As an author, editor, co-author, tester, ghostwriter, and everything in between, the two books I am most proud of are Bon Appetit, Y’all, my first, and Lighten Up, Y’all, which won a Beard award.

I’ve revised and updated Bon Appetit, Y’all, and am ecstatic it’s with UGA Press, where I wanted it to have its home.  It’s available for pre-order and out on 15 October. 

Lighten Up, Y’all is also now available in paperback form. 

(Scroll down for links to other titles.) 

Featuring new recipes and photographs, this revised and updated edition of Virginia Willis’s best-selling culinary classic also features new variations and commentary on the original recipes plus options using healthier ingredients. More than two hundred heritage and new recipes seamlessly blend into a thoroughly modern Southern cookbook.

The daughter and granddaughter of consummate Southern cooks, Willis is also a classically trained French chef and an award-winning writer. These divergent influences come together splendidly in Bon Appétit, Y’all, a modern Southern chef’s passionate and evolving homage to her culinary roots.

Bon Appétit, Y’all is Virginia Willis’s way of saying, “Welcome to my Southern kitchen. Pull up a chair.” Once you have tasted her food, you’ll want to stay a good long while.

Healthy recipes from Southern chef Virginia Willis Bon Appetit Y'all Revised and updated on

Softcover revision of the 2016 James Beard Award winner and 2016 International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) nominee for Best American Cookbook

Lighten Up, Y’all, a soul-satisfying and deeply personal collection of some of  Virginia’s favorite recipes — even 8 years after the original publication. The revision addresses her  weight gain after winning the Beard Award — and what it took to change her life and make it stick. 

All the classics are covered—from a comforting Southern Style Shepherd’s Pie with Grits to warm, melting Broccoli Mac and Cheese to Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Pie. Each dish is packed with real Southern flavor, but made with healthier, more wholesome ingredients and techniques.

Wherever you are on your health and wellness journey, Lighten Up, Y’all has the recipes, tools, and inspiration you need to make the nourishing, down-home Southern food you love.

Click here to purchase Lighten Up, Y’all. 

*Currently available on Amazon only.

Fresh Start is a very personal look at my health journey as a French-trained Southern chef and cookbook author

A self-described “sturdy girl” since childhood, my career of cooking, eating, and drinking plus work and relationship challenges created a high-risk lifestyle with inevitable mental and physical health problems. Stressed, depressed, and faced with the need to lose 65+ pounds I reached a point of desperation and set out to change it.

Fresh Start is my real-life guide of 20 go-to recipes that take can you through the day with easy WW-friendly recipes and “non-recipes” for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. I use it as my preferred system of accountability combined with a Southern Mediterranean diet combination. 

Here you will find delicious and doable, seasonal, recipes for home cooks along with tips, techniques, and stories. Each recipe features mouth-watering food photography, easy-to-follow instructions, and helpful hints. 

Click here to purchase. 

*Available on Amazon only. 

Fresh Start by Virginia Willis
Virginia Willis cookbooks

Need a Signed Bookplate?

For signed book plates: Email name of the recipient and mailing address to with bookplate in the subject heading.