The celebrity chef appeared at the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show in Houston on Saturday. The crowd of 1,400 people gave Deen a standing ovation, bringing her to tears at one point.
Addressing the reports that she made racial slurs, Deen said the past three months have been tough but valuable.
"It was an opportunity to learn. I learned a lot about myself and I've certainly learned a lot about my business. And I just want to thank y'all from the bottom of my heart," she said.
Deen also held two cooking demonstrations at the show. Tickets for the two-day event cost $140 to $400.
Last month, a settlement was reached in the lawsuit against Deen. Lawyers signed the deal to dismiss the sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit.
The Food Network and other business partners dropped Deen after she acknowledged the racial slurs.
The Associated Press, CNN and KTRK-TV contributed to this report.