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Yeah, yeah, sure Patti LaBelle has a pile of Grammys and other awards, but around here at TODAY Food, we love hearing about one of her other talents in particular: her cooking skills. LaBelle's prowess in the kitchen first gained national prominence when her sweet potato pies sold out at Wal-Mart stores.
Now, the singer, in a recent Vanity Fair interview, is opening up and dishing on a treasure trove of stories about cooking for her celeb-musician friends, including that time she cooked for Prince at Paisley Park.
Who's not the best at returning Tupperware? That would be Sir Elton John, whom she cooked for once back in the '60s, when he, then known as Reggie Dwight, played piano in a backup band for Labelle while touring in the U.K.
Asking about the outstanding plastic ware was something of a running gag between the two: "There was always something about Ms. Patti getting her Tupperware back. Eventually, he gave me a diamond ring, and I called it quits," she tells the magazine.
Elton's not the only fellow musician she's cooked for. LaBelle, who often hosts celebs on her Cooking Channel show, also tells of treating Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones to a full spread of brisket, short ribs, fresh corn and cabbage, before a show in Philadelphia. When the catering truck picked it up, she made sure her dishes were labeled "Patti LaBelle made this," so that they weren't mixed in with the caterer's.
Then there's the time she cooked for Prince, back in the '80s, when the duo recorded a couple of songs for LaBelle's album, "Be Yourself," at Prince's Paisley Park residence. One night, LaBelle, a dream house guest, got to work, making him a fabulous meal:
"He took me to his house to cook for him, and he was shooting pool as I was cooking, and when everything was done, I said, 'Dinner's ready!' He said, 'Oh, I just want a roll.'"
Oh Prince, we miss you.
Here's hoping that LaBelle's newest cookbook, Desserts LaBelle, out this April, is sprinkled with plenty more juicy tidbits from her kitchen.