Rose Bowl Game between TCU and Wisconsin.
Deen is the second TV chef in four years to serve as grand marshal. In 2008, Emeril Lagasse was named to lead the parade.
“Paula Deen is a true icon and the perfect person to serve as the grand marshal for our theme ‘Building Dreams, Friendships & Memories,’” said Jeffrey Throop, president of the Tournament of Roses. “An American sweetheart and a true success story, Paula Deen embodies what it means to build a dream into reality. She has shared her friendships and memories with us all through her down-to-earth cooking and treasured recipes and we can’t wait to build memories together with her on New Year’s Day.”
Deen currently has two shows running on the Food Network and has sold more than 8 million books and launched her bi-monthly magazine “Cooking with Paula Deen,” which is read by more than 1 million readers.
But things didn’t start off big for Deen. The mother of two parlayed $200 and her love of cooking into a home-based meal delivery service for local businesses called “The Bag Lady.” The business was so successful that Deen soon opened her first restaurant, The Lady and Sons, in Savannah, Ga., in 1990. USA Today named it Best International Meal of the Year.