Trisha's Two Sides

Trisha Yearwood dishes on her double life as a music star and a food star.

Photograph by Mark Peterson

On Stage

  • My first time: I probably didn't say two words to the audience — because I just didn't know what to say. And I didn't know how to move around on stage. I just stood there. Now I always tell people, "If you came to see me when I first started, thanks for coming back."
  • My inspiration: Linda Ronstadt. She is a painfully shy performer. She doesn't say much to the audience. But musically, I just love the power in her voice — I love the emotion in every word that she sings.
  • My right hand: My lead guitar player, Johnny Garcia. He's been my guitarist and band leader since my first show [in 1990]. It's comforting for me to turn to my right and see him there. I can't imagine doing a show without him.
  • Pre-performance prep: There's not a lot of pressure. If you know the song, you don't have to worry about anything. And the songs are always in there.
  • Best advice I ever got: "Be true to yourself." I learned early on to not let somebody else tell me what songs to record, how to dress, what to say. When I look back on my career, whatever choices I've made have been my choices.

On Set

  • My first time: I was the cameraman's nightmare. I'd shoot everything and think we were done, and they'd go, "Now we're going to do all the close-ups of your hands. Did you have the knife in the right hand? Which way did you put the mixer?" I didn't know we were supposed to remember that stuff!
  • My inspiration: My mom. She taught me to never be afraid in the kitchen. She was not a chef. But she never stressed — ever. If something wasn't perfect, she always knew how to fix it.
  • My right hand: My producer Juliet D'Annibale. We collaborate 24–7, and she's got a really great sense of humor. If you watch the show and listen to the outtakes and ever hear cackling, it's her.
  • Pre-performance prep: There's studying involved. Even if I know the recipe by heart, I still have to look at it. I don't have a cheat sheet somewhere.
  • Best advice I ever got: "Don't tape the show in your own house." We shoot 12-hour days with a 30-person crew — you need personal space. We use a house down the road with a big kitchen, so I can come home and just be home.