You won’t recognize the custom bronze hood or the long farmhouse table in the kitchen at Riverbend—celebrity chef Paula Deen’s 28,000-square-foot compound—from any of her cooking shows. The former star of Food Network actually owns two homes in Savannah, Ga., and does her filming in the other one.
Riverbend did appear on television when Oprah televised her tour of the 5.5-acre estate (named for its views over the Wilmington River), but otherwise it remained the controversial chef’s private sanctuary. The estate literally has it all, leaving few reasons to depart from the French Caribbean–style main house and the surrounding outbuildings. From the dive-in theater to the croquet court, the pool with a waterslide and pool house, and a stocked pond, Deen essentially owns a private low-country resort. There’s also a 10,000-square-foot barn, an eight-car garage, two guesthouses, and a private deep-water dock with dock house.
Inside the 14,500-square-foot main house, cathedral ceilings create an inviting living-room ambience. French doors surround the game room. And down in the media room, you can fill your glass from a soda fountain. Off the master suite, a massive bathroom accommodates a full couch and a fireplace. Naturally, the main kitchen is fit for a cooking queen; its butler’s pantry is even equipped with rolling library ladders for easy navigation. The outdoor kitchen is nothing to scoff at either. There, Deen keeps three grills, four refrigerators, and a smoker.
The estate is listed on the market for $12.5 million, currently the most-expensive listing in Savannah. (Inquiries: Seabolt Brokers, Christie’s International Real Estate, Elaine Seabolt, 912.233.6609; christiesrealestate.com)