Country singer-turned-Food Network show host Trisha Yearwood took a brief break from her world tour with husband Garth Brooks, flying in for the morning from Massachusetts to host a sprawling Southern Kitchen brunch in a ballroom overlooking the beach at the Loews Hotel. She charmed the crowd with selfies and hit songs, including "Walkaway Joe," "Wrong Side of Memphis" and "PrizeFighter:"
Trisha Yearwood in song Sunday morning.
Our Grade: A (Well worth the $$).
What worked: Along with Yearwood's station offering ham and pimiento cheese drop biscuit sandwiches, buttermilk strawberry skillet cake, cheesy grit cake with brisket, hash browns with cheesy eggs and avocado, and bourbon-infused punch, the spread featured 10 other stations with brilliant brunch fare from Austin, Atlanta, Nashville, Syracuse, Indianapolis, Chicago and Miami. Black-and-white-checkered tablecloths, orange and yellow daisies, and Bulleit Kentucky bourbon whiskey drinks kept everybody in good spirits.
A plate of Yearwood's hash browns with cheesy eggs and avocado, and a ham and pimiento cheese drop biscuit sandwich, next to her cheesy grit cake with brisket.
What didn't work: Pretty perfect, although a cooking demo or food-centric moment would have added to the experience.
Best thing we ate: Biscuit French Toast with lemon curd and mascarpone, served with blueberry compote and house syrup from Karl Worley's Biscuit Love Brunch in Nashville.
Chef Michael Fojtasek of Olamaie restaurant in Austin grates cured egg yolk on edible flowers as garnish for country ham and eggs with red-eye gravy, Pencil Cob grits and pickled mustard.
Quote of the morning: "i keep trying to get the other chefs to sing…just sayin.' " -- Trisha Yearwood
Trisha's Porch Punch with Bulleit Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey, iced tea, lemon juice, mint simple syrup and lemon garnish.
Craziest thing we saw: A lady in red heels expertly balancing in her hands 4 small plates of Florida orange spicy glaze fried chicken, country ham and eggs with red-eye gravy, smoked pork hash and blue crab benedict with her Bloody Mary.
BY JODI MAILANDER FARRELL | firstname.lastname@example.org