The Southern cooking queen is having a party at a surprise location

By Liza Hamm and Kristin Boehm
January 19, 2012 04:00 PM
Credit: Beck Starr/FilmMagic

Paula Deen may be taking heat out of the kitchen this week, but it’s not stopping the Southern cooking queen from celebrating an important milestone in her life.

She turns 65 Thursday and, according to her sons Jamie and Bobby, the festivities will not change in light of her type 2 diabetes.

“It’s a surprise,” says Jamie. “Her personal assistant Brandon puts together a party every year. I don’t even know where it is. We’re getting on a bus and being delivered to a secret location.”

For her 60th bash, guests enjoyed a three-hour sunset cruise on the Savannah river and dined on a medley of “different” appetizers including butter poached lobster shooters, scallop burger sliders and gold-laced cotton candy!

And though she is converting to healthier eating, just two nights before her diabetes diagnosis was announced, Deen dined with nine friends at Asellina restaurant on Park Avenue South in N.Y.C., enjoying broiled lamb chops and tiramisu.

After her birthday, the Paula Deen cruise (a.k.a. 2012 Party at Sea) sets sail for the Caribbean on Jan. 21. She’s expected on board – as are all-you-can-eat buffets!