1. Left Behind

    Paula Deen’s Cook: She Left Me Behind

    FILE - In this Feb. 22, 2008 file photo, Paula Deen waits to make an appearance on the Today Show in Miami Beach, Fla. Deen and Sandra Lee, host of Food Network's "Money Saving Meals," share tips for entertaining on a budget as part of an Associated Press column called "On the Money." (AP Photo/J. Pat Carter, File)

    J. Pat Carter/AP

    A cook and former close friend of Paula Deen’s revealed a complicated history with the embattled Food Network star, where intimacy and specters of the South’s racist past blended together. Deen originally hired Dora Charles as a cook at a Best Western restaurant, but the two became close friends when Deen opened her first restaurant in Georgia. They celebrated their birthdays together, and Charles developed recipes and trained cooks for Deen’s growing empire. Deen told her that some day they would get rich together. But Charles says Deen also used racial slurs, asked her to ring a dinner bell outside the restaurant, and wanted another black employee to dress in an “Aunt Jemima” costume. As Deen’s business took off, she began treating Charles like just another employee, paid $10 an hour.

    Read it at The New York Times