Nancy Dunham – The Washington Examiner

It’s not that Grammy-Award-winning artist Trisha Yearwood hasn’t been offered cooking shows before. It’s just that she never felt the time was really right to do one, until now.

On Saturday, April 14, Yearwood will show off her cooking chops when “Trisha’s Southern Kitchen” debuts on the Food Network. In a way, the show is a natural extension for Yearwood. Both her published cookbooks –“Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen: Recipes from My Family to Yours,” the 2008 cookbook which references her Georgia roots and the state where she, husband Garth Brooks and their family make their home, and “Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood: Stories and Recipes to Share with Family and Friends” released in 2010 — hit No. 1 on the New York Times Bestseller Listin the Advice, How-To and Miscellaneous category.

“For me, cooking is very connected to my family and friends,” said Yearwood.”Every recipe on the show carries wonderful memories with my loved ones. … I really see this as a tribute to my mom [Gwen Yearwood] who passed away last year.”

The six episodes of the show were all filmed in a Nashville home that had a generously sized chef’s kitchen, which was ideal for camera angles. For Yearwood, the best part of the show was the chance to almost treat the cameras — and the fans on the other side — as guests in her own kitchen.

“I thought if I could make a show with my sister and uncle and nephews, that would work. It’d be the story of family [and friends],” she said. “I had so much fun every morning hanging out in the kitchen with my sister or my best friend.”

Although Yearwood said the couple’s three daughters are interested in cooking, she doesn’t plan to have them on any shows for matters of privacy. She and Brooks want the young women to continue to lead lives as normal as possible. But Brooks may well appear on a future episode, Yearwood mused.

The true stars of the show, though, are the recipes. All are Yearwood family favorites, including some that taste like the real thing but are healthier versions of classics, such as chicken pot pie.

“My mom had turned the whole [cooking] process on its ear,” she said. “Her illness really defined her diet [in later years], and we learned to cook healthy versions of favorite recipes. She always was [intent] on making sure the dishes tasted the same [as the original versions].”