Food Network

Chef Virginia Willis is the author of Bon Appétit, Y'all and Basic to Brilliant, Y'all. 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. She writes the popular comfort food blog called Down-Home Comfort that celebrates comfort food cooking for Food Network and the Cooking Channel. Her eponymous food blog receives rave reviews for her recipes and stories celebrating her Southern heritage and classic French training.

She is a contributing editor for Southern Living and her articles have appeared nationally including Food52 and CNN as well as Country Living, Fine Cooking, and Eating Well. As a nationally recognized Southern food and beverage expert she has been featured in the Washington Post, quoted in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. She is the former TV kitchen director for Martha Stewart Living, Bobby Flay, and Nathalie Dupree. Virginia has appeared on Food Network's Chopped, Fox Family and Friends, Martha Stewart Living, Paula Deen's Best Dishes, and as a judge on Throwdown with Bobby Flay.

Her culinary consulting company, Virginia Willis Culinary Enterprises, Inc specializes in recipe development, content creation, culinary editorial services, culinary video production, and media training. Recipe development clients include Georgia Pecan Commission, Sodexo, and Preserving Place. Her recipe for Preserving Place's Sweet Onion Confit won Best of Georgia in 2014. Video content and media training services clients in include CharBroil Grills and Roland Foods.

She is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, Les Dames d'Escoffier, Georgia Organics, and the Southern Foodways Alliance. Virginia is on the advisory boards for the Atlanta Community Food Bank and the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch Blue Ribbon Task Force. She participates in Chef's Move to Schools and is also part of the No Kid Hungry Blogger Program for Share our Strength.

Turning Old into New: Banana Mango Muffins

mamas pound cake I have a near daily ritual in that I scope out the fridge and repurpose what needs to be eaten, compost what needs to go, and freeze what needs to chill out until a later date. I make stock of some sort from those bits and pieces that make sense. And, of course, there’s a small amount that’s past its prime. It’s a smart habit, one that I heartily encourage.

Cooking from scratch can be expensive. I know I’m guilty of being seduced by produce at the farmer’s market or a sale at our local co-op. I know I wind up with more than we can eat every now and then. Other than a goal of not creating scary science experiments, I strongly feel it’s a crime to waste food, and an expensive one, too.

Recently, we had a lot of friends and family in town and after the dust cleared I spent a day puttering about the kitchen and turning old into new. Nearly limp vegetables were grilled for salad, slightly bruised berries and stone fruits were made into smoothies, and we enjoyed the treat of freshly cooked pole beans for lunch. Click here to read the rest of this recent blog.