Paula Deen

I cannot tell y'all how thrilled I was to be heading down to Savannah- one of my favorite towns- to film an episode with the grand dame herself, Mrs Paula Deen! My sweat stain after my morning workout proved to be right from the heart and represented how my heart felt to be filming with Mrs Paula- overflowing!


After my hearty workout, I potted two of this Farmer's favorite herbs and some Swiss chard to take down to Savannah for the shoot- I am a sucker for an herb in a pot with moss! Well, just about anything tucked into a moss bed is fun! Since we were cooking my rosemary pork tenderloin, I thought the rosemary gift was apropos.


Brandon Branch decorates Mrs Paula's set for each episode. This man has talent- making each episode's decor warm and Southern and completely inviting. Pomegranates, persimmons, pears and artichokes in a good ol' enamel ware bowl was an added touch. Brandon had to know these are my favorite fruits to not only eat but decorate with... If he wasn't privy than this was a marvelous happenstance! Even the apples with grain sack cloth were truly fabulous!


What better treat could there be than to have such a great friend who knows what flowers I adore- Brandon knocked it out of the park with antique hydrangeas, foliage and flowers in orange hues I love and artichokes nestled within the arrangement.


I snagged an action shot of BB while he was making a fun bouquet of cabbage -   the next adventure for us was to set a table with the potted plants I brought along with some of Aunt Kathy's gorgeous dinnerware. Leave it to these two Southern gents- we can set a table!


In Mrs Paula's kitchen, there is this wonderful sized table with stunning views of the intercostal waterway and marsh- what better place for a garden accented tableau?

Funny what happens when Paula Deen and James Farmer get to cookin! My siblings show up! I was ecstatic that my sisters and BFF bro-in-law could come by for the end of taping. The girls get enough of me in the kitchen so they played with Mrs Paula's adorable little Havanese, Lulu. She and my sisters made cute-as-a-bug duos! Little Napp won't remember this day but he was there too!


I'm just telling y'all- Mrs Paula looks divine! She is just too Cha Cha for words! She was a brave soul to wear white in the kitchen with me. I'm a messy cook! I only splattered bacon grease once on her white blouse!


After the shooting was wrapped up, I had the sweetest time just sitting at Mrs Paula's kitchen table and shootin' the bull with this fine lady. The crew was busy wrapping up the day and the two of us chatted like magpies and ate our day of filming's fixins for supper. Put two Southerners together and we're going to talk about food! Even whilst we're eating!

I will cherish this day and the lifetime of memories it crested. I cannot thank my dear bud Brandon Branch enough for opening this door and to Mrs Paula who is truly a genteel Southern maven. All my new friends at Follow Productions are simply that, all new friends for this Farmer. I'll be back as Mrs Paula deeded so, but next time with Mimi and Mrs Mary in tow!


So here's a quick rundown of the day I spent filming with Mrs Paula and her amazing crew-

Brandon met me at the gate and we went over some of the dinnerware pieces and flowers for the set, followed by a delicious lunch of gumbo. It warmed us right up since November decided to show up in force!

When I arrived on set, Mrs Paula hollered "Hey James, welcome!" from the behind the stove where she and Bobby Deen were wrapping up a shoot. I just loved that moment. Mrs Paula took the time to welcome me amidst her busy shooting schedule and that was a perfect greeting!

I've had the pleasure of spending time with Mrs Paula at her home with Brandon earlier this past summer so to be welcomed so sincerely and by her on set was special- though I would get to know the crew throughout our filming, I simply cherish that first on set greeting from Mrs Paula.

Hair, makeup and wardrobe... Now, this Farmer's style is what I've been told is "lumberjack chic." The commenter may not have meant it as a complement but I took it as one! I always seem to have on flannel, plaid or flannel plaid and some boots, a vest quite often and jeans and thus the description is pretty accurate and fine by me! I felt like I brought my whole trousseau for the wardrobe team to choose my attire- and it was just what I thought they would pick- a blue shirt and khakis... But not just any- my favorite pearl snap Oxford and Sid Mashburn chinos. Since we were to be standing all day for filming, my Wallabies are always de riguer for comfort.

On to make up... This is NOT my favorite part of tv, but the makeup crew made me feel at ease and made me feel totally comfortable. I'm always afraid of makeup but its a necessary evil for tv- as long as I'm not referred to as Tammy Faye I'm fine.

As for my hair, there's no fighting my sweat wave up front- once I get hot, the Beiber-tastic-do is gone - and with all the lights and heat from the stove, my hair didn't stand a chance against the wave!

We jumped right into filming and had an absolute ball every second! It hardly felt like a cooking show since Mrs Paula and I swapped stories the whole while- stories of cooking with our grandmothers, stories of Southern provenance and stories that just made us laugh!