THE simmering kitchen rivalry between mother-and-son TV chefs PAULA and BOBBY DEEN is boiling over, sources say.
Bobby has finally had enough of his cooking queen mom stirring up trouble over his success, the sources add.
The Deen culinary empire’s matriarch took a jab at Bobby during her Nov. 14 appearance in front of hundreds of fans who’d turned out to support the Holiday Hunger Relief program to boost food banks in Greenville, S.C.
“Go butter,” Paula crowed, responding to a remark made by one audience member. “I love butter, and I ain’t never going to give up butter!”
But then Paula aimed a low blow at Bobby, 42, and his Cooking Channel show, “Not My Mama’s Meals,” in which he turns his mom’s fattening recipes into healthier meals.
“He only likes a little butter,” she sneered, referring to Bobby, who helps his mother run The Lady & Sons restaurant in Savannah, Ga.
“It may have seemed innocent enough to her fans, but Bobby’s been taking her verbal blows on the chin ever since she brought him into the business, and now he’s had enough,” a family friend told The ENQUIRER.
“Bobby and his brother Jamie would’ve never achieved the same level of fame and success they have today without Paula – and she never lets them forget that in very subtle ways.
“Paula is very proud of her sons and does want them to be successful, but at the same time she is very territorial with the multimillion-dollar culinary empire she’s created. And she’ll stop at nothing to make sure their stars don’t outshine hers!”
The ENQUIRER broke the exclusive story that 65-year-old Paula had diabetes, but it wasn’t until eight months later that she confirmed her Type 2 diagnosis.
“Paula’s diabetes announcement was very well-calculated, and it wasn’t made until she’d formulated the deal for Bobby’s show,” the source revealed.
“But now, Bobby is on the fast track to becoming just as popular as his mom, and he’s more fan-friendly – and she doesn’t like it!
“Paula insists on having a hand in every professional decision that Bobby makes, but all he wants is to break away and prove that he can be successful without his mom calling all the shots.
“The tension between Bobby and Paula has been building for a very long time, so the recent onstage jab she took at him in front of their fans really set him off – and he gave her an ear full.
“Paula’s not used to being called out by anyone, especially one of her sons, but Bobby’s determined to make his own way. And that could be without her if their relationship continues in the direction it’s heading!”