Award-winning chef and cookbook author Chef Virginia Willis has made chocolate chip cookies with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, foraged for berries in the Alaskan wilderness, harvested capers in the shadow of a smoldering volcano in Sicily, and hunted for truffles in France. She was the celebrity chef at the Mansion at Churchill Downs for the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby, has spoken at SXSW, and beguiled celebrities such as Bill Clinton, Jane Fonda, and Aretha Franklin with her cooking -- and it all started in her grandmother’s country kitchen.
Chef Virginia is one of the most respected voices on Southern food and culture. She is the author of the much-anticipated Secrets of the Southern Table: A Food Lover’s Tour of the Global South premiering May 2018. Her other books include Lighten Up, Y'all; Bon Appétit, Y'all; Basic to Brilliant, Y'all; Okra; and Grits. Lighten Up, Y’all won a James Beard Foundation Award of Excellence in the Focus on Healthy Category. Lighten Up, Y’all as well as her first cookbook, Bon Appétit, Y’all, were finalists in the Best American Cookbook for the International Association of Cookbook Awards.
She writes the popular food blog “Cooking with Virginia” on SouthernKitchen.com and is an Editor-at-Large for Southern Living. Virginia has appeared on Food Network's Chopped, A Chef’s Life, Fox Family and Friends, Martha Stewart Living, Paula Deen's Best Dishes, “In the Kitchen with David” on QVC, CNN International, and as a judge on Throwdown with Bobby Flay. She divides her time between Atlanta, Georgia and New England. To learn more about Virginia, click here.