Virginia Willis

Georgia-born French-trained chef Virginia Willis has made cookies with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, foraged for berries in the Alaskan wilderness, harvested capers in Sicily, and beguiled celebrities such as Jane Fonda, Bill Clinton, and Morgan Freeman with her cooking — but it all started in her grandmother's country kitchen. She is the author of Secrets of the Southern Table: A Food Lover’s Tour of the Global South; Lighten Up, Y'all; Bon Appétit, Y'all; Basic to Brilliant, Y'all; Okra; and Grits. Lighten Up, Y'all received a James Beard Foundation Award. She was the TV kitchen director for Martha Stewart, Bobby Flay, and Nathalie Dupree and has traveled the world producing food stories — from making cheese in Sonoma to escargot farming in France.

Virginia's Recipes

Smothered and Covered Chicken and Gravy

Brown Sugar Strawberry Shortcakes

Old-Fashioned Peach Cobbler

BBQ Shrimp Po-Boy

Brined Roast Turkey Breast with Herb Pan Gravy

Oven-Fried Chicken-on-a-Stick with Vidalia-Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Steakhouse Rib Eyes with Creamed Spinach

Fresh Strawberry Jam for Canning

Whole Roast Chicken with Lemon and Herbs

Buttermilk Biscuits with Sausage Gravy

Smooth and Creamy Chocolate Pudding

Blueberry Delight

Summer Squash Casserole

Lightened-Up Pimiento Cheese

Country Remoulade

Low Country Shrimp and Grits with Stewed Tomatoes

Pecan Tassies

Cheesy Broccoli, Chicken and Rice Casserole

Classic Pound Cake

Red Beans and Rice

New Soul Creole Dirty Rice

Gulf Coast Crab Cakes with Country Remoulade

New South Chicken and Dumplings

Slow Cooker Brunswick Stew

Mother's Day Make-Ahead Sausage and Cheese Grits Casserole

Turkey Tetrazzini

Brown Sugar Pork Chops with Georgia Peach BBQ Sauce

Stories by Virginia