It’s been a minute since we heard from Paula Deen, which was nice. The former Food Network star—whose contract was allowed to lapse after she gave a court deposition back in 2013, in which she admitted to using racial slurs on social media—has been largely quiet in the intervening near-decade, unless you count two seasons of a syndicated talk show and some regular ShopHQ appearances, which we don’t. Sure, Deen tried to mount something of a public comeback in 2015 with an appearance on Dancing With The Stars, but that was met with a resurfacing of a family photo in which her son Bobby was made up in brownface, because the Deen family brand is strong.
But, much like a casserole containing two full pounds of butter, it seems you just can’t keep Paula Deen down. TVLine reports that the former cooking host has just been cast (one might say stunt-cast) as a judge in an upcoming season of MasterChef, where she’ll be celebrated as a “legend.” (We feel moved to note here that Bigfoot also technically qualifies as a legend, but you don’t see us putting him on TV so kids can be exposed to his thoughts on race.) Overseen, as usual, by Gordon Ramsay, the “Legends” season will also feature guest judging from Emeril Lagasse, Roy Choi, Nancy Silverton, and Iron Chef’s Masaharu Morimoto. (And kudos are in order to the MasterChef producers for not tossing, like, Mario Batali into the mix, too—one unearned redemption arc at a time, we guess.)
MasterChef: Legends will begin airing on Fox on June 11.