Trisha Yearwood’s ‘Southern Kitchen’ Serves Family Fun
Sometimes a little detour can become a wonderful new direction. Just ask Trisha Yearwood. When her 2008 cookbook "Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen" hit the New York Times Bestseller list, the Grammy-winning singer had no idea it would launch a new chapter in her career. Since then she's added a second bestselling cookbook to her resume, "Home Cooking With Trisha Yearwood," and has become the host of her own show, "Trisha's Southern Kitchen." The new season's second episode airs tomorrow (Oct. 27) at 11:00 AM ET on the Food Network, with a special Halloween show featuring husband Garth Brooks and his two youngest daughters. (See a funny photo from the episode below.)
"I think we had two days off in our 17 days of shooting. It was crazy, but it's good," Trisha tells The Boot of her hectic TV schedule. "I'm really happy with the first (two shows). They are representative of what the first season was and it was fun."
Like the two cookbooks, which she co-authored with her sister Beth Yearwood Bernard and her mother, the late Gwen Yearwood, Trisha's TV show is a celebration of food and family. During the first season, viewers were introduced to her lovable Uncle Owen, her lovely niece Ashley, her adorable nephews, girlfriends and band members.
"My sister is back. My Uncle Wilson is back along with my nephews, my niece Ashley and my buddies, and even Garth makes an appearance this time," she says of her husband. "It makes it fun for me because I wasn't interested in doing a show where I was just behind the counter by myself explaining how to put it in there. It was fun for me because every day that I was there for 12 hours, I was still there with somebody that I loved. I was laughing and having a good time."
Trisha wanted to show to be an extension of her books. "I wanted to bring the books to life, take these stories and show those people," says Trisha, crediting executive producer Ellen Rakieten with supporting the idea. "She was the one who really encouraged me that I could do whatever I wanted it to be, so we don't have a script. The only really guidelines we have are that I know the stories I want to tell in each episode and the only script I have is the recipe."
Trisha is looking forward to sharing more of her family's favorite recipes this season. "She does this thing called the black bean lasagna that's phenomenal," Garth tells The Boot. "You just can't eat enough of it."
Trisha says the couple tries to be health conscious, but coming up with a healthy lasagna recipe was a challenge. "Garth wanted me to find food that didn't have cholesterol in it," she says. "I already had this black bean lasagna recipe and I started looking around to try to find a good alternative for cheese. This is going to sound crazy, but I found a recipe and I made ricotta cheese out of tofu. I put it in the food processor and make it with basil and olive oil and it was fantastic. I couldn't believe it! I don't think tofu chopped up pretending to be chicken works for me, but making it into this creamy cheese, it worked. I showed him how to make that."
Garth says she also makes a salad that is one of his favorite dishes. "Since her initials are TY. It's a TY Thai salad and it's unbelievable. Those two things kill me," he says of the salad and black bean lasagna. "And she makes a mean ice water, trust me," he says with a big grin. "She's fantastic."
"These are things I make for him when I go out of town that he can eat off of for a few days," Trisha adds, "so on the show he learns how to make them himself."
Trisha's niece Ashley will be returning this season and Trisha even invited her personal trainer for an episode. "Ashley is a senior in college and got her first apartment," she says. "She and I did a show. It was kind of like a brunch show, showing easy things she could make in her new place.
"I even did an episode with my personal trainer. I don't know what I was thinking," she says with a laugh. "But I let them film me working out. She and I were in the kitchen cooking healthy stuff, so that was fun. Then my college roommate from Belmont is a great cook and she still lives in Nashville. We don't see each other very often, so I flew her out here [to Oklahoma] and we got to hang out and cook in the kitchen. That was fun. Everything comes out of something real."
Even though Trisha is becoming known as one of television's most entertaining ladies in the kitchen, she's by no means leaving music behind. "I've recorded some things with [producer] Garth Fundis," she says. "Then the [cooking] show got picked up for a second season and we were off to the races again getting ready to film, so [recording] has been the thing that's had to be put on the back burner, but it's important for people to know that it is on the radar. There is new music. I'm definitely not finished."
As much as she enjoys filming "Trisha's Southern Kitchen," the two-time CMA Female Vocalist wants fans to know there will be new music, but she's not exactly sure when. She's no longer signed to Big Machine Records and is contemplating her next move. "I'm a free agent," she says. "I want to get the music done first and then I'll figure out what I'm going to do."
Asked what kind of songs she's looking for, Trisha responds, "You just don't know until you hear it. It's more challenging all the time to find something that you haven't said before. It's just trying to find songs that speak to you and a lot of songs that are being written right now, rightfully so, are being written for a much younger audience. It needs to be believable. I can't sing about getting my belly button pierced. I have to find songs that really feel like that they are believable to me. It's a challenge, so I don't ever say I'm looking for something specific. You just know when you hear it."
Even with her hectic life, juggling music and her burgeoning cooking empire, the most important priority in Trish's life remains her family. "Allie, our youngest is a junior in high school, so life for the past few years has really evolved around the girls," Trisha says of her three stepdaughters. The two oldest, Taylor and August, are now in college.
"We're very laid back people," she says of life in Oklahoma. "This is my favorite time of year because we're both big football fans, so we'll have our friends over. Somebody will bring a snack and we'll make a snack. We'll just hang out with our friends. Everybody is wearing a jersey of their favorite team. It's really casual. We don't really go on vacations because we travel a lot anyway. We just like to be home."
This Saturday (Oct. 27), Allie and August Brooks surprise Trisha in the kitchen, dressed as KISS! (See the photo below of the chef with her stepdaughters and friend Kim). Hubby Garth also makes a cameo to share Halloween stories. "Trisha's Southern Kitchen" airs Saturdays at 11:00 AM ET on the Food Network.
Watch 'Home Cooking With Trisha Yearwood'