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The "Dishing with Donna" Show is Atlanta's Only Celebrity Food, Wine and Restaurant Radio Program. Listen every Saturday @ 4:00pm on WGKA Talk 920am to hear Donna entertain listeners with celebrity interviews such as Paula Deen, Guy Fieri, or Ted Allen - as well as the exclusive inside scoop into Atlanta's very own restaurant scene.



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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Paula Deen's Dressing Room . . . .

This past weekend,  I had the pleasure of watching Paula Deen get her hair and makeup done while I was privately hanging out with her in her dressing room.



 . . . . Well.  Sort of.
The lovely Ginny McCormack  (see "Cooking With Energy" blog post)  offered me complimentary tickets to the Metropolitan Cooking Show held at the Cobb Galleria Center where Paula Deen, Bobby Flay, and Mario Batali were there for entertainment cooking demonstrations.   What a day I had!!  I did not receive any passes to go into the very expensive private show of Paula Deen.  My free tickets were general admission only, to the vast array of vendors and booths.  But little did they know ....  I was on a mission!!   Oh yeah,  I was NOT leaving there without getting to meet Paula Deen.  Period.   She has been on my radio show several times in the past,  and the last time was just recently - along with her Atlanta cousin, the charming Johnnie Gabriel of Gabriel's Desserts in Marietta.  Johnnie  (long time friend of the DwD Show)  was also determined to help me meet her cousin Paula.  Boy, she was on the phone with Paula's publicist, her manager, and even her bodyguard!  (Hi Hollis!)  (-- her bodyguard.)    But nothing seemed to be working.   Paula was just too busy.  Even Johnnie couldn't make anything happen, despite her continuous efforts.
 -- So!  I knew it was time to take matters into my own hands.  Operation Deen was underway!
My business partner  (Dan Hott)  found the woman who was in charge of the entire Metropolitan Cooking Show, racing around with a walkie talkie.  I charged right up to her, mid run, and spouted off quickly about who I was and if there was any chance I could "poke my head into the private Celebrity Cooking Theater", even though I didn't have a ticket.  Well to my surprise,  she simply said - "Follow me".
Next thing I knew, at warp speed, she was walking us right up to the front row of the entire theater!!  Passing a million security guards and ticket takers.   - I admit,  it made me feel good and even pretty dang excited.
Oddly,  we chose however to sit way in the back.  And good thing we did, because next thing that happens is a large friendly man comes and sits back there next to us.  (we were kinda in a hang out area) Turns out ... it's Paula's direct business partner!!  He was quite talkative and seemed intrigued with our conversation.  After he learned that Paula has been on my show several times WITH Johnnie .... he insisted that we must meet her!    (Hello!  Thank you God!)  Sure enough,  when Paula was finished with her hour on stage ---- absolutely hysterical by the way,  talking more about wetting her pants every time she sneezes, coughs, laughs, or farts  (her words!) (her EXACT words were, "I'm at that age where I dribble pee-pee alot!)   and now has to wear Depends  ---- but that's beside the point.  She was a raging ball of laughter .... and when it was all over,  she was rushed quickly by an entourage of staff from one room to the next, like a tornado.  Even her business partner couldn't get close to her. 
It looked like my chances were slowly fading away as time kept passing.  Johnnie couldn't get through to her either!  I was doomed!
 . . . . Until  . . . . Hollis.   Hollis the Bodyguard.  - Hollis was guarding Paula's dressing room a couple hours later and after putting on the charm  (thick-style!)  the man actually poked his head in for us and asked if Paula could see me really quick.    Lo and behold ... Hollis comes back out and says "OK!" 
Next thing I know - I'm being escorted into Paula's dressing room and there she is.   Her head is unable to move because she's got her makeup artist busy working on her face, and her hairdresser right behind her with his hands all in her hair and spraying enough hair spray to collapse our Ozone layer.    -- I introduced myself and whether she remembered exactly who I was or not, she played it off like she had known me for years.   She was grasping onto a pack of cigarrettes for dear life  (I didn't know she smoked)  and was trying to talk to me through lipstick applications.   It was actually quite comical.  We took some pictures and then Hollis walked me back out. 
I was beaming!!!
I think I'm still beaming.   :-)   What a little adventure!  It was a moment any foodie could appreciate.  I think I almost pee'd in MY pants!

Operation Deen = mission completed.







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