Thursday, May 13, 2010

Just got back from Savannah!!

Hey hey hey! I just got back from Savannah, GA! You know what that means ... Paula Deen! Remember how I told you she invited me to be on her show? Well, it's all said and done and I took some pics to share. Check us out!
That's after we taped the last segment of her show. She felt like family and many of the things she said and did reminded me of my relatives in the Carolinas. Boy did she make me miss home.

First, I have to tell you, the city of Savannah is just beautiful. If you've never been and like stateside vacations, I'd say give it a go. I'm kind of corny so before the trip I read up a bit and the infrastructure and architecture there is significantly historical. So I took a walk around when I checked into the hotel and just as promised from my reading, it was pretty amazing. The city squares are a sight to see, there are so many I lost count and all within walking distance. Fountains and monuments and history at your feet. Antique hunters, I mean really. Boutique shoppers, it's crazy! Tour takers, I saw plenty of trollies, horse carriages, etc. Movie buffs, the Forrest Gump bench is there and so much more. I walked into CVS and everyone behind the check-out counter happily said "Welcome to CVS, it's nice to have you here today!", it caught me off guard so much that I replied "I'm happy to be here in Savannah!". I know, corny, but that's how happy the city and it's people make you feel. Talk about southern hospitality. Savannah has it all right and if you are a golfer, Hilton Head is right around the corner. I can go on and on, really Savannah is great.

Another great thing about Savannah? It's a southern foodie heaven. On my flight about half of the plane was filled with people planning a trip to Paula Deen's family restaurant The Lady & Son's. That's just the people I could hear in the terminal or on the flight there. Then, walking through the airport, I took a pic of the Paula Deen wall at the magazine store.Crazy right!? There was also a section with just her books and magazines. I scooted off to my hotel and did all the sight seeing I could in a few hours as I mentioned above, amazingly beautiful city. I had dinner that night at her restaurant with her producers to catch up and chat about the next day's show. First of all I didn't know how big her place was, it's three stories high and each level was packed. Plus, there was an elevator, love that everyone can get to every floor, wether on foot or wheels. The service was great and you know how some places give you chips and salsa or bread and butter to start? Well, at The Lady & Son's you get hoe cakes and biscuits...That biscuit was so springy and light and creamy. The insides just kind of melted on my tongue and the top was crisp and buttery. I didn't feel the need to butter it, jelly it or anything. Very good. Then my hoe cake was soooo good! I drizzled some syrup on it and finished it off pretty fast. It reminded me of my mom's. Her edges were crispy just like that. What a nice surprise. Here's my plate from the buffet ...I know, right when I'm talking restraint, I make a 3-piece plate with all the fixin's. I took this right after I realized I dove in like a beast before taking a picture of my spread. That's my sweet tea on the right. The chicken was seasoned to the bone and crunchy. The greens were just how I like em and everything else was so good. I love that I had a big ol' piece of pork in the scoop of black eyed peas I plated for myself. It was like getting the golden egg. Totally a score! I know you can see the fried green tomatoes just above my plate. We got it for the table, I was nice and ate just one, but if I were by myself, I would've polished them all off. It's amazing what restraint I can have. Luckily, my hotel was just a few blocks away from her restaurant so I tricked myself into thinking the walk to my room would make up for the calories in the meal. Teeheehee. Ok, down to biz ...
That's me in front of Paula's place just as I arrived to tape. She tapes in this house, but lives in another. Smart cookie, because taping at home can really rip your place up. The weather was warm, but at least there was a breeze. Just outside the house is the prep kitchen. I poked my head in to say hi and everyone was busy at work!
They had a breakfast spread out of scrambled eggs and bacon and granola and stuff, but I didn't have much of an apetite, I was still full from the night before and I wanted to eat like crazy on set. I knew what the menu was for the show and was excited to eat my way through it! I haven't shared the menu with you yet, huh? Well, the entire episode is about ... take a guess ... BUTTER! When I found out from her producer a few weeks back that they wanted to do a whole show focussed on butter, I felt a bit honored. I mean it is what she's known for. So I knew I had to "bring it" with my recipe submissions. I won't tell you what we made, but I will say there's butter all over the place. I made two dishes and she made two as well. We chatted and laughed and had such a great time. I can't wait for you to see it! She tapes her shows far in advance so this one may not run until next year, but I'll be sure to let you know beforehand if you are interested.

Wait, it isn't over ... As I'm sitting in a back room chatting with Brandon, Paula's right hand man and creative director, Paula's son, Jamie came by with his wife and son to say hi right before he taped the second show of the day with his mom. The whole family is nice and everyone was so sweet. He scooted off to the kitchen and we all sat in the back room chatting and watching the show on a small monitor.
That's a click to zoom if you need detail in the photo. Speaking of Brandon, just a few weeks back I caught him on the morning news talking about his new book he co-authored with Paula, take a look ...
I got a copy and love it! Especially since I'm in spring cleaning and redecorating mode at home. If you are interested, click here and head to the page for it on Amazon.com.

Ok, that's all I have. I'm headed to Rhode Island this weekend for a charity event, I'll let you know how it goes, I hope we raise plenty of $$$. I'm taking the train up because I love that route, can't wait for my fave train meal. Take a look ... ... any suggestions for lunch in Providence anyone?

12 comments:

Jen said...

One of my best friends moved to Hilton Head, so I went to visit her in October. I flew into Savannah. It's beautiful! We wanted to go to Paula's restaurant but it was booked :( We hit up the Melting Pot instead! But it's such a lovely area. That was the first time I was in Georgia!

Next weekend one of my girlfriends and I are heading up to Boston to visit a friend! I have no idea what we'll be going - we're leaving that up to her! Hopefully we'll get to check out a great restaurant.

OK, I'm off to look up some of your chicken recipes. I just bought 18 pounds of chicken for $18 (yes, you read that right, lol) so I need some new chicken recipes to try out!

Give Smokey a few belly rubs for me! :)

Mary at Deep South Dish said...

Oh my goodness, I loved everything about this post Sunny! I agree with you about Savannah. There's something magical about it - like stepping back in time. And it is so very southern. I actually use Paula's hoe cake recipe with very minor adaptation. They are perfect! That fried chicken looks perfect and guess what - I am a leg and wing girl too!! Love it. Thanks for a behind the scenes look at taping with Paula. Do both of the houses look the same? Curious. Can't wait to see the show!!!

NikiTheo said...

Oh I love Paula Deen!! And I an't wait to see the two of you on the show together, especially on a show about butter!!! Yum!

I have always wanted to make my way down to Savannah and check out the Lady & Son's restaurant. Was the wait for a table crazy?

Kase said...

Sunny,

Sounds like you you had a great time in Savannah. It's only a 2 hr drive from jax, so I've been there a couple of times to the Lady & Sons. We were gonna do lunch, but the lined snaked around the building. So we opted to hang out for dinner cause I wasn't a passenger side driver for nothing..lol. The restaurant reopened at 5pm for dinner, so we got that around 415pm, so we were at the front of the line. But the food was fab..everything was seasoned so perfectly. It reminded of eating at my grandma's. You could tell they had to have a bunch of us up in the kitchen girl..lol. They put their foot up in that food..corns and all..Have a great day.

ANCA said...

hi sweety nice trip ..u had alot of funnnn

Neikya said...

Hey Sunny!

So glad you enjoyed Savannah. I absolutely adore that city. It's beautiful and the food is AMAZING! I've gone 3 times (it's just a 3 hour drive from Atlanta) and went to The Lady and Son's all three times for the Sunday buffet. It's soooo good! And during my last trip, we went to her brother Bubba's restaurant, Uncle Bubba's Oyster House and had THE best fish and grits on the planet!

Can't wait to see the BUTTER episode! Please let us know when it airs.

Have fun in Rhode Island!

Marsh said...

Did you know Paula's a Publix gal? I get homesick whenever I see her show and there's a jug of Publix whole milk on the counter. Glad you had a good visit w/her.

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

That picture of you and Paula is so gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

Hi, well this isn't related to this post but it is the only way I found to contact you. My kids and I just saw cooking for real(5-18-2010) and love the looks of the dessert. Could you offer advice to make it gluten and dairy free. Thank you. Tracie and family in michigan

G said...

Sunny,

You sure are tough to get a hold of. It was great meeting you last Saturday at the Gala in Providence. My wife and I wanted to talk to you more. You are extremely easy going, and very cool & laid back. Check your mysapce page for the friend so I can get you that bread pudding as promised.

Cheers!

Sunny Anderson said...

jen, savannah was great! you'll have fun in boston too! try clio and i also loved upstairs on the square, that's across the bridge in cambridge. worth the trip! and omg, i want that chicken deal!!! that's a crazy buy!!!

mary, yaaay! i agree, savannah is magical. wish i had more time there. i'll go back for sure.

nikitheo, i can't wait for the show to air either, i'm a total fan and not afraid to admit it. about her restaurant, the wait wasn't long because i was with her producer, but if i went solo, i think it would've been about 10 minutes. it's a large place and i went on a monday.

kase, lucky you being so close to great history and food!! u r too funny!

anca, hey! i did. still on a savannah high!

neikya, ita, the city is perfect. next time i guess i need to head on over to bubba's and get some shrimp and grits, eh?

marsh, i didn't know that. i almost never notice labels on food tv because i assume they are all "greeked". i'll be looking now ...

mo, thanks :-)

anon, i'm not good at diet :-). they are many gluten and dairy free substitutes on the market though. i usually only do soy milk at home, to drink, but still cook with whole milk. spelt works for some, but i don't use it often enough to offer advice. hope this helps.

g, cheers! i had such a great time in providence!! glad to have met you and your wife!!

dani1908 said...

Two of my favorite FN stars! I can't wait to see this episode...

~Danielle