HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >


Not my Mama's Meals.... Bobby Deen's answer to his mom Paula's foodways.

(Note: we corrected the spelling in the thread title to make it more easily found in searches. -- The Chowhound Team)

Ch'ers. Wow. I am AMAZED that in this week with all of this vitriol toward moma Dean (the confession, the drug contract, the cheeseburger photo, etc.) NO ONE has taken the time to post about the clear direction the Dean clan is taking...

Not My Moma's Meals...

I have seen two episodes so far. I almost never catch PD's show (not my style, not my calorie level, etc. all hashed ad nauseum on this site), but watched this particularly due to all the flap.

I will say, he is a bit wooden in front of the camera, and meh, the food seems like it could really use some salt, seasonings, etc. but I admire the effort. Baked not fried pies. Greek yogurt in place of mayo to re-hab a pimenteo cheese sandwich...

The MOST interesting part, to me, is that his mom shows up in cameo at the begining/end, and the second show I saw - in person, and Paula seems very natural, and VERY skeptical of the taste changes he is making, then, she is at least on camera, won over at the changes in the recipe profiles.

I know this is SO timed to arrive on camera deep in the midst of all this contraversy, but should'nt we all here ADRESS this attempt at redemption and change on her family's part?
Perhaps she is really trying to turn the tiller of a very large boat, and it takes some time? Maybe, like many, she is so entrenched in 'the world she created' that it has been hard for her to imagine/ re-imagine all those recipes with saturated fat and sugar or stop eating them - oh, pushing them too?

Not sayin' that she is any kind of saint ( in fact, a very, very savvy marketing person with that titanic of endorsements at her stern), but seems to me that this show and what it says - or doesn't - should be a topic maybe of more value than that TMZ cheeseburger photo.
Just sayin'.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I hope you won't mind (all) that I nearly ran coffee threw my noise reading all the corrective actions.

    gingers, like you I did catch the episode where Greek yogurt was sub'd and I thought the mother/son vibe was sweet but I don't believe this show has legs. Before the contro over PD's health or after it. I would only expect Paula to praise the recipes lightened during the show or give faint hearted meh...afterall supporting her family is her #1 priority; always has been. But I will also cop to the fact that FN shows, including new offerings like this, just don't do it for me anymore. I've lost faith in the FN brand.

    5 Replies
    1. re: HillJ

      Thank you HillJ; my latte was already through my nose at all the corrections... laugh till you cry?

      Agree the show does not have legs, tho it was clear that they were clearly trying to make out Momma (NW spelling!), Deen as a neophite on lightened recipes. Time will tell if her ' what?" attitude bears any credibility.

      FN is not a very interesting brand these days, but, clearly, it makes for CH threads!

      Thanks for your humor - of a true sort, HillJ!

      1. re: gingershelley

        Tyou! Do you ever catch any of the Cooking Channel shows? I haven't had as much time lately so I'm probably behind the current times..but when it first launched I enjoyed the Canadian shows that featured some modern men in the kitchen. David Rocco, Bill and Chuck. Although CC is associated with FN just having new faces (at least to American home viewers) was just so wonderful a change up from the same ole FN faces.

      2. re: HillJ

        Faith in the FN brand? That explains why some people are so upset. FN has become a religion. Or is healthy eating the religion?

        It explains the use of terms like hypocrisy and credibility. No wonder I don't understand why people are so upset with Paula's delayed revelation and lack of true repentance. I've been too dispassionate, looking at this as entertainment based on cooking.

        1. i personally kinda like the idea of the show. mostly because im a health nut and its the kind of cooking that i do (aka taking these fatty recipes and making them healthier). he makes it pretty easy on himself to cut the cals and fat in half though by picking recipes that are already mega-over-the-top, which i think is kinda frustrating. plus, on the last episode, he lightened his chili dog by using a custom grinded and stuffed dog that he got to request from the butcher behind the counter. if we all had that ability, im sure we would do that too!

          i wouldnt mind meeting the girl from the butcher shop though. talk about attractive....

          but anyways!

          also, it was kinda weird how flirtatious he and daphne oz were

          2 Replies
          1. re: mattstolz

            Yeah, I noticed that flirting... they were practically throwing themselves at each other.... pretty awkward to watch. The innuendo and what not is what initially made me NEVER want to watch that show with the Neely's (among other things) and I'm no prude, for sure.

            1. re: kubasd

              im glad someone else noticed it. doesnt help knowing that she is married. and dont even get me started on the neelys. that show just grosses me out.

          2. Last week I asked about Favorite Healthy Cooking shows, including the new crop on FN and CC

            1. Okay -- so y'all (intentional!) are ready to put her head on a spike for the cheeseburger thing.

              Y'all collectively want to draw and quarter her for using butter.

              Jeebus, we can't have a show where her son is trying to show her how to change her favorite recipes to make them healthier.

              What the hell do you people want? No matter what she does, you're all screaming for her head...so make suggestions of what you think she ought to do!

              I don't watch her show, by the way -- and don't own anything with her name on it - be it a butter-melting pan or stock in a company -- just tired of watching the witch hunt.

              4 Replies
              1. re: sunshine842

                I'd prefer watching a show where you believe the people are committed to cooking healthy, not just paying it lip service to make a buck. But that's just me, YMMV.

                1. re: sunshine842

                  excuse me sunshin, I have not....nor has everyone. FWIW CHOW and the CH community have had a field day with the PD story. Do we call that "giving the people what they want?"

                  And the guidelines for discussions about medical news, science and food have been allowed. The Home Cooking board has diabetic specific OP's now. So, perhaps a food health and awareness board is in the works! It sure has been an interesting and different CH read-week.

                  1. re: sunshine842

                    Many folks are saying "give her a break!, she is making up for it now"! It is black or white to me. Either she is making up for something or she isn't. Her fans can't say that she did nothing wrong for the past 3 yrs and then say that she is doing a superb job of making it up to people with new recipes and new shows.. No gray area. In my opinion.

                  2. On an episode that ran this morning, the feature recipe was Krispy Kreme Donut Bread Pudding. If that's not his momma's recipe, then he needs to have his blood sugar examined!

                    19 Replies
                    1. re: janniecooks

                      The whole point to this show is to start with his momma's recipe and modify it.

                      is Paula's "Bill Nicholson's Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding with Butter Rum Sauce"
                      which, apart from the donuts is pretty light on fat (just sweetened condensed milk and 2 eggs).
                      OK, the rum sauce has a stick.

                      is a food&wine version with a quart of cream, 10 egg yolks (half the cream goes into the whipped cream topping).

                      is Bobby's light version, with whole wheat donuts, skim milk and fresh (not canned) fruit

                      1. re: paulj

                        Okay, obviously I had missed the point of the show. Never watched it. So I clicked on the the link you provided to bobby's "lighter" version of BP, and I can't believe that anyone would call a dish that includes 1/2 cup sugar, 1 cup raisins, and 18 donuts - that's right, EIGHTEEN donuts - light. Just because it calls for no added fat! (Yeah, I noticed it states that it makes 20 to 24 servings. But ain't no way 24 servings are going to come out of a bread pudding made in a "casserole dish", likely a 9x13 pan, unless they're about one inch square.) The three ingredients I called out are far far worse than butter or a handful of whole eggs. The idea that eliminating or reducing fat and/or egg yolks, while not focusing one whit on carbohydrates, is exactly what is making America fat. What a load of crappy food the Deen family is selling.

                      2. re: janniecooks

                        this is another example of a lightening that i thought was kinda unfair.

                        how many of us have access to a place where we can get whole wheat donuts? i know i dont

                        1. re: mattstolz

                          Nadia G has a better way of lightening a bread pudding - use panettone as the bread, and whip the egg whites.

                          1. re: mattstolz

                            so buy WW flour and make the donuts yourself ;)

                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              meh... id rather skip the over-the-topness of donuts and use a delicious bread. more the concept i was critiquing than the item itself

                              1. re: mattstolz

                                anyone who didn't want to make their own WW donuts and couldn't find them could just substitute something else, as you said you would - they could even use WW muffins or something like that.

                                i'm more inclined to critique the fact that there's nothing "light" about the recipe as a whole.

                                skim milk + donuts (whole wheat or not) + raisins + bananas + strawberries = sugar + sugar + sugar + sugar + sugar.

                                it's a good thing it's NOT one of his Mama's meals, because a serving of it would probably send her into a hyperglycemic crisis.

                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                  It is lighter than the other donut based bread puddings. Lighter than most. It isn't sugar free, but the fat level is down.

                                  Can you recommend a better bread pudding?

                                  1. re: paulj

                                    I make a surprisingly good substitute for bread pudding that's completely diabetic friendly. It's cottage cheese, cinnamon, eggs, sweetener... maybe some cream. For diabetics, it's the carbs that do damage, not the fat.

                                  2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                    like i said a little higher up-thread.

                                    lightening a meal isnt too hard when youre starting with a farm's worth of butter and a plantation's worth of sugar in the original recipe.

                                    1. re: mattstolz

                                      His way of "lightening" them just makes them more rapidly glycemic. Paula will have to wheel herself, instead of walking as she laughs all the way to the bank, post amputations. On days she's not on dialysis. Seriously, no joy here, and no hyperbole.

                                      1. re: mcf

                                        not everyone trying to lighten dishes is a diabetic.

                                        1. re: mattstolz

                                          True, but this show seems to be an effort to address the diabetic issue, given its timing and the ADA emphasis on cutting out protein and fat and eating mostly carbs.

                                          And I guess it depends upon one's definition of "lighten." If you're trying to avoid obesity, subbing low fat for carb reduction is proven inferior.

                                          1. re: mcf

                                            i guess it depends how you look at it. to me, the show is not called "How I Saved My Mama's Life" and according to food labelling standards, he is definitely producing "light" versions of the meals he's replicating, right?

                                          2. re: mattstolz

                                            maybe not, but if we're talking about it in the context of the OP, he's not doing his Mama any good with this dish.

                                              1. re: mcf

                                                Just to put a period on the point of the objection... more good news for saturated fat and bad for the low fat carby stuff:

                                                Specifically relevent to PD's situation:


                                                "Over a mean of 8.1 years, a dietary intervention that reduced total fat intake and increased intakes of vegetables, fruits, and grains did not significantly reduce the risk of CHD, stroke, or CVD in postmenopausal women..."


                                                "Replacing dietary [saturated fatty acids]SAFA with carbohydrates (CHO), notably those with a high glycaemic index, is associated with an increase in CVD risk"

                                                1. re: mcf

                                                  "Epidemiologic studies and randomized clinical trials have provided consistent evidence that replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat, but not carbohydrates, is beneficial for coronary heart disease. Therefore, dietary recommendations should emphasize substitution of polyunsaturated fat and minimally processed grains for saturated fat."

                                                  "In Spain, a Mediterranean country where olive or sunflower oil is used for frying, the consumption of fried foods was not associated with coronary heart disease or with all cause mortality.'

                                                  I'm see two patterns - the type of fat you consume matters, and replacing butter with sugar is not a good idea.

                                2. re: mattstolz

                                  It's not as if whole wheat isn't just as much a toxic sugar bomb, but they''re readily available. I'm pretty sure that there's a supermarket brand that makes them, and many bakeries.

                              2. I may have changed my mind about watching the Paula Dean show. It might be the equivalent of the Rocky Horror Show as long as you watch it with an audiance. It was playing on the Food Network in a coffee shop today and the comments from customers there were hilarious.

                                3 Replies
                                    1. re: Sarah

                                      One of those things where you had to be there. Running commentary was along the lines of ... that doesn't look bad so far ... wait ... there it is .. here comes the butter.

                                      The sort of sad/funny thing about the whole thing was that after trashing all the ingredients the final comment was 'I'll bet that tastes good though'

                                  1. I happen to catch this show today and when it was over I was reminded of Martha Stewarts saga. Rise, fall, daughter's radio show, daughter's tv show, Martha's rise, Martha's endless endorsements....and today Martha is thriving once again. She's apart of our culture. Yet, we so quickly forget the lessons of public reaction...which are neither new or over.

                                    So here's PD's son; not terrible but hardly a wow. More personal experience from son to Mom. The premise to lighten the recipes from PD could have been on her latest show as a comparison rather than creating a separate show which ends with him shipping Mom the food samples and her calling in a review.

                                    19 Replies
                                    1. re: HillJ

                                      ...and today Martha is thriving once again.
                                      not so much. her daytime show was recently canceled ;) but you're right, the public has a pretty forgiving track record. Martha Stewart & Robert Irvine both seem to have bounced back quite nicely.

                                        1. re: HillJ

                                          good for her. i may not like her style or taste (i've never been a fan), but i respect her for what she's accomplished.

                                            1. re: HillJ

                                              Agree. She was my first 'catering' guru when I was 19 and had just hit the big time in catering cooking here in Seattle. Her book 'entertaining' had just come out, and it was like the bible to all of us then.

                                              Not a bad world that little miss Martha Kostyra made for herself, and she has managed to maintain at least a position of tastemaker and authority in some areas for almost 30 years. Pretty good.

                                              1. re: gingershelley

                                                Well said. Why do we (the proverbial we) have to be so hard on successful women?

                                                1. re: monavano

                                                  I walked away after two things:

                                                  I quit watching her show (home from work, sick with the flu) when she affirmed that you were really not taking good care of your silver if you just BOUGHT bags to store them in, as if you really cared, you'd MAKE the bags. (this after I'd just dropped a non-inconsiderable sum on silver bags because, sorry, I was working 60-70 hours a week and traveling like a hobo...something had to give).

                                                  The intimation that we are something less than acceptable if we don't do things HER WAY is hard to stomach. If I were independently wealthy, and had a gardener, housekeeper, and as much staff as she has, then we'd talk. In the meantime, it's just me on a budget. Deal.

                                                  When she, a trained and formerly licensed stockbroker, said that she didn't know about the insider trading rules. Baloney. She was trained in them.

                                                  She cheated, she lied about cheating, and she got busted for both.

                                                  Don't like her, have a personal boycott against anything with her name on it, and wouldn't cry if she disappeared from the media entirely.

                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                    We all judge, so let's be honest here. sunshine responded to my opinion and made some very good points.

                                                    1. re: monavano

                                                      True we all have points. But honest? This public outcry was far from honest. It was emotionally charged.

                                                      1. re: HillJ

                                                        I agree. Peoples' emotions are really raw.

                                                    2. re: sunshine842

                                                      it wasn't two days ago that dh was giggling at some online media "jackass" type site, and he passes the tablet over to me: the picture was martha and snoop dogg-- he in a suit and tie and sunglasses, she in a cheerful red holiday reindeer sweater-- side by side in her studio kitchen, both whisking something in bowls. caption: "stereotypes are awesome! but only one of them is a felon."

                                                      ;-P bwahahahaha

                                        2. re: HillJ

                                          HillJ, It would have been a GREAT idea, as you suggest, if Paula herself had done a 'lightening up now that I have diabetes" show!

                                          It is a sad commentary to me, actually, that her son is doing it, and she keeps seeming all suprised that it is possible to 'lighten up' her food and have it taste good.

                                          Your idea is much more sound, and would have gone at least some distance to improve her destroyed credibility.

                                          I have watched 2 episodes of his show now, and am already bored by it, and can't get excited about trying it again.

                                          1. re: gingershelley

                                            Her son is "lightening" up in terms of fat, but making the dishes about ten times worse for diabetics... they are super high carb/sugar.

                                            1. re: mcf

                                              while this is true (making them worse for diabetics) i personally am of the opinion that a show like this might still be something that people dealing with health issues that require diet changes (whether it be fat reduction OR carb reduction) can look to in order to see that it IS possible to make "healthier" changes to these dishes. even if the changes arent diabetic-specific, i think that there is a VERY large group of people who think that a diagnosis of diabetes, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, etc are a life-sentence to bland, boring foods, when that is ABSOLUTELY NOT the case. showing that its possible to "healthify" a dish AND maintain a high level of taste is, in my opinion, a large part of the battle that i fight with a lot of the people i talk to with these diagnoses

                                              1. re: mcf

                                                The show is not geared to diabetics specifically. As a matter of fact no actual "diet" or "medical condition" is ever mentioned on the show. Suggestions to substitute vary and certainly go beyond avoding or sub'ing the use of butter.

                                                1. re: mcf

                                                  I am confused by that as well.

                                                  I also have a problem with Paula Deen and her reluctance to take responsability or admit that what she has been telling folks to eat may have been a bit extreme in terms of the fat content in her food. Instead, she gets the gig for her kid to have a lower fat show. Because of course you can't change HER show. If that happened, then it would look like she was wrong!

                                                  Another thing, jmo, I don't think that her son's show wants to cover low carb/diabetic friendly reciepes, or even mention them for that matter.. For the same reason I stated above. Her brand is everything and other than that million dollar check from the drug company, she doesn't want an itty bitty thing like diabetes to come between the fans and her brand.And she certainly doesn't want to remind them about the D Word.For someone with such a big mouth and loud personality, she sure has went to meek mode in interviews.

                                                  1. re: Robinez

                                                    Well, I see it as another opportunity lost.

                                                    At least this could have been a show that discussed seriously healthy changes. Instead, it is silly substitutions and more high carb/ low fat meals that have yet to work for most Americans to get healthy and keep weight off. It seems so ironic in the wake of all the "Paula the diabetic" hub bub- to continue the high carb/ stress your pancreas meals, doesn't it?

                                                    Almost as strange as the American Diabetes Association recipe on their web page- that shows a big bowl of mac and cheese (looks lovely), the caption that encourages you to make this tonight for dinner with a salad and soup. Then you read the recipe and it it is made in an 8X8 dish and IT SERVES 13!!!! Seriously. You get a *tablespoon* or two. It is sickening to me how so much smoke is blown up the ass of every American. So, invite 12 of your closest friends over for dinner and enjoy!

                                                    A little honesty would not hurt when it comes to health and food. Once again, a missed opportunity to regain a smidgen of integrity, IMHO.

                                                    1. re: sedimental

                                                      it seems that the ADA is the classic example of knowing just enough to make them extremely dangerous

                                            2. The Deens' 15 minutes--along with their credibility--is long over. Who needs this glop?

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Kagemusha

                                                What have PD's sons done besides love their mother and follow in her footsteps? Bobby's food is hardly glop-- it might not fit everyone's needs or source of entertainment (at the end of the day, these TV chefs are entertainers, not doctors) but it ain't Kwanza cake.

                                              2. I'm pretty amazed that anyone thinks it is their business to have an opinion about what Paula Deen should do or not do???!!! The woman has accomplished quite alot in her life. Now she will have to struggle with her health. That is a private issue. NO ONE should be throwing any stones at her for how she makes her living. If the public doesn't like what Paula Deen does then they will not watch her show, buy her products etc. If they do like what she does, then who cares?? Politically speaking I am getting very uncomfortable with the political correctness coming down the pike that is telling me what I can and cannot eat!! Dangerous stuff. Whatever happened to compassion and accepting people's faults and failings as being human? I say to the people who live in glass houses......be careful of throwing stones.

                                                6 Replies
                                                1. re: riversuzyq

                                                  .>>>That is a private issue.

                                                  It would have remained private had Deen chosen to keep it private rather than cashing in on it. That is just one of the things that stinks about this.

                                                  >>>NO ONE should be throwing any stones at her for how she makes her living. If the public doesn't like what Paula Deen does then they will not watch her show, buy her products etc

                                                  Exactly. It might be helpful to her to hear why people no longer whant any part of her nonsense. At least it might serve as a warning to any other sleazy hucksters

                                                  1. re: rworange

                                                    So when NN came to her, and asked if she would be interested in revising some of her recipes for their 'Diabetes in a new light' website, she should have said: 'I already have diabetes, I can't help you'?

                                                    I still haven't seen anyone comment about the content of that website, or any events in which she or her son's represent NN. All people are reacting to are a few interviews where Paula is representing herself.

                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                      it seems like an incredible perfect storm ... it sounds like a calculated business decision to put all her ducks in a row and then profit off her illness in the meantime not only pushing food that is unhealthy but assuring people all was a-ok.

                                                      i love Southern food. i have no illusions about the fact that some of it isn't healthy and sould be eaten in moderation.
                                                      Good luck to Paula if she makes a buck off it. i wasn't a fan before and this certainly doesn't change that.

                                                      1. re: rworange

                                                        When did PD assure anything about her food? Did she say "eat this, it'll make you healthy"? Or the like...
                                                        I guess I just haven't really been paying attention when I have her show on. I love to watch and envy her kitchen and home, but can't remember the last time I actually cooked something of hers.

                                                        1. re: monavano

                                                          I don't watch her show so what she says there i can't say. i have seen her guest on a number of tv show and the inevitable comments are about all the butter or whatever and more times than not PD says something along the lines that dismisses health concerns.

                                                          i have no problem with her food. i have no problem with her previously brushing off heatlh concerns.

                                                          Julia Child loved her butter and McDonald french fries when they were fried in beef tallow.

                                                          What I do have an issue with is knowing she has this health problem and covering it up until she made what she thought were smart business decisions to profit off it.

                                                          1. re: rworange

                                                            I get that she certainly embraced the fat and butter and really rolled with her reputation for cooking with it, even laughing hysterically at a comedienne (sp?) who spoofed her in her own kitchen.

                                                2. i wonder, would the complaints against this show been the same had paula been diagnosed with something like, say, gout, and bobby had continued making high purine, but healthy foods?

                                                  or would people have then just assumed that bobby had gotten a lighter cooking how and his mother had a three year old diagnosis of a disease that had to do with diet?

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: mattstolz

                                                    Your post got me wondering whether Foodnetwork has a policy regarding medical diet advice on their shows. They are picky about giving food brands free placement. They might also be picky about anything that could be construed as professional medical advice (for liability reasons).

                                                    So far I haven't found anything about that, but I stumbled upon another medical endorsement by a FN personality - http://www.ultracare-dialysis.com/ Kidney Dialysis Centers and Aaron McCargo

                                                    There's no indication that Aaron has kidney problems, but "FMCNA and Chef McCargo aim to show that people can follow their dietary guidelines, and still enjoy delicious health-oriented meals with big flavor!" sure sounds like the NN and PD partnership.

                                                    Ellie Krieger's partnership site with FN
                                                    has legal disclaimer: "This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment"

                                                    1. re: mattstolz

                                                      I would agree that the announcement last week placed all sorts of doubt and assumption upon everthing associated with the PD brand, family and business team. Under estimating public reaction is as bad as the publics short term memory.