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Celebrity chef Paula Deen hits the (South) Beach

The Albany native offers another apology at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival

Celebrity chef Paula Deen, an Albany native, found a warm welcome Sunday at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. (File photo)

Celebrity chef Paula Deen, an Albany native, found a warm welcome Sunday at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. (File photo)

Sun Sentinel

MIAMI (MCT) — Paula Deen apologized at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival.

She didn't elaborate on why she apologized — for using the n-word in the past — but she did say she got through the fallout by reading letters from fans.

Deen also rode on celebrity chef Robert Irvine's back, drank a bit of tequila and stabbed some ice "Psycho" style. This was all during her cooking presentation at the Grand Tasting event Sunday afternoon during the festival.

"We have come off a very hard summer," said Deen. "I never apologized, so if anybody did not hear me apologize, I want to apologize for those that did not hear me."

Her presence was received with loud applause, but unlike other presentations, like Michael Symon's that preceded hers, there were empty seats.

"I love butter," shouted one spirited onlooker, who was almost ejected for her outbursts. Deen responded, "I love butter, too."

Festival founder and director Lee Schrager said there was no question about adding her to the lineup. There were so many presentations this year, he said he shied away from introducing everybody, but he wanted to personally introduce Deen.

"We want to welcome Paula Deen up where she belongs," said Schrager, who added that as long as he was involved she would be in the lineup.

Another celebrity chef who was granted a second chance (after lying about his cooking credentials), Irvine, joined Deen onstage. He told her, "You apologized, you ate crow, you're done."