Paula Deen’s Savannah Style, Part I

Paula Deen’s Savannah Style ***.* by Paula Deen and Brandon Branch

I’m joining Jain with my Edible Book Review at Food for Thought, where pages from your book magically mix with the kitchen and your camera.

We recently spent the weekend in Savannah, Georgia, which you can read a bit about here. I returned with plenty of photos of this historic Southern city and several new books, one of which was Savannah Style. Paula Deen, the city’s most famous resident and anointed Queen of Southern Cuisine, and her stylist and co-author Brandon Branch, along with Atlanta photographer Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn, have combined talents in this richly illustrated book. Divided by season, this book offers tips for entertaining and decorating, as well as photographs of some of Savannah’s grandest homes~ from the grounds of Lebanon Plantation to the whimsically restored cottages on Tybee Island.

I’ve divided this review into two parts~ to help the photos load easier, once I discovered I had too much content. (I’m not very good at editing :-) There is a link at the end of this section that will lead you to part two.


“Brandon Branch is a playful Southern gentleman. His style is equal parts Yankee chic and Southern elegance all muddled together in a monogrammed mint julep cup. An invitation to one of his Savannah dinner parties is the equivalent to getting the golden ticket from Willy Wonka. Brandon holds the position of Design Director for Paula Deen Enterprises and serves as Paula Deen’s Personal Assistant.” ~

 You can see more tabletop inspiration from Brandon here.

  The chapters on porches~ Porch Livin’, Screened Porches, Porch Views are full of beautiful photos that evoke images a Southern breeze~ sitting with a good book and sipping a glass of iced tea or a cool drink. No breezes were blowing when we visited, with sultry temperatures in the high 90’s & a heat index of 110! Fortunately for us, Savannah is a city where you will not go thirsty :-)


Searching through Paula’s drink recipes, I stumbled on this one~

Sparkling Sweet Cherry Lemonade, recipe here

My personal twist would be to add some citron vodka to make this a refreshing afternoon cocktail. . .


“Walk down any street in Savannah and you’ll see parlor-level porches; gaze through the fence and you will see the side porches; get yourself invited in and you’ll see the courtyard and balcony porches.”

One of Brandon’s style tips:

  “Porches are for bringing your lifestyle outside during the warm months. You should think of the porch as an extra room, and like any other room in your house, it should reflect your sense of style. Be creative–think of your porch as a nighttime room as well as a daytime space.”

This porch is  quite literally reflecting some homeowner’s sense of style~ I loved glimpsing the reflections in this mirror~  the magnolia and a bit of peach stucco, from across the street.

There is a chapter on wrought iron in this book.  I am drawn to all variety and designs of wrought iron. I have bits of old gates and grills in my garden and on my walls at home and at the lake. (which is partly why this review was divided into two parts, I included too many pics :-)

 Wrought iron is visible everywhere in Savannah. Most iron in Savannah is painted Charleston Green~ The color Charleston Green originated after the American Civil War, when the North provided black paint to the South for use in its reconstruction. Too “funereal”  for Charlestonians, they mixed the black with a little bit of yellow and Charleston Green was born.

 Stairs. . .

 Balcony railings. . .



 Gates. . .

I love the idea that this gate emblem/crest was custom made for someone with the intials BN. . .

And this custom iron gate with a frying pan inset outside of  The Lady & Sons. . .


An example of an oval window inset we found in our strolls, that might have been installed to thwart pie thieves :-)

So with that for inspiration, I searched for a pie recipe from Paula. I found a different sort of pie recipe~

Tomato Pie, recipe here

I did make a couple of minor adaptations to the recipe with consideration to our arterial walls. (Whenever I watch Paula cook~ with her love of butter & mayo, I always wonder what kind of  cholesterol medication she must be on :-)

I substituted olive oil mayo and used 3/4 of a cup instead of a full cup. I also used 2% cheese, instead of full fat~ I don’t think we sacrificed any flavor. The fact that I didn’t use the South’s favorite Mayonnaise~ Duke’s, would probably make Paula faint :-)




Courtyard Gardens:

“The garden walls kept passersby from seeing into the gardens, but there are many who want to share the beauty of their handiwork with others. These people have installed wrought-iron gates or wooden doors with little windows that afford the curious a peek into the garden. Keep your eyes open on a slow stroll down any Savannah street and you will find many of these hidden treasures.”


Here are a few treasures we spied, thru garden gates into courtyards on our visit~  one of my favorite things to do. . . you never know what surprises you’ll find~


for Part II of Savannah Style, click here.









  8 comments for “Paula Deen’s Savannah Style, Part I

  1. Pingback: Your Garden
  2. July 2, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    first, let me say you can NEVER HAVE TO MANY PICS! i eat up every single one :-)

    we obviously have the same interests… DETAILS! i adore all your wrought iron pics, i too love architecture, i can wander any street camera in hand and be perfectly happy. the frying pan gate is fantastic!

    cracking up at paula’s meds…

    i am such a west coast gal i can’t even imagine cooking a pie with mayo… much less dukes! it looks tasty, i see i am missing out!

    love the garden gate shots…

    so glad there is more, will be my dessert, after dessert, dinnertime on the west coast now~

  3. July 3, 2010 at 7:02 am

    Mary, Mary, Mary!!!!! You have captured my ♥ with this one! Positively luscious photos!!!
    I adore Savannah & would love to have a winter home there. I can’t tolerate their heat & humidity in the summers. I have put this book on my “must have” list.

    Tell me, was the tomato pie as good as it looks???

    I, too, cringe at the way Paula cooks although she makes many of the things the same way my mother did & my parents lived to be 79 & 89.

  4. July 3, 2010 at 7:32 am

    My heart just skipped a beat reading your beautiful and memorable post! I go to Savannah every March for their Historic Home and Garden Tour! Being from the north, it is like finding the Mothership! Savannah is my very favorite city. If Savannah were a person, we would be twins!

    Your did Paula proud! Your wonderful review of her latest book ( I got one too this year at Lady and Son’s store) is done to perfection. You have truely brought the heart and soul of the book to us!

    And your recipes and photo’s are fabulous! I have not made the tomato pie, but I will now!

    Mary, I will feature your wonderful recipe and post in my weekly menu this week. Look for a link back to this post!
    Happy 4th!

  5. July 4, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    I so enjoyed this post! The details on the gates were amazing. I love the one with the frying pans! I may have to pick up this book. I love peeking into the gardens. I am definitely going to try that lemonade. It looks delicious.

  6. July 4, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    OK, now I’ve gone through the post from start to finish, both parts. Absolutely stunning! You can’t have too many photos for me, so keep them coming. Your shots of the gardens and the details of the iron work are my favorites. I’ll be in Savannah in the fall. Can’t wait to return to see some of the gardens for myself.
    Thanks for sharing ~ Sarah

  7. July 5, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    Stunning Wrought Iron work!

  8. July 10, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    I have a house on Skidaway Island near Savannah. It’s my favorite city in the South, of course! I love this book and I love your food vignettes-the cherry lemonade looks so refreshing and the tomato pie-delicious.Great post for Food for Thought!

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