Paula Deen appears poised for a comeback after her appearance at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival this past weekend.
The former Food Network star surprised attendees by showing up at the Deen Family Kitchenaid Culinary Demonstration, where she was greeted with wild applause and cheers.
“I’m glad to be back!” the 67-year-old chef told the crowd. “I’m not a quitter!”
Deen has stayed out of the spotlight since her admission to using racial slurs last year caused her to lose millions of dollars in endorsements and tainted her previously wholesome image.
The mother-of-two took some time before the cooking demonstration to apologize once again for her remarks.
“We have come off of a very hard summer my family and I, my team, my partners,” she said to the audience.
“But you know, I have heard on more than one occasion…that I’ve never apologized. So if anybody did not hear me apologize, I would like to apologize to those who did not hear me.”
The fans assembled seemed perfectly happy to accept Deen back into the fold, yelling “We love you Paula!” and “You look good!” throughout the event.
And in a hilarious moment, fellow Food Network star Robert Irvine joined Deen onstage to reenact a gimmick that the duo performed four years ago at a previous festival!
Irvine got down on his hands and knees while Deen straddled his back and rode him across the stage. “I’m back in the saddle,” she yelled.
Deen’s appearance at the festival isn’t the only positive thing she’s got going for her in terms of a comeback.
Earlier this month, the domestic diva announced that private investment firm Najafi Companies is investing $75 million in her upcoming projects.
Part of that deal includes launching an umbrella company called Paula Deen Ventures which will oversee her restaurants, cookbooks and various endorsements.