Jamie is an entrepreneur, businessman, author and, of course, one of the sons of Southern cooking and lifestyle icon Paula Deen. With his mother and brother Bobby, they helped put Savannah cuisine into the national spotlight with the world-famous restaurant The Lady & Sons that had its humble beginnings as a bag lunch business in its early days. Not satisfied with just helping run one of the South's most successful restaurants, Jamie also owns Paula Deen's Creek House in Savannah, he and his famed family have been on several Food Network shows throughout the years, and he has written four books with his brother and 2013's Good Food solo, which is definitely a read you won't want to put down until you finish it.
You'll love Pete's talk with Jamie this week as they dine on a variety of delicious details: whether its Jamie's humble beginnings in the food industry at 15 years old at a car auction house grilling up burgers, helping his mother go door-to-door across Savannah asking folks if they wanted to buy any of their home-cooked food for their start-up catering service "The Bag Lady" (Pro tip: if Paula Deen or any Deen family member shows up at your door asking if you want to buy their home-cooked food, you always, always say YES!) to building a Southern food syndicate that keeps satisfying and going strong.
Jamie's tales of grit, drive and determination are a must-listen for any restaurant owner who needs that bit of inspiration to keep pushing forward - or anyone who needs a little life coaching on what it means to work hard and never give up. And, as we learn from the first-born Deen son, there is no such thing as instant success overnight - it takes time, talent, effort and hard work to build the foundation on which a culinary and cultural empire can be born.
And don't miss Jamie's great guidance on attracting and keeping good employees - as he's had some of the folks working with him be a part of their Deen family for over two decades. These wise words aren't just for the restaurant ringleaders - there's a clear recipe for success here that any engaging enterprise definitely needs to know.
We hope this is enough to whet your auditory appetite because this week's The Raw Ingredients isn't just an amuse bouche - it's the whole darn meal, Southern fried and Deen approved, so you know it'll be finger-lickin' good.