TRISHA YEARWOOD’S NEW STAGE IS A KITCHEN
With 10 million in album sales and nine No. 1 songs, including “She’s in Love With the Boy,” “Walkaway Joe” and “How Do I Live,” country music star Trisha Yearwood has clearly conquered the music charts.
In 2008, she turned her love for cooking into another best-selling avenue.
Yearwood collaborated with her mother, Gwen, and sister, Beth, on two cookbooks. “Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen” hit the New York Times’ Best Sellers list with a bullet in April 2008 and sped up that chart again the following September. Peppered with personal anecdotes and comfort fare, “Home Cooking With Trisha Yearwood” published in 2010 with a similar homespun vibe and a six-week run on the Times’ best-seller list.
With the premiere of “Trisha’s Southern Kitchen” this spring, Yearwood brought her favorite food traditions to the Food Network. The series, which airs Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. through May 19, brings the creativity of her cookbooks to life with recipes and visits from family and friends.
The concept was a natural fit for the busy life she leads with her country-superstar husband Garth Brooks, whom she married in 2005.
“Our lives are a little bit crazy. I didn’t marry this cowboy to be together apart,” said Yearwood, 47. “The cooking show reflects our real life [as a family]. We don’t throw dinner parties. But we have lots of potlucks and the kitchen is always full of family and friends.
“Those are the recipes we’ve brought to the show. And the stories behind the recipes are an important part of each dish.” Themes have included childhood favorites, family reunion barbecue and a lighter look at Southern recipes.
“Comfort food is an important part of Southern cookery,” Yearwood said. “But you have to have a balance. We probably eat fried chicken once a year. I think everyone strives to eat better.”
Filming the series posed new challenges for the Grammy Award-winning performer and member of the Grand Ole Opry.
“I had to learn to smile while I cooked. I love to cook, but it’s a focused task,” she said. “In concert you connect with the audience in such a different way. My job became making sure the recipe was made and making the guests feel comfortable and part of the show. The experience has been so much fun.”
And to keep the show “real,” Yearwood insisted that outtakes be part of each episode.
“People — especially country music fans — want to know more about you as a person and that comes through in those moments. It’s real life. We’re not perfect and life is too short not to have some fun along the way.”
Yearwood hopes the series is picked up for another season, but that doesn’t mean fans won’t be hearing new music from her soon, she said.
“Music is my passion,” she said, referring to an album in progress and a tour on the horizon.