The South’s customs are old and well-preserved by decades of isolation. Family recipes are passed, almost verbatim, from generation to generation. A fierce sense of pride and attachment to both people and place results in traditions held fast. Virginia Willis, who grew up in Georgia and Louisiana, inherited her love of fresh, home-cooked food and unconditional hospitality from her mother and her grandmother. Going on to become a classically trained French chef, her beautiful new cookbook, Bon Appetit, Y’All: Recipes and Stories from Three Generations of Southern Cooking, melds these divergent influences into “a modern chef’s passionate and utterly appealing homage to her culinary roots”.
A food writer, cooking teacher, and television producer, she calls this hybrid cuisine “refined Southern” — applying traditional French technique and lighter ingredients to produce new versions of Southern staples. She has worked with Martha Stewart, Bobby Flay, and Nathalie Dupree. She has cooked for the White House and stars like Aretha Franklin and Jane Fonda. With her “simple-is-best” philosophy, this original and welcome newcomer makes this marvelously modern cookbook – of down-home haute cuisine – a wonderful addition to a classic cookbook library.
So, join us with a tall glass of sweet iced tea and we’ll cook through our newest Cook the Book.