Paula Deen Joins MasterChef as One of Season 11's Culinary Legends

Paula Deen MasterChef Legends Season 11 Fox

MasterChef is getting a healthy serving of Southern hospitality this summer, y’all. (Along with a whole bunch of butter, we’re assuming.)

Paula Deen is joining the upcoming Season 11 of Fox’s cooking competition, debuting Wednesday, June 2 at 8/7c, TVLine has learned. The special season, dubbed MasterChef: Legends, welcomes a host of culinary all-stars to join host Gordon Ramsay as they guide 15 home cooks through a series of challenges with a $250,000 grand prize on the line. Along with Deen, the “Legends” include Emeril Lagasse, Roy Choi, Nancy Silverton and Iron Chef staple Morimoto. (For Fox’s full summer schedule, click here.)

Ramsay will judge alongside MasterChef veterans Aarón Sánchez and Joe Bastianich. (The trio has been judging together since Season 9.) The new Legends season promises all-new challenges as well, including the chance for one chef to go head-to-head against Ramsay in the kitchen.

Deen has been a TV chef for decades with multiple shows on Food Network, but she does come with controversy: Food Network decided not to renew her contract in 2013 after she admitted in a deposition that she had used racial slurs in the past. Since then, Deen has hosted a syndicated cooking show and appeared on home shopping networks, and she also competed on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars in 2015, finishing ninth.

Will Deen’s addition make you more likely or less likely to watch MasterChef this season? Drop your thoughts in a comment below.

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