BEEFING UP

Newcomer Aaron Lines rolls up his sleeves to help prepare a hearty steak dinner at his favorite upscale Nashville eatery

Aaron Lines – who turned "You Can't Hide Beautiful" into a Top 5 hit – can't hide his hankering for a good steak. But he also can't escape the fact that he's all thumbs when it comes to preparing his favorite food – or any meal for that matter!

"I really can't cook at all," admits the 24-year-old Canadian native with a grin. "I'm a bachelor, so when I'm at home, I'll make a sandwich or a salad or just go out for dinner."

And since today he's craving a juicy steak, Aaron heads out to Ruth's Chris Steak House in Nashville, a popular upscale spot that counts many top stars among its regular clientele, including Tim McGraw and wife Faith Hill. But before he answers the dinner bell, Aaron will pick up a quick cooking lesson from head chef Abdou Alerou.

"Don't make it too hard on me," Aaron says with a laugh, nodding toward his instructor. Aaron is assured that his job will mainly involve cutting up some mushrooms for his side dish.

Sounds simple enough, until Aaron spies the large – and obviously very sharp – knife that he'll be wielding. "Are you sure about this?" Aaron asks Abdou, his eyes widening slightly. "Maybe you'd better show me."

Aaron starts slicing away at a mushroom as Abdou watches. The chef stops the action for a moment to show Aaron the proper hand position, making sure that the mushroom is all he'll be cutting. After the lesson, Aaron finishes the job with the ease of a seasoned pro.

"That's it," the chef assures. "Good work!"

A relieved Aaron sits down at a table and awaits his meal of filet, mushrooms and broiled tomatoes. "That's what I like, the basics," says the rising star. "Mostly what I grew up on was meat and potatoes, with maybe some vegetables. In the part of Canada where I'm from, that's what people eat – we're not much for fancy kinds of food."

Aaron, who now calls Nashville home, treks back to Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, as often as possible to visit his parents and steady girlfriend, Dana. But right now, those trips will become less frequent as his touring schedule picks up soon.

"I'll be playing on some of the Brooks & Dunn tour dates this summer," says Aaron, who has just released his latest single, "Love Changes Everything" from his debut album, Living Out Loud. "I've heard that's a real blast. I'll be on the road pretty much through September, so it'll be busy. But I can't wait!"

Meanwhile the wait is over for his scrumptious meal. The steak arrives medium well – just as he requested.

"My gosh, this is great," he declares after the first savory bite. "They can cook for me any time!"

To try the broiled tomato side dish that Aaron enjoyed, pick up the latest issue of Country Weekly, on sale now.

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