The soul music icon also dished on her must-have items to bring to barbecues and "even on the flights," she tells PEOPLE

By Naledi Ushe
July 15, 2021 05:41 PM
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Patti LaBelle
Patti LaBelle
| Credit: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

Patti LaBelle says people enjoying her food is "everything" to her!

As the iconic soul music singer, 77, celebrates the 20th-anniversary re-release of her famed New York Times best-selling cookbook, LaBelle Cuisine: Recipes to Sing About, she opens up to PEOPLE about what cooking for others means to her and her family.

"I cook to be happy and I cook to make people happy. And when I feed you, if you don't ask for seconds or takeout, I'm going to be angry, because it's from my soul," the Godmother of Soul says on the latest episode of the PEOPLE Every Day podcast. "I give it like I'm doing a show. When I cook, it's like a concert on the stove to me."

Listen to more of Patti LaBelle's conversation with PEOPLE Every Day below.

And before you go to LaBelle's house, better familiarize yourself with some important rules of the kitchen.

"When I put all that joy and feeling in it, please say you like it. And if you don't like it, say you love it," she says, before joking. "But never say 'I don't like it.' You can't come back!"

Patti LaBelle
Patti LaBelle
| Credit: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

The "On My Own" singer says there's an additional benefit to being a great cook, aside from making the people around her feel loved.

"I think it's helped with my skin, my attitude," she says. "Because when you eat great food, you feel good. And I eat great food from morning until night."

Her granddaughters Leyla and Gia have immensely benefited from the "Gotta Go Solo" singer's passion for cooking. LaBelle says Gia has a particular passion for making food and likes to pretend she's the star of a cooking channel while helping her grandmother out.

And of course, they "love the pie," LaBelle shares, referring to her famed sweet potato pie.

Leyla and Gia aren't the only ones obsessed with the pie. "I was so pleased" to hear of the recipe's cult following, she says. "People were cooking that Patti pie like crazy. They love it. And they're still loving it. It's a blessing."

If you're looking for new favorites, LaBelle tells PEOPLE the 20th edition of her cookbook has "three new recipes [including] a bangin' fish, a lobster and shrimp cake, [and] a quarantine chicken recipe."

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"One of the best things to bring will be hot sauce," she shares. "And fresh garlic and habanero peppers."

LaBelle adds, "I bring seasonings, just in case. Even on the flights when you know the food is going to be sucking. You bring your hot sauce, your garlic and any spice you'd like to enhance the food if you want to eat."

Check out more on PEOPLE Every Day, airing now on iHeartMedia, Apple podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen to your podcasts.