Trisha Yearwood on Her Cooking Show: "It's Smart to Stick With What You Know"
Trisha Yearwood is country music royalty. Married to superstar Garth Brooks, the Grand Ole Opry member shot to fame in the early 1990's and has since sold over 12.5 million albums worldwide, won three Grammys, three Country Music Association Awards, and performed at the White House during President Bill Clinton's inauguration. If that's not enough, the gorgeous singer is also a two-time New York Times bestselling author, hosts Trisha's Southern Kitchen on Food Network, and kicks off a country-wide tour this Wednesday, February 19 at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. If you're wondering how Yearwood went from microphone to food processor, the story is as down home as the dishes she demonstrates on her Emmy-award winning television show. "It's a complete second career. I'm as surprised as anybody," she tells us. We spoke with the country star about family, the art of storytelling, and even got a few kitchen tips.
Courtesy of WorldRedEye.com Trisha Yearwood at last year's Southern Kitchen Brunch.
New Times: How exactly did you go from Grand Ole Opry to Food Network?
Trisha Yearwood: It started with my cookbooks. I was approached by some publishers to write a book in 2005 or 2006. My agents said there was interest in my writing an autobiography. First of all, I'm in my 40's, so I feel like a memoir is years down the road, but I know families that do these little homemade cookbooks that they pass around to their sisters and daughters. I thought that it would be really cool to have all these recipes that you collect in a shoebox somewhere in one place. At the time my father, who was a great cook, had just passed away, and so my mom and my sister and I got together to collaborate on this, never dreaming what it would do. I remember getting a call that it debuted on the New York Times bestseller list. Then a second book did better than the first one and there was talk of doing a television show. For a while, I really resisted. I just didn't think cooking would be enjoyable anymore if I had a show where I stood behind a counter saying, "now you add the milk, and the eggs, and whatever". But Food Network said I could do whatever I want. So, I thought if I had my sister and best friends and family on the show, maybe it could be fun.
You're no stranger to performing, but how was hosting a cooking show different than singing on stage?
At first I was intimidated by these chefs that I have such great respect for. I'm not a trained chef and what I know is how my mom and my grandmother cooked, so I'm kind of more representative of how most people cook. I have to say that a few years ago, doing something like the South Beach Wine & Food Festival would have terrified me, but the chefs I have met over the last few years through Food Network have been so wonderful. No one ever made me feel like I don't have any place there because I don't have formal training. I will say, that in the past five years, the chefs I met and the foods I've tasted makes me want to go to culinary school and take it to the next level.