Multiple coures of fried chicken before noon is a worthwhile event in and of itself.
Throw in a surprise visit by the queen of gluttonous fried and buttery cuisine, Paula Deen, and you know some entertaining commentary is going to is going down.
During Fried & True, a fried chicken seminar hosted by festival founder Lee Schrager, food writer Adeena Sussman, and witty wine writer Mark Oldman, Paula Deen crashed the party with a basket of biscuits and some of her trademark inappropriate -- yet hilarious -- narration.
Held at the Ritz Carlton South Beach, the seminar was an ode to one of the great American grease soaked foods, fried chicken.
Gomez's chicken and waffles
Shrager and Sussman reminisced about their research and travels for their soon-to-be-released cookbook (it comes out in May) Fried & True: More than 50 Recipes for America's Best Fried Chicken and Sides while Oldman paired wines with each dish.
Deen's Best Ever Fried Chicken
They picked four of their favorite recipes from the book, including a South American and Indian inspired chicken and waffles from Asha Gomez of Cardamom Hill in Atlanta (a participant of Best of the Best); a special seed encrusted schnitzel from Jerusalem: A Cookbook author Yotam Ottolenghi; Dale Talde's Kung Pao chicken wings; and Deen's southern style Best Ever Fried Chicken and biscuits.
Talde's Kung Pao chicken wines
As Deen's version was brought out to guests, a boisterous southern drawl was heard from around the corner.
Oldman, Deen, Scharger, and Sussman
"I walked up and said, 'Crap, that looks familiar," quipped the infamous celebrity.
Schrager described their experience of taking photos for the book with Deen.
Ottolenghi's seeded chicken schintzel with parsley-caper sauce
"It really is the easiest recipe," says Schrager. "We watched her make it while smoking, drinking a Pepsi, and talking on the phone, all at the same time."
Deen stayed and chatted for about ten minutes before making her way out of the room.
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As she was leaving she locked eyes with a woman sitting in the front of the room, who was mid-bite in a chicken leg, "Gnaw that bone, sister," said Deen, before walking away.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.