It was an emotional day for celebrity chef Paula Deen as he faced fans at the Metro Cooking Show at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Downtown Dallas on Saturday.
It’s been three months since her racial slur controversy that caused her cooking empire to crumble.
The Southern Food diva served up her recipes for pot pie and peanut butter pie, along with a side of humility as she tries to make a career comeback.
More than a thousand fellow cooking enthusiasts gave Deen a standing ovation as she took to the stage in Dallas.
“I miss y’all too,” Deen said.
It's her second show this week after she stepped out of hiding in Houston last Saturday. This summer, the disgraced chef admitted to using a racial slur nearly three decades ago, after it surfaced in court documents. In August, lawyers signed a deal to drop a discrimination and sexual harassment lawsuit against Deen.
In Dallas, she thanked her supporters who paid as much as $400 to see her.
“I'm really looking forward to the future," Deen said. "It's good to be back at work... just thinking about the future, I’m going to get back out there and continue to do what I love to do… and that's cooking.”
A lot of her fans feel it's time to put mistakes in the past and boost her once-booming business.
“She came forward and said her apologies. I think it's time to forgive her and let her get on with her business,” said supporter Sean Lough.
Deen lost her Food Network show, celebrity endorsements and some stores yanked her products off the shelves.
“The business about her losing her contracts with whoever, it was just awful,” said Debbie Hrozek from Garland.
For some, the racial revelation is still simmering.
“I don’t condone what she said that people have their own opinions,” said Crystal Jones from Richardson.
“I hope her apologies were sincere, but that doesn't let her off the hook for making such terrible comments,” said Rick Halperin, the Director of the Embrey Human Rights Program at Southern Methodist University.
Paula Deen has been doing shows with Metro Cooking for eight years, and they've stuck by her. They’re planning a night with Deen in March in Washington, D.C.