Saturday's event was Deen's first public appearance since June when it was revealed that in an earlier legal deposition she acknowledged using racial slurs in the past. Within a few days the Food Network yanked her show off the air, Smithfield Foods dropped her as a celebrity endorser, and retailers such as Wal-Mart removed her products from shelves.
The Houston Chronicle reports about 1,500 people gave Deen a standing ovation Saturday when she appeared at the Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show. She told them their hearts were "as big as your state."
Deen held two cooking demonstrations, including tips on how to make peanut butter pie.