Dolly Parton Speaks on Cooking for Husband Carl Dean

by Madison Miller

When you listen to a Dolly Parton song it has the habit of filling you with a similar feeling as a nice, homecooked meal. It’s warm, comforting, fulfilling, and all-around happy.

If that’s the case with her music, we can only imagine what it’s like to eat a homecooked meal from the country music icon. There’s one person who has had decades of experience eating Parton’s food — her husband, Carl Dean.

In a recent interview with People, Parton shared that her ideal kitchen environment is mostly quiet. She likes to be able to hear her soft rock playing over her speakers and the sound of her own subtle humming. Parton also loves when Dean comes to visit her while she’s cooking.

“I like it when he comes. A lot of times he’ll sit and watch me, or he’ll talk. He’s a pretty good cook. Not a gourmet cook, but I tour so much he’s always, through the years, had to fix things for himself. So he knows how to do that, but he loves my cooking,” Parton said.

She likes it even better when he sticks around in the kitchen after the meal is done. That is to do the dishes, of course. It’s the perfect fair arrangement.

“I’m a messy cooker, and he’s good about cleaning up for me and keeping the stuff cleaned up around me. But sometimes I don’t want anybody around, so I’ll just say, ‘Why don’t you go to the den, I’ll clean this up later or you can help me later,'” Parton also shared.

As for being in the kitchen, it holds a special place in the “Jolene” singer’s heart. This is part of the reason she teamed up with Duncan Hines for a new line of cake mixes and frostings inspired by her days spent watching her Southern mom cook.

She has since become the master of her mom’s chicken and dumplings recipe. Her recipe turns out better than all her other siblings’ attempts. Some of her other favorite foods to make would be fried chicken and biscuits and anything else considered a Southern guilty pleasure. It’s no wonder she calls the kitchen “the heart of the home.” It’s especially no wonder then why she enjoys sharing that space with her husband of 55 years.

Dolly Parton Favorite Foods and Cooking Habits

So what exactly is Parton’s go-to meal when she steps into the kitchen?

There’s a general golden rule — if it has potato, she’s eating it.

“Every diet I ever fell off of has been because of a potato. Either French fries, or mashed potatoes, or baked potatoes. Potato, potato, potato! I never met a spud I didn’t like,” Parton said during a Wired “Autocomplete Interview.”

Despite spending a lot of time on the road, Parton is still a surprisingly good cook. Not like the gourmet chefs on the Food Channel, but like a true home-cooked hero.

“You better believe it! I’m a really, really good cook. I’m not a gourmet cook. My food is not pretty, but it’s good. I cook like my mom, my grandmas and my aunts. I’m still one of those people that really can cook, like the old days. That soul food cooking,” Dolly Parton said.