Paula Deen Coming on to ‘MasterChef’ Season 11 as ‘Culinary Legend’

by John Jamison

Paula Deen, the queen of Southern cuisine, is joining “MasterChef” for its upcoming season. She will be featured alongside other cooking legends as home cooks test their skills and try to avoid host Gordon Ramsay’s wrath.

The show is entering its 11th season and is packed with culinary star power. It follows a group of 15 amateur cooks as they compete against one another in a series of culinary challenges for a grand prize of $250,000. Not a bad payday for cooking some good food.

According to TVLine, Paula Deen will join the likes of “Bam!” Emeril Lagasse and Chef Masaharu Morimoto of “Iron Chef” fame. Other legends to be featured include food truck pioneer Roy Choi and world-class baker Nancy Silverton.

The addition of all this firepower will help fill out the special season of the show they’re calling “MasterChef: Legends.”

But there’s no need to worry, MasterChef fans. Series regulars Gordon Ramsay, Aarón Sánchez, and Joe Bastianich will remain primary judges on the show.

Yes, you will still get to watch amateur cooks get their food absolutely torn apart by Chef Ramsay. But who knows? Maybe the presence of Paula Deen will help soften the blow.

Paula Deen Repairing Her Public Image

Paula Deen once had three shows on the Food Network at the same time. The culinary empress has cookbooks, her magazine, and countless branded products to her name.

But in 2013, she found herself at the center of controversy when the Food Network declined to renew her contract after she was accused of using racially charged language.

She has since apologized profusely and has been working for years to improve her public image. She even made an appearance on “Dancing With The Stars” in 2015.

These days, it seems she’s earned enough goodwill to be back in the spotlight. At least enough for a major network show like MasterChef to include her as a recurring guest.

Controversy aside, there can be no denying that Paula Deen is a culinary legend. In that regard, she’s a perfect fit for Season 11 of MasterChef.