"I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of such a special American tradition that brings such joy to so many every year," said Grand Marshal Paula Deen. "In my house, the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl Game have always been a grand tradition for ringing in the New Year. To serve as Grand Marshal is a dream come true and I look forward to sharing the celebration with all of the fans and viewers worldwide."
Paula Deen is the quintessential American success story. From humble beginnings as a young divorcee and mother of two boys on a shoestring budget, the Albany, Ga., native parlayed $200 and her love of cooking into a home-based meal delivery service called "The Bag Lady." With the help of her two sons Jamie and Bobby, Deen delivered homemade brown-bag lunches to local businesses. The business didn't stay small for long, gaining momentum and great popularity, leading Deen to open her first restaurant, The Lady and Sons, in Savannah, Ga.
The authentic Southern cooking was a hit with patrons and the media alike. In 1999, USA Today food critic Jerry Shriver named The Lady and Sons "International Meal of the Year."
The success of the restaurant paved the way for Paula Deen's work in publishing. She has sold more than eight million books and launched her bimonthly magazine title, Cooking With Paula Deen, read by more than one million readers.
In addition to her exceptional culinary talents, Deen's warm personality, grounded nature and infectious love of food and family made her a natural television star. Her first show, "Paula's Home Cooking" premiered on the Food Network in November of 2002. An instant hit with the audience, her second show, "Paula's Party" premiered in 2006. Today, Deen has two shows running concurrently on the Food Network, including "Paula's Best Dishes" which premiered in 2008.