Photo: Jeff Christensen / AP Photo
According to a recent report by Georgia Public Broadcasting, some parents are horrified that the celeb chef responsible for the cookbook selected as the past decade's "unhealthiest" by a group of physicians will be steering the curriculum for high schoolers enrolled in the Paula Deen Academy of Culinary Arts.
A spokeswoman for Savannah's Brighter Days Natural Foods was unaware of the controversy when reached by phone, but wondered why the schools didn't pick a nutritionist as a consultant. According to Audrey Biloon, there's no shortage of talented Savannah chefs who don't bathe their vegetables in bacon grease or fry balls of butter. "You don't have to eat a high-fat diet in the South," Biloon contends.
Although a spokesperson for the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System didn't respond to repeated requests for comment, a release issued by the system quotes the high school's executive director as saying "Paula Deen is an internationally recognized chef with the expertise and ability to connect our students to opportunities within the culinary arts industry. We are honored and pleased that this program will be unique in that it is the only culinary arts school partnership with Paula Deen."
Paula Deen Academy students, who will earn culinary arts certificates along with their high school diplomas, will follow a curriculum based on state guidelines, American Culinary Federation standards and Deen's recommendations.