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Paula Deen to the rescue? Buttery chef coming to Arlington for Harvey fundraiser

Paula Deen will headline a fundraiser Wednesday in Arlington for Hurricane Harvey relief.
Paula Deen will headline a fundraiser Wednesday in Arlington for Hurricane Harvey relief. AP

Fried food maven Paula Deen has chosen Arlington to raise money for Hurricane Harvey victims.

Deen is throwing a $100-per-ticket benefit Wednesday at Legal Draft Beer Company with proceeds going to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.

Deen’s charity, The Bag Lady Foundation, is also donating $25,000 for relief, and pet food sponsor Sunshine Mills is donating more than 40,000 pounds of her branded dog foofd.

Deen will be accompanied by local chef Jenna Kinard, a February guest chef on Deen’s syndicated TV show “Positively Paula.”

Kinard credited Deen with helping turn her viewpoint on food and cooking after a teen-age problem with an eating disorder.

Deen, 70, has made her own comeback after she was dropped by the Food Network in 2013 over a staffer’s lawsuit alleging racial discrimination. The case was settled and dismissed.

Burleson comedian and commentator Chad Prather will host the show at 6 p.m. at Legal Draft Beer Co., 500 E. Division St., a brewery.

The event ticket includes two drinks and light hors d’oeuvres — no Paula Deen fried chicken.

The event was originally planned as a promotion for “Positively Paula,” according to a news release.

In a statement, Deen said: “As soon as I heard about the magnitude of damage caused by Hurricane Harvey, I had to find a way to help my friends in Texas.”

Texas, far removed from Deen’s Savannah, S.C., home base and the conflicts of the lawsuit, has remained one of the strongest markets for her syndicated show.

Deen’s magazine has featured local restaurants, including the banana pudding from Billy’s Oak Acres BBQ and the chicken salad from the Chicken Salad Chick chain.

For tickets, see pauladeen.com/fundraiser.

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