Paula Deen is slowly making her comeback. The chef, who was entangled in a racial slur scandal last year, made an appearance at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival on Sunday, February 23 in front of many cheering fans. During her fourth public appearance after the controversy, Deen told audience members of her days when she was out of the spotlight.
"We have come off of a very hard summer my family and I, my team, my partners. 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," she said, as quoted by The Associated Press. Deen added that she spent much time with her grandchildren last year.
The former Food Network star also invited fellow celebrity chef Robert Irvine onstage that day. "This is a warning to you. You've apologized. You've eaten crow. You're done. Don't do it anymore. I've been there," Irvine said.
Last year, Deen was sued by an ex-employee for racial discrimination. She received backlash after she admitted to using N-word in the past and lost endorsement deals as the result. The lawsuit was eventually dismissed in August.
Earlier this month, Deen landed a $75 million investment deal with Najafi Media. "We know that the enterprise will be successful and valuable, as Paula and her team continue to bring quality products and experiences to her loyal fan base," Najafi Media founder and CEO Jahm Najafi told CNN.