Paula Deen "In Bad Taste"?

   By drodriguez  Jan 18, 2012

For a Food Network chef as well-known for her Southern twang as she is for her love of mayonnaise and butter-laden dishes, Paula Deen’s recent admission that she’s been suffering from type 2 diabetes for the past 3 years has some questioning why she continues to whip up such high-fat meals. And no one is more vocal about his disdain for her fatty and sugary fare than fellow cook Anthony Bourdain.

Bourdain sat down with Eater to discuss his reaction to Paula Deen’s recent announcement that she’s had diabetes for three years now and has signed on with a pharmaceutical company to endorse a drug she takes to manage her disease.

When asked whether he feels Deen’s plan to endorse the diabetes medication while dishing out dangerously high-fat foods is hypocritical, Bourdain quips, “When your signature dish is hamburger in between a doughnut, and you've been cheerfully selling this stuff knowing all along that you've got Type 2 Diabetes... It's in bad taste if nothing else.”

While discussing her condition on the Today show Paula Deen did defend her cooking by explaining to Al Roker that she has always told viewers that this type of food should not be consumed on a daily basis. Deen explains, “I share with you all these yummy, fattening recipes, but I tell people, in moderation... it's entertainment. People have to be responsible. Like I told Oprah, 'Honey, I'm your cook, not your doctor.' You have to be responsible for yourself.”

What do you think of what Anthony Bourdain has to say about Paula Deen’s cooking style?

Do you think Paula Deen’s plan to endorse diabetes medication and cook high-fat fare sends the wrong message?

Make a Comment

seabeebrat by seabeebrat | Cordova, TN
Apr 24, 2012

First and far most she is not and I repeat she is not a chef while Anthony Bourdain is a chef and to compare the two is ridiculous. I think that she is right in the sense that she needs to have moderation and what she should be doing is teach by example. She would have a lot more credibility when she does this, I think that diabetes is a serious disease as my late husband had it and I had to relearn everything so that I could make healthier choices for both of us. I think that she should realize that she could be doing a service not only to herself but to others teaching people who have diabetes substitutes for their favorite meals. I really do not cotton to her cooking because it really does not appeal to me but that is my choice but what are we really looking at here. A woman who is cooking and admits to diabetes and then she did this only after she accepted an endorsement deal--hmm what some folks will not do for the money.

MamaRhonda by MamaRhonda | Bakersfield, CA
Mar 12, 2012

I've neverbeen a fan of Paula Deen and agree with Anthony Bourdain on this one...she comes clean about her Type 2 diabetes only after she's signed a contract to shill it for a drug company. Poor taste indeed.

tori20 by tori20 | OKLAHOMA CITY, OK
Feb 01, 2012

Paula Deen has made her success from her style of cooking. We all love her and watch the show. However every time we watched a show I would say" wow...if I used that much butter (sticks and sticks of it) in my cooking. My family would be developing diabetes or heart challenges." For years alot of families were raised on a certain style of cooking. However, for my family we eat totally different. Just use common sense, and be thrilled that Ms. Deen has a chance not to become a statistic, but that she is challenging her disease head on to become a winner!

savingsmania by savingsmania | N RIDGEVILLE, OH
Jan 31, 2012

Paula Deen is awesome and I don't think it's fair that everyone is picking on her. I'm sure there are many cooks/chefs with health problems, that no one knows about. Someone's health should be their business, not the whole world.

ellieofbohemia by ellieofbohemia | Montague, CA
Jan 31, 2012

If you don't approve of Paula Dean, do not watch her show or buy anything she promotes. Your money will do all the talking.

KatzyBaby by KatzyBaby | GREENWEL SPGS, LA
Jan 31, 2012

She could be doing so much to help others with diabetes by even taking some of her old recipes and remaking them the way she, and all those with health issues, should be making and eating them. While she may say moderation or not every day, many who watch her shows can't help themselves from trying out her yummy food. And everyone knows, if it's there on the counter (or refrigerator or elsewhere) you're going to eat it. Yes, people should be responsible for themselves, but she should not contribute to the problem, especially since she has diabetes and "hid" it. She knew it was wrong.

simplycool by simplycool | bear, DE
Jan 31, 2012

first she started her career making food this way im sure there is alot to consider from the business point of view second she neede some privacy on this to come to terms with it im sure it is a big life style change you can see she is trying to let people know and trying to work on the business part of it too i think people judge to quickly any more about alot of things she does have many aspects to consider not just stop cooking that way people need to wait to see if in fact she will still do the same old things or if she will start incorporating a more healthier way to cook

Genneyb by Genneyb | NEWARK, NJ
Jan 31, 2012

I am a Paula Deen fan and it is sad that she has this terrible disease. Everyone has opinions and they do not mind to communicate about them. She loves to cook with Butter and there is nothing wrong with that. I am also diabetic and I cook with Butter and oil, but I do moderate how much to add, yes I do take my medication everyday and yes if I feel like eating something chocolately, sugary and I will do it. Because no one can not tell me not to. Do not condone what you do not know.

chanelshykisses by chanelshykisses | DETROIT, MI
Jan 27, 2012

I think the public should leave her alone and stop being judgemental,she's only human!

chauntel9 by chauntel9 | APO, OU
Jan 26, 2012

I do think Paula Deen should've been honest with the public years ago. She's doing it now for her own financial gain. However, I don't think it's fair to blame her for the health of others. If this were true, the blame would equally have to be shared between all the fast food companies, and companies that make convenience foods (Little Debbie, Nabisco, etc.)

mlbert by mlbert | HOLMES BEACH, FL
Jan 24, 2012

As there are so many different types of cooking and chefs on food networks/channels, I cannot fault Paula Deen entirely as this is is how she makes her living. I never watched her shows as I knew right away how unhealthy her recipes are and frankly, most Southern cooking which uses a lot of butter, fat, and sugar right away would tell you it's really just asking for heart disease and diabetes for sure. I'm not surprised at all that she finally announced the truth about her diabetes disease which affects millions of Americans now. It's just too bad that instead of changing the format of her show by showing her fans how they can reverse the disease by cooking up more healthy recipes to combat diabetes, she instead advertises the diabetes drug she uses. For me moderation is not the key as it resulted in the disease anyway. All the more for me to not watch her show at all.

junconventional by junconventional | RICHMOND, VA
Jan 24, 2012

Let's see 1. Paula didn't have to disclose her medical history 'cause that's her business 2. Anyone that is going to eat the way Paula eats just because gets what they get - 3. Anthony his taking lipitor (while I love Anthony he has some nerve), drinks, and he used to be a smoker. Other than the smoking, I don't see him trying to be a role model for Americans. Have you seen his shows lately - why didn't you include Andrew Zimmern, Adam Richman , or Emeril Lagasse. 4. We all need to be taking our health more seriously 5. Paula ain't crying playing the victim. She has lived the life she wanted. Besides it is not uncommon for people in their 60, 70, 80's to develop something.

keeganandjacksmommy by keeganandjacksmommy | MUSKEGON, MI
Jan 24, 2012

i love paula dean! her medical history is just that - hers! she has no obligation to share her medical issues with us. i hope that by revealing the diabetes issue she will now use her position to start showing people how to cook/eat healthier. maybe a new diabetic/ healthy cookbook is in the future? :)

gwenparrish by gwenparrish | MABLETON, GA
Jan 23, 2012

I watched Paula Dean on The Chew last week and she was fantastic. I love Paula Dean and I do NOT think that she has acted in bad taste. She is correct - she is an entertainer - not a doctor. We MUST start taking personal responsibility for our actions. I have three of her cookbooks, however, I do NOT cook out of them everyday and when I do use them, I do a little substituting with the ingredients. I will say that while I understand why she partnered with a pharmaceutical company (ie, she has to make money too) - this bugged me. I am a proponent of changing habits (diet, exercise, ect.) Which she has. She said she has not had a glass of sweet tea in over 2 years. She also said that one of her son's is working on a cook book for diabetics. That's the message we should be sharing! That she is making responsible choices and her followers should too.

achiaramonte by achiaramonte | Liberty Township, OH
Jan 23, 2012

I think she should have been up front about having diabeties, but I don't fault her cooking. I think everything in moderation. No one is supposed to eat like that every day, or even four times a week. I wish her the best in her treatment and hope now that she has come out with it, she'll use it as a learning opportunity for eating fatty foods in moderation and exercising