Once considered America’s comfort food queen, Chef Paula Deen and her husband, Michael Groover, purchased their mansion in Savannah in 2006, while she was riding higher and higher on her Emmy winning daytime television show, her three restaurants, a dozen or so cookbooks, a line of cookware and mid-priced home furnishings, product endorsements, etc. Then, reality…and diabetes…hit.  Deen’s Savannah mansion, known as Riverbend, is now on the market for a list price of $8.5M.

The property itself, aptly named Riverbend, sits on a cliff above the Wilmington River.  With 5.5 acres of land, 300′ of water frontage and lush Georgia landscape, Riverbend is prototypical of French Caribbean architecture and style.  The custom built main house has 14,500 square feet of living space.  Additional structures on the property include two guest cottages, a three bedroom apartment, an 8 car garage and chicken coop, a 10,000 square foot barn and a dock house.  A standard size croquet court and swimming pool with a “dive in” theater and pop-up movie screen make outdoor living at Riverbend pure luxury.

The main house sports two full kitchens, one indoor country classic with commercial grade appliances and English pantry for inside dining and one outdoor for outside barbecues with three grills, a smoker and four (4!) refrigerators. The master suite includes a huge bath and sitting area, walk in closets and dressing rooms, and french doors that lead to a private terrace overlooking the river.  There is a full gym and state-of-the-art home theater along with eight bedrooms and 9.5 baths.  Five fireplaces, six water heaters, eight air conditioners, an emergency generator and a back-up propane tank ensure that everyone is cool and warm year-round without interruption.  Additionally, Riverbend has a couple of unique amenities… a salt water aquarium for larger, salt water fish and a custom built aviary for Deen’s collection of parrots.

With all the care and attention to detail this gracious home epitomizes, Riverbend is waiting for its next owner.  Originally listed at $12.5M, then at $10M, perhaps the current list price of $$8.5 will be the temptation that next owner needs.