Sunday afternoon, country superstar Trisha Yearwood made sure that participants of the South Beach Wine and Food Festival were reminded about how delicious down home southern food can be.
As fans entered the venue at the Loews Hotel, Yearwood personally served her menu of mac and cheese along with baked ham, biscuits and sausage gravy before heading off to the main stage where she performed a few of her songs. This year marks her first year participating in festival.
There were plenty of food and drinks to be had at the Southern Brunch with the help of Belvedere Vodka and Yearwood’s favorite Dixieland chefs including Art Smith, Kris Wassell, Chris Barbato, G Garvin, Howie Kleinberg, Hugh Acheson and Jeni Britton Bauer, who brought dessert.
Yearwood also sat down and talked a little about how she got into cooking, when fans can expect new music and her desire to attend culinary school:
Welcome to Miami, have you enjoyed your time here?
“Miami is so beautiful it’s been great! I’m from just across the border in Georgia and Florida for me always meant vacation. Growing up, we would go across the line once a year for a few days so I very much associate Florida with the south.”
You grew up with cooking and eating being a family affair. Is that what interested you in becoming more involved in the kitchen?
"In my house, the table was the place everybody got together to talk about their day, which has gotten harder to do these days. With our own children [with husband Garth Brooks], we have two girls in college who I will just call up and say, “hey it’s veggie night” and they come right over to catch up on what’s been going on.
That’s what I love about what the Food Network has done, which is bring cooking back. I’m 48, and I don’t know many girls from my generation who cook and never taught their kids to cook. It’s really great to see that now things are changing."
You consider yourself a cook not a chef. Would you like to formally train as a chef?
"I enjoy being a cook, but I would love to go to culinary school at some point during my free time even though I don’t know when that would be! I’m fascinated by shows like “Iron Chef” where they have to make something with a secret ingredient and they draw from all these different cuisines that they studied in school.
I know the basic things that I grew up learning with great respect for what they do. I’m going to try to squeeze [culinary school] in somewhere!"
Have you had a hard time balancing your time between cooking and music?
It’s been hard the last couple of years with the books and working on my show “Southern Kitchen.” I’m currently in the studio working on a record, and I gave myself until the end of March to finish it. Music is my passion, and I have to sing to be happy. We incorporate music into the show when it makes sense and we will continue to do that but it’s kind of hard to do both especially at full throttle.
Probably after the next 26 episodes are filmed I will probably go out and do some music. It’s time for me to go back and do that.
Country music fans are some of the most dedicated fans in the world. How have they reacted to you focusing more on food and less on music?
I’m very interactive on social media and I get a lot of comments saying they love the show and how it feels like they are in my kitchen. But they also let me know that they really miss my singing and they ask me to make a new record.
It’s great to hear the feedback because I can feel like they are still there and they want me back out there on stage.