Paula Deen Is Back: 'Tears of Joy, Y'all' Celeb chef steps out in public for 1st time since scandal erupted By Polly Davis Doig, Newser Staff Posted Sep 15, 2013 9:42 AM CDT 39 comments Comments In this Jan. 17, 2012 file photo, celebrity chef Paula Deen poses for a portrait in New York. (AP Photo/Carlo Allegri, File) (Newser) – For those Earthlings enjoying the silence emanating from the piehole of Paula Deen, well, your respite is over: The celebrity chef stepped out yesterday in Houston, in her first public appearance since late June, reports the Houston Chronicle. "These are tears of joy, y'all," Deen told the 1,500 who gave her a standing ovation at the Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show. "I've said all along that the one place I'd want to make my first step back out is Texas. Y'all's hearts are as big as your state." Deen put on a pair of cooking demos, along with sons Jamie and Bobby. On the menu? Chicken pot pie, peanut butter pie—oh, and salad. No ham.