Flanked by Mayor Giarrante of Joliet, Harrah's Joliet casino general manager Darren Van Dover and executive chef Peter Jeschke, Paula Deen in person cut the ribbon on her first Chicago-area restaurant yesterday. As we reported a while back, the new Paula Deen's Kitchen lays out a menu of, surprise, American comfort food (some Southern-tinged, some merely expected-in-2012) as well as an array of Deen-branded swag in the gift shop. As a press release said (and Mike Sula, for one, tweeted in awe), "It's only fitting that Paula Deen opens a restaurant in Illinois, as her love for the Chicago area is truly unprecedented." That's right honey, Mama loves you most of all. Make your way to Joliet and bask in that unprecedented love soon.