COUNTRY STAR TRISHA YEARWOOD WHIPPING UP SWEET 'SOUTHERN KITCHEN' RECIPES ON FOOD NETWORK

Show specializes in comfort food and down-home personality that have made her cookbooks a hit
By Richard Huff / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Country music superstar Trisha Yearwood is no stranger to being on stage, but the idea of being on camera talking about food didn’t seem like the best thing to do.

“I was really apprehensive about it,” she says. “Standing behind a kitchen counter telling people about what ingredients to put in a pot didn’t feel right.”

But then the folks behind “Trisha’s Southern Kitchen,” which airs Saturdays at 10:30 a.m., said she could make it, basically, anything she wanted it to be.

So, she did what she knew best, which is to prepare home-style meals while talking to family and friends about life.

“Nobody who cooks does it with full hair and makeup in front of a TV camera,” says Yearwood.

Indeed, even with family and friends on board, she’s had to adjust a bit to the lights.

“I’ve been in front of the camera for 20 years,” she says. “They keep saying ‘smile.’ I don’t smile when I’m alone in the kitchen.”

And, of course, when she’s home she can be a little more freewheeling with the ingredients, where with a TV show, consistency is a factor.

That Yearwood has a cooking show is no surprise to her fans. The three-time Grammy winner released a best-selling cookbook in 2008 called “Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen.” Her second cookbook, “Cooking for Family and Friends” was released in 2010 and was equally successful.

The six episodes of the Food Network series were shot in Nashville over a period of a couple of weeks.

To be clear, the series features comfort food, the kind that at times might be heavy on fat, but not eaten every day, Yearwood says.

“You shouldn’t have to put a disclaimer on to say you shouldn’t eat fried chicken every day,” she says. “People should know that.”

That said, the episodes do feature tips on making substitutions to cut fat from the recipes.

The early response to the shows has been good, and already there’s been consideration, though nothing concrete, of a second season.

In the meantime, she’s currently working on a new CD.

“Music is my No. 1 passion,” she says. “If you made me choose between music and food, it’s definitely music.”

Her husband, superstar Garth Brooks, did not show up in the first batch of episodes. They keep their work separate, plus she wanted to make sure she liked it before pulling him in. They watched the shows together.

“It was cool, it was really cool to see him laugh, to see him tear up and enjoy it,” she says.

“I’m surprised I had so much fun,” she says of the production.

“It’s wonderful to be in a place where you an pick and choose the things that make you happy,” she adds. “I’m 47, You learn life is short and it’s not worth doing something if you don’t enjoy it.”