Television cooking show royalty was in the Chicago area Thursday bringing her signature style food with her. Celebrity chef Paula Deen cut the ribbon at her new restaurant at Harrah's Casino in Joliet yesterday.

"Paula's Kitchen" is her first restaurant to open outside of the deep south. It's a buffet styled restaurant serving a few healthy entrees but, mostly southern favorites like fried chicken, greens and vats of her beloved butter.

Paula was looking good having lost 25 pounds since being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes; something she took some heat for, serving what most doctors agree is not the most healthy food in the world. She responded to the critisism with typical southern charm.

One of those issues is her signature, "hoecakes," which i think was a Kardashian nickname at one time. They were delicious. I also asked Paula about Kristen Wigg's hilarious impersonation of her that she did on SNL a few weeks ago. Turns out she thought it was delicious too!