Suncoast fans react to Paula Deen controversy

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SARASOTA--"I am here to say, I am so sorry, I was wrong," said celebrity chef Paula Deen in a nearly two-minute long apology posted on Youtube.

It's a far cry from the Paula Deen that millions have come to know. The so-called 'Queen of Southern Cooking' may now be trying to whip up a recipe for recovery, after being tossed by the Food Network on Friday, following her admission that she has used racial slurs in the past.

"I applaud the Food Network for dis-associating with her immediately I think it needs to be done," said ABC7 Culinary Director Judy Gallagher, "I think her brand is done, and to be honest it deserves to be done."

Gallagher says even a celebrity chef must be held to the same standards as everyone else. And like everyone else, there is room for a second chance.

"I think there's always room for redemption," said Gallagher, "I've heard she's done goodwill in her past, I hope she continues to do goodwill.

And while Deen's goose may be cooked at the food network, will it stay that way with fans?

"I think that she'll come back, definitely just like Tiger Woods or Michael Vick," said Courtney Blanchette, a dessert chef in Sarasota.

"She did the wrong thing and she's apologized for it, but once you say something an apology is too late," said Frank Hedy, who lives in Sarasota and was shopping Saturday at the downtown farmer's market.

Other than the apology posted online, Deen has made no other comments on the issue.