The Deen's Welcome You to the Creek House
South’s first family is at it again with one of the greatest locations on the coastal south and some of the best lip-smackin’ recipes straight from the kitchens of Paula, Bobby and Jamie.
In the days leading up to the opening of Paula Deen’s Creek House Restaurant, South magazine got a chance to meet up with Jamie Deen at his family’s newest endeavor on Savannah’s Turner Creek. Paula, Jamie and Bobby Deen are back in full force in the restaurant business, this time with a twist on their beloved southern cuisine. Their aim is to serve delicious Southern-style seafood in a family-friendly, nature-inspired atmosphere.
When we arrived, a small construction team was just finishing touches of trim and aluminum fencing. Landscapers were unrolling sod and digging placements for a new, mini-forest of palm trees. All worked diligently but with a palpable sense of ease. And for good reason. Savannah’s soon-to-be newest family seafood restaurant was two weeks ahead of its grand opening schedule.
The banter and laughter among the crew was light and reminiscent of a family get-together. In some ways Paula Deen’s Creek House is exactly that; a family get-together. Inside, Jamie Deen and two carpenters hung the last of the artwork to adorn the spacious 225-person capacity restaurant. Deen had transformed pieces of driftwood that had landed in his yard after hurricane Matthew into touchable sculptures. “I’ve known some of these guys in here for 30 years,” said Deen, “If we aren’t family, I feel like we should be by now.” The men laughed as they got the last sculptures aligned.
Jamie Deen, perhaps best know for the southern-style celebrity food empire that he, his mother, Paula Deen, and brother, Bobby, built from humble Savannah beginnings, always defers to his mother. “My mom taught us how to cook,” he said, “and from the very start, we’ve always approached it as a family thing.” The mother and two-son trio took a family business of serving food from their home and developed it into The Lady and Sons restaurant, which went on to gain national recognition and eventually made Paula, Jamie, and Bobby Deen Food Network favorites.
Paula Deen’s Creek House Restaurant, though, is Jamie Deen’s baby. And he wants to showcase a concept and menu different from the southern cooking his family grew famous for. A family-oriented seafood restaurant seemed a perfect match, and a market that needed serving. It also is an opportunity to stay close to home. “I live a mile away from this gorgeous place,” he beamed. “I’m looking forward to being closer to my family for a while and riding my bike to work.”
Of course, Creek House has the must-haves like mac and cheese, fried green tomatoes, grits and pimento cheese, but the seafood starters and entrées that Deen created are really where it’s at. Shore Is Good Seafood Dip with shrimp, crab, and cheddar cheese is a creamy way to start a meal.