Long regarded in Atlanta (and beyond) for her grace and culinary prowess, Georgia native Virginia Willis debuted her first cookbook last year, and it’s a visual and gustatory stunner. Willis has earned quite the culinary pedigree: She apprenticed with Nathalie Dupree, studied with Anne Willan at her famed La Varenne in France, worked as the kitchen director on Martha Stewart Living for three years, and runs her own production company.
In her book, she gathers all these experiences and marries them to her family’s local roots. She refers to her style as “refined Southern cuisine,” acknowledging that any cuisine (even one as stubbornly rooted as Southern cooking) is never frozen in a stagnant set of principles but evolves continuously. In that regard, savor her red velvet cake and summer vegetable succotash, but don’t overlook her Vidalia onion soup with bacon flan, or even her unapologetically Gallic—and incredibly comforting—recipe for boeuf Bourguignonne.
Bon Appétit, Y’all
By Virginia Willis
Ten Speed Press
RECIPES: Onion Soup with Bacon Flan and Succotash