Virginia Willis

Atlanta, GA Author, Virginia Willis
Virginia Willis

Chef Virginia Willis is the author of Lighten Up, Y’all, Bon Appétit, Y’all, and Basic to Brilliant, Y’all, as well as Okra and Grits. Lighten Up, Y’all: Classic Southern Recipes Made Healthy and Wholesome received a 2016 James Beard Foundation Award of Excellence and was a finalist for Best American Cookbook by the International Association of Culinary Professionals. She is currently in development with WGBH for a series called “Secrets of the Southern Table: A Food Lover’s Tour of the Global South” to air nationally on public television stations.

Virignia is an Editor-at-Large for Southern Living and author of the popular column “Cooking with Virginia.” The Chicago Tribune praised her as one of “Seven Food Writers You Need to Know.” Her legion of fans love her knack for giving classic French cooking a down-home feel and reimagining Southern recipes en Français. Learn more about Virginia and follow her traveling exploits at www.virginiawillis.com.


Accolades & Publications

  • James Beard Foundation – Award of Excellence (Lighten Up, Ya’ll, 2016)
  • International Association of Culinary Professionals – Best American Cookbook Finalist (Lighten Up, Ya’ll, 2016)
  • Lighten Up, Y’all: Classic Southern Recipes Made Healthy and Wholesome (Ten Speed Press, 2015)
  • Okra: A Savor the South Cookbook (The University of North Carolina Press, 2014)
  • Grits (Short Stack Editions, 2013)
  • Basic to Brilliant, Y’all: 150 Refined Southern Recipes and Ways to Dress Them Up for Company (Ten Speed Press, 2011)
  • Bon Appétit, Y’all: Recipes and Stories from Three Generations of Southern Cooking (Ten Speed Press, 2008)
  • International Association of Culinary Professionals – Best American Cookbook Finalist (Bon Appétit, Y’all, 2008)

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