After topping the country charts for years, with hits including “Independence Day,” “A Broken Wing,” and “Concrete Angel,” Martina McBride is ready to show fans another one of her talents: cooking.
It shouldn’t be a secret by now that she loves food, having released two cookbooks — last month’s Martina’s Kitchen Mix and 2014’s Around the Table. It was around the time of her first one that the award-winning artist started thinking about doing more, as in a TV series, like her fellow country singer Trisha Yearwood did in spring 2012. So McBride, 52, has done exactly that: Martina’s Table launches Sunday on Food Network, and you can get a sneak peek at the premiere above.
Below, McBride tells EW about taking her talents from the recording booth to the TV studio, her first-day jitters, and what she’s excited for viewers to see.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When did having a food series become something you wanted to do? What are the roots of your desire to be in this space?
MARTINA McBRIDE: I started considering the idea after I wrote the first cookbook, Around The Table. It’s always seemed like something that would be amazing, but I wasn’t sure it would ever really happen. I want to do it because it’s fun, I love cooking and sharing food, and it’s exciting to be able to do something that I’m so passionate about other than singing.
Which shows or chefs have personally inspired you? Who are you a fan of?
I love Ina Garten and always learn so much from watching her. The Pioneer Woman is a fun show. And of course Trisha. But I look up to so many of the chefs on Food Network… Geoffrey Zakarian, Alex Guarnaschelli, Giada [De Laurentiis], Katie Lee.
You’ve traded one studio for another — music for TV — in this new venture. Do you think of it as a “new job”? Were there first-day jitters like we all have?
Absolutely! It’s really a whole new skill set. I mean, I cook a lot, but cooking in your own kitchen and cooking in front of a TV camera is a totally different thing! I don’t usually talk while I cook, for one thing, but luckily I have a very experienced and patient team that really has my back and helped me get over the nerves.
What was your first day of filming like?
Well, we just jumped right in! I had prepped some of the recipes with my culinary producer that day before, but with no cameras. So it was like, “Well, here we go! You’re really doing this!” And then I just had to go for it. I was nervous. It feels like everyone is watching, and you get really self-conscious about everything. All of a sudden I was questioning my chopping, scraping out the bowl, using a mixer.… I also felt the need to rush everything. So it took me a minute to calm down and not rush or bumble my words. And they had to keep reminding me to smile! I don’t usually smile while I’m cooking! Just little things you don’t think about until there’s a camera on and a crew of people watching.
What’s your point of view? What will audiences get from watching you that they won’t elsewhere?
Well, I think they will just see a different side of me — me in my kitchen, cooking, hanging out with my family and friends. It’s really personal, and also I’m sharing something that I love to do, but this time it’s recipes and cooking instead of songs.
Martina’s Table premieres Nov. 18, at 12:30 p.m. ET on Food Network.