Paula Deen, the embattled queen of Southern cooking, has come under some much-publicized fire lately for allegations of racism, but one company has announced that they’re throwing her a life preserver of sorts: Due to high demand, Alice Travel, which organizes Paula Deen themed cruises, has chosen to add a sailing.
The celebrity chef’s admission to and subsequent tearful apology for using the N-word in the past is causing most of her sponsors — Smithfield Foods and Wal-Mart — to name a few — to abandon ship faster than passengers on the Titanic, but not the cruises that bears her name.
In fact, the annual “Paula Deen Cruise” has been flooded with so many calls, the company is adding an extra departure in 2014. A spokesperson for the line told Fox News, "Due to so many requests from Paula’s fans in the past we are actually planning two cruises for 2014 and look forward to both. It’s always an amazing time with Paula, her family, and fans."
And the cruise line is not the celebrity chef’s only loyal stalwart. Deen is scheduled to make appearances at the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show in Houston and Dallas in September, and in Washington, D.C., in November as a show headliner, with tickets to meet her personally ranging from $95 to $500.
The show’s rep told Fox News, “Paula Deen has been a friend of The Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show for many years. She has apologized and we are taking her apology at her word and moving forward accordingly.”
The ousted Food Network star still has a legion of loyal fans. They came out in droves over the weekend to her Savannah restaurant The Lady and Sons. There’s even been talk of boycotting the Food Network for its decision to cut Deen loose.