Deen's public problems began in June 2013, when it became known that she admitted during a legal deposition that she had used a racial slur.
The Food Network dropped her, and then her publisher, Ballantine Books, did the same.
But, Deen is beginning to regroup her business interests, including an appearance this weekend in Miami. Good Morning America reports Paula Deen Ventures, which includes Paula Deen Foods and Paula Deen Media, have received between $75 million and $100 million from investment firm Najafi Companies.
The food maven took the stage at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, but before beginning her cooking demo asked the crowd if they minded if she talked about something serious for a moment, reports the Associated Press. Without explicitly discussing the allegations or comments she has admitted making, she said she was glad to be back and that, “I am not a quitter.”
Midway through the demo, Food Network star Robert Irvine joined Deen onstage. “You’ve apologized. You’ve eaten crow," Irvine said. "You’re done. Don’t do it anymore. I’ve been there.”
Irvine then got down on his hands and knees while Deen straddled his back and rode him across the stage, a gimmick they’d done during a previous festival, the AP says.
“I’m back in the saddle!” she yelled to the crowd.