Queen of Southern cuisine comes to the mountains

Paula Deen, the “Queen of Southern Cuisine,” had the grand opening of her self-titled restaurant in the Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Hotel on Saturday, January 22. 

“Paula Deen’s Kitchen” is located on the first level of the casino’s hotel.  Inside it is decorated to resemble Paula Deen’s home and kitchen in Savannah.  It is a full service restaurant that serves a la carte breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

“There are already Paula Deen Kitchens in two other Harrah’s Casinos, and we thought that it would bring more of a resort atmosphere and bring guests excitement,” said Susan Angel the Communications and external relationship manager at the casino.

The restaurant had a soft opening towards the end of 2010 but was only open to guests of the casino.

“We thought it would be a great part of the $630 million expansion the casino is currently going through,”said Angel.

This past Saturday, Paula Deen held a cooking demonstration and Q&A session at the Cherokee Casino and Hotel to help benefit the Cherokee Indian Hospital’s Digital Mammography Unit.

“The hospital was one of the first groups to use one of our event rooms, so we thought it would be a good way to show our appreciation by hosting the Paula Deen appearance and passing back the proceeds to the hospital,”said Angel.

The fundraiser was a huge success with a total of $25,000 donated to the hospital and the restaurant was completely booked solid for dinner reservations.

“Even Paula herself couldn’t believe it!”said Angel.

Attached to the restaurant is a Paula Deen cooking store where customers can buy cooking supplies, spices, recipe books and logo wear. 

Paula Deen’s Kitchen is now open to the public and takes reservations.