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Paula Deen to do live show at Community Center Theater

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Paula Deen – best known for her traditional southern cooking on the Food Network – is coming to Sacramento for a live show on Feb. 3.

While Deen will cook at the Community Center Theater that evening, she’ll focus on what she said she cherishes most about fame – meeting people she never would have met in her life as a bank teller.

“I’ll just visit with people,” Deen said. “It’s kinda like coming into my living room, us getting to know each other. People come in and forget everything that irks them.”

Deen will appear on stage with her husband, Michael Groover, whom she describes as shy, funny and a great cook.

“He has got the keenest sense of humor,” Deen said. “He’s one of the funniest men I’ve ever met.”

She said she’s looking forward to the trip to Sacramento, but her schedule will force the visit to be brief.

The appearance coincides with a donation made by the show sponsors, Smithfield and Safeway, as well as the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, to the Sacramento Emergency Foodlink. Deen’s live show is part of a nationwide tour during which donations will be made to several organizations.

Pork will be on the menu for the evening, but fans shouldn’t expect her live show to mirror the cooking shows for which Deen has become famous.

“If you are expecting to come away with a Julia Child cooking degree, you’ll be disappointed,” Deen said.

In addition to three television shows featured on the Food Network (“Paula’s Best Dishes,” “Paula’s Home Cooking” and “Paula’s Party”), Deen is a restaurateur and cookbook author. It’s a family business, Deen said, and she often collaborates with her two sons, Jamie and Bobby Deen.

“The best part of a family business is working with family,” Deen said. “And the worst part is working with family.”

The Lady and Sons restaurant in Savannah, Ga. Dec. 2010 file photo.

Sure to be a topic of conversation is Deen’s recent revelation that she has diabetes. While her website promises new, diabetes-friendly recipes in the future, Deen said the six weeks during which her shows are shot are not a snapshot of her daily fare.

“We don’t eat in the south like people think. We eat a lot of vegetables,” Deen said, adding that she uses a lot less butter in her cooking than people commonly believe.

Deen recently topped Maxim magazine’s list of television’s sexiest chefs, a title that she said she thought was a joke, initially.

“My breath was knocked out of me,” Deen said. “I was shocked. I loved it!”

As for what’s ahead for Deen, she said she’s working on many projects, but isn’t able to discuss them yet.

“The biggest is yet to come in my career. That’s all I can say,” Deen said.

Deen will personally make the delivery of pork products at 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 3, said Mary Meagher, director of public relations and development at the Sacramento Emergency Foodlink.

“Our food closets will greatly appreciate the protein items,” Meagher said. “Through 140 partner agencies, we serve 100,000 people each month. We’re very happy that Sacramento is one of the stops.”

Tickets are still available to Paula Deen’s live show at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 3 at the Sacramento Community Center Theater.

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