Deen Brothers visit Hunter spouses
January 20, 2011
HUNTER ARMY AIRFIELD, Ga. - Jamie and Bobby Deen are Food Network stars and Savannah celebrities - famous for their restaurant "The Lady and Sons," which they own with their mom, Paula Deen, and for their show, "Road Tasted." The brothers came to Hunter Army Airfield to visit with spouses and share some cooking tips and personal stories, Jan. 12.
The brothers ate lunch with the Hunter Spouses Club at the Hunter Club - food from their cookbooks, prepared by the catering staff from the Stewart Club. The Deens then spent more than an hour telling stories from their lives and answering food questions, ranging from "what is your favorite recipe in your cook book'" to "How do you get your four-year-old to eat healthy'" which was directed to Jamie, who is the father of four-year-old Jack.
The Deen brothers have authored three best selling standalone cookbooks - "The Deen Bros. Cookbook - Recipes from the Road," in 2007, "Y'all Come Eat," released in 2008, and "Take It Easy," in 2009, and said they have a fourth cookbook coming out this spring. They have joined their mother on The Food Network with their own show, where they travel around the country in search of the best local, handcrafted foods. Adding to their repertoire, Bobby and Jamie launched "Deen Brothers Good Cooking" magazine, which features easy recipe and entertaining ideas from a male perspective, in the spring of 2010.
After their question-and-answer session, the spouses in attendance lined up to have Jamie and Bobby sign their most recent cookbook and take photos with the celebrity cooks. The brothers stood in line for more than two hours until every person had their book signed and had taken a picture.
"I love the Deen brothers and Paula," said Erica LaFontaine, a Hunter spouse in attendance. "They were so nice and funny, and I'm definitely going to use their cookbook!"
For the Deen men, giving to the military is their way of saying "thank you" and showing their support.
"We recognize the sacrifice that the military makes for us and their Families; it's a hard job," Jamie said. "Times have changed where the community is much more supportive of the military now, there have been times in history where that they didn't get the recognition [they deserved]. But at the end of the day it's a young man going off and doing a job, you know, for my son. We're very thankful for that."
The brothers said they give back to the military as much as they can, and they enjoy it as much as anyone in attendance.
"I think that most of the people in Savannah support [the military] in any way that they can," Bobby said. "We do, just by donating our time; when the spouses ask us to speak, we're happy to do it. I just say thanks to every military member when I see them. Its little things, but we're happy to come out and support ... my brother and I see it as an honor to be asked. This is my favorite sort of thing to do, actually... it's not like work at all."
In addition to spouses, another food-lover was in attendance.
"It's wonderful to have the Deen Family here to talk about food and show their support for our military," said Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Phillips, 3rd Infantry Division deputy commanding general. "This is just another great example of the amazing support of our community."
The Deens may make more traditional southern food that they grew up with, but they also stress the importance of healthy living.
"The food that we prepare and the food we enjoy eating, it's the history of our Family, really," Jamie said. "I don't want to give up green beans and red potatoes that my grandmother made for me ... but instead of putting it into a cast iron skillet with lots of lard and bacon grease and cooking it down for hours so it's greasy and delicious, I'll take green beans and put them in boiling water for a few minutes and blanch them; then I chill them, then put into a skillet with just a little bit of butter and a little bit of oil, and kind of sautAfA them. So we still get that vegetable that means a lot to us, but doing it in a healthier way. You just have to be smart about it."
Jamie reiterated this by saying that chicken doesn't need to always be fried - and they have numerous baked chicken recipes in their cookbooks and on their Web site, www.thedeenbros.com.
Despite their success, the brothers have stayed true to their southern roots, and to themselves.
"My mother got to where she is by being herself, and being true to herself, and I think that's a lead that everyone can follow," Bobby said. "Television doesn't change you, and having success doesn't change you - I think maybe it changes people's perception of you, maybe what people expect of you changes a little - but we wouldn't know how to be anything except exactly what we are. I wouldn't want to be anything but what I am."
Bobby ended by saying something that every Hunter Family can relate to.
"We're from the south, and Family is the most important thing,"