Patti LaBelle Talks Her Cooking Channel Special and Dancing with the Stars SEPTEMBER 25, 2015 – 8:26 AM – 0 COMMENTS Share on facebookShare on twitterShare on pinterest_shareMore Sharing Services0 By PAULETTE COHN @paulette49 Patti LaBelle on Patti LaBelle's Place(Cooking Channel) It’s no secret that two-time Grammy Award winner Patti LaBelle sings for her supper, but on Sunday, she is going to take it one step further and cook it up as well! LaBelle, who is the author of five cookbooks, the most recent Recipes for the Good Life!, is going to whip up some of her tasty treats on her hourlong specialPatti LaBelle’s Place, premiering Sunday, Sept. 27 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on the Cooking Channel. Joining LaBelle in the kitchen will be pal Whoopi Goldberg, stopping by for some seafood favorites; her Dancing with the Stars partner Artem Chigvintsev, who swings by for a hearty meal of roasted lamb; and Destiny Child’s Michelle Williams, who satisfies her sweet tooth. LaBelle chatted with Parade.com about Patti LaBelle’s Place, how Whoopi Goldberg doesn’t like greens, and the new season of Dancing with the Stars. How did you transition from cookbooks to a TV special? Oh, honey, I guess it was meant to be. I’ve been cooking all my life, coming up with little recipes for hot sauces and different ketchups. It just expanded. I guess it’s like singing, that’s a natural for me, and so is cooking. I hear you’re making decadent dishes. Are they healthy and decadent or just decadent? They’re both healthy and some not so healthy. I’m a diabetic so I will cook everything for anybody, but I’m not going to eat it, though, because, of course, I have to cook healthier now for myself. You mentioned that you have diabetes. What’s been the biggest change to your diet since your diagnosis? I had to stop eating cheesecake, that I love, and fried chicken. In moderation, I can have a piece of fried chicken. You know, whatever I would eat, it would be fried, and then potato salad and macaroni and cheese. Things like that I can’t really have anymore. I cheat every now and then. I have to taste it to see if it’s good. That’s as far as I go to make sure it’s good for people. Having to eliminate all the fried food from your diet, did you teach yourself to cook healthy or did you have somebody who helped you? I didn’t have a dietician, nor did I have help in my kitchen because I really know how to cook healthy. I do the branzino [fish] now with a little grapeseed oil, like one-and-a-half minutes on each side with lots of habanero peppers and fresh garlic sliced. When you season with garlic, or a hot spice like cayenne or habanero or jalapeño pepper, you don’t miss fried food. I’ve been doing that forever and it’s so good. You have Whoopi Goldberg, Michelle Williams, and Artem Chigvintsev as your guests. How did you pick those particular people? I love all three of those folks. Whoopi is like my friend forever. She was with me when my family members passed. She was with me when I got my Hollywood Walk of Fame star. She’s just a Patti girl. I love her. Artem is going to be my friend forever after being my partner. Michelle, every time I would see Beyoncé, Kelly, and Michelle they would always say, “What you going to cook for us? We need some food.” So she was perfect for the show. I read that Whoopi doesn’t like vegetables, but that you were able to get her to taste something. Did she like it? I made kale and I said, “Whoopi, I know how you feel about green anything but please just taste my greens.” She said, “For you, Patti, I’ll taste them.” She put about two forkfuls in her mouth and she said, “I still don’t like greens.” But she loved my crab cakes and the branzino. “What kind of fish is this?,” she said. I said, “It’s a form of bass.” She said, “I’ve never heard of it.” I said, “It’s not like a catfish. You pay a lot of money for this.” She said, “Girl, listen, that’s my new fish now. I’m going to start having my people buy this and cook this for me like you did.” So I turned her on to the branzino and my good crab cakes. Dancing with the Stars is back for a new season. You lasted on it six weeks I think it was. What was the most challenging part for you? Every day. We rehearsed every day except I think we had Tuesdays off, and the live show was Monday. It was very, very hard but those things I live for. I live for doing something that I’ve never done before, that I’m not used to, and listening to someone give me direction…I’ve been singing for 52 years and the only person that tells me what to do is Patti. Artem had to tell me what to do and I had to listen. Thank God he’s such a sweetheart. He wasn’t cruel or harsh with me. He was very easy. Are you watching the new season? Yes, I am. Do you have a favorite? Well, I love Chaka Khan. She’s my girlfriend. But I watched it and I love little Bindi Irwin. Her personality is just all over the place. I mean I love this little girl. I’ve never met her, but I think she’s got something.